By talking to a few friends this week about challenges in all kinds of relationships, I was reminded that love is a verb, always in motion. Life is messy, people are complex, and there are no cures to solve the dilemma of being human.
We all are flawed and imperfect, capable of harm. That’s not, however, a free pass to be complacent. To the contrary, I think life continually summons us to become the best version of ourselves possible. But when we can radically accept our limitations and those of others, knowing that every one of us is a work in progress — a mix of wounds and wishes — it keeps us from wasting energy pursuing some elusive point of arrival. It keeps us from misinterpreting the adventure of an evolutionary journey with a sense of failure for not solving the riddle, for not fixing the problems once and for all.
Maintaining a relationship is a lot like being a homeowner. There is always something that will need to be taken care of, repaired, or improved upon. A responsible homeowner often has a budget set aside and an eye out for the ongoing needs that are sure to come, like a leaky faucet, a new roof, or an appliance. Similarly, to be wise in our relationships we must assess what needs attention and budget the resources required to maintain and improve it. We need to be intentional about prioritizing time to connect, make amends, and develop helpful skills. Perhaps that means reading a book, engaging in a program, seeing a counselor, participating in a support group, or adopting a spiritual practice. The methods are endless; the work is lifelong. There is no finish line when it comes to love.
Let’s think about how we can honor our most treasured relationships by committing to continual growth.
May you be inspired!