The other day started with a ridiculous argument with my wife over medicine cabinet organization. I stomped around furious, cleaning as I tend to do when I am mad (instead of working on some writing I had to do).
When I was calm enough to sink into a spiritual book, I opened it up on my phone and the screen was completely blank. This was followed by an email from work saying that plans had changed in a huge project. My heart sank to my feet as a long awaited endeavor had been seemingly crushed. I reach out to talk to a friend who was unavailable.
All of a sudden other friends started calling and texting to check in on me. A routine call to a parent turned into a cosmic conversation about the gift of surrendering to the perfect universe.
It took a while for my body to wear down enough to stop. Humbly, I crawled into bed still experiencing pain from my surgery. It’s only at that moment that I was ready to go back to surrendering to the healing process and the perfect universe in which I call home.
For better or worse I am a solution oriented person. As a special education teacher and educational consultant, this is usually a good thing. However, it has taken my wife 13 years to train me to just listen to her problem instead of trying to solve it.
Right now our twins are no longer sleeping through the night, there is discord in my extended family, underlying conflict at work and a national political scene that only belongs in nightmares. My mind wants to solve it all. It can’t.
What a humbling process it is to step back and listen to the present moment, holding space for the pain and solutions yet to come.
We went to a beautiful family wedding last night. My wife’s grandparents were asked to give advice garnered from their 66 years of marriage. Their response? “Don’t fight.”
I am sure they have had plenty of disagreements over the years, but hanging out with the couple for over a decade now, I can tell you that they seem to be working on the same team.
As we walk through our lives as parents, educators, spouses, professionals, and citizens, let us work through conflict remembering that in the biggest picture, we are all on the same team.
Marriage is weird
On a rare occasion, I love terrible T.V. Most recently, that means: “Married at First Sight.” The idea is that three U.S. couples marry someone that “the experts” have arranged for them. It made me start to think about how odd marriage it is: you meet someone, then as a rule, you make a deal that you will treat each other differently than you would treat anyone else. In a way, each one of our relationships is like a marriage of sorts. There are unwritten rules on how to treat colleagues, friends, house guests and elevator partners… Whether in a marriage or in a meeting, following the rules leads to a larger chance of success.
Here’s the question: How do we learn the rules?