If you think about it, a relationship is like a child. A child is born from two people who (ideally) love each other and commit to the care and feeding of a third person. They love and want it with all their heart, and are willing to do whatever it takes to be the best they can be. That’s what a partnership is: a third BETTER thing we love into being, and choose with all our heart. And, like a child, this relationship requires attention and nurturing. We have to feed it and give it affection, protection and guidance. If we neglect it, it withers. Starve it, it dies. When we choose partnership…TRUE partnership…we are agreeing to be responsible for growing and maintaining its health and well being, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, which is a commitment not to be taken lightly. And, it changes us, if we’re lucky…just as a child does.
It strengthens our resolve to do what it takes, especially when we don’t feel like it. We feed it when it's hungry, warm it when it's cold, and hold it when it's hurt or scared. Even when we’re struggling, if we’re committed to the highest good of the “child”, we set aside our differences and pay attention to what it needs. It moves us beyond our separateness and opens us to something greater than ourselves, individually and together. We learn that honoring and caring for ourSelf is vital to our ability to be present and patient, and we find the capacity to honor and support our partner in doing the same. We become a team for the greater good. We build a strong foundation for it grow and mature; we listen and guide, and create healthy boundaries to keep it safe. We consider it in our every-day choices and include it in our big life plans, not because we have to, but because it matters. It matters most. We protect it, respect it, and hold it accountable. We play when we're too busy, we laugh even though we don't get the joke, and sometimes it breaks our heart. But we keep loving it and choosing it, again and again, and it makes us better people...every day.
Yep, true partnerships are like children that way. They give us reason to be better than ourselves…if we let them. ~kbj