They were in their 80s. One of them still is. The other one passed away. They were married to each other for 58 years. He was the warm one, sweet as can be and always smiling. She was serious and somewhat austere. Or so they seemed to the rest of us.
If I had known them 20 years ago, I would have wondered why or how they had stayed married for so long. They seemed so different from one another. I don’t do that anymore, not just because I know enough to know that I don’t know anything about what people are really like just by observing them from a distance.
I know that relationships change, people change, life changes people. I know that what keeps two people willingly and happily together for 58 years is something deeper and more important than their personalities, circumstances, upbringing, and even love for each other. These things can help or hinder their bond, and can be used as an excuse to break up their reasons for staying together, but ultimately it is something more intangible that keeps them together for that long.
There is a certain amount of wisdom that naturally flows into us as we age. This wisdom is not pushy or forceful, it is a gentle guest that is invited when we stop fighting life. When we listen to it and embrace it, we start seeing things differently. When we go beyond what annoys us about the other person, and stop nit picking and focusing on what we want for us, life opens up.
The concepts of happiness and peace change with that as well. We realize that it was never about the other person. We recognize that the source of true contentment is in us, not somewhere out there, in someone else, in a relationship, in a job, in our children, in a house, etc.
We stop burdening others with our own dissatisfaction and expectations and start really living for a change. Life becomes bigger than us and our problems.
I’d like to think that this is what kept them together for 58 years. I’d like to think that when two wise people finally recognize what truly matters, they only embrace and appreciate each other’s wisdom and let go of all the other small matters.
Questions To Ponder:
1) Think about a meaningful relationship of yours that has lasted the test of time. What makes you still want to hang out or be with that person?
2) Has your relationship changed over time? How?
3) How have the changes in you helped or hindered your relationship?
Spiritual life coaching is an open-ended process that begins and ends where YOU need it to. Maybe the concept of maintaining or staying in a long-term relationship keeps you from moving forward in your life, or maybe it is something altogether different. If you’d like to learn more about spiritual life coaching, I would be happy to talk to you. Email or call me now and find out how we can work together to help you feel more satisfied and happy in your relationships.