When you are in a meaningful and significant relationship such as marriage, it is most likely that you spend A LOT of your time with that person. Not only the quantity of time in each other’s presence increases significantly- and hopefully in a meaningful manner- but also you reveal so much of yourself on the levels that you would not reveal with most of the other populations in the circle of your life. And because the relationship holds so much meaning in your life, your significant other’s behavior impacts you in ways that no one else in the world can match up. Because you spend time with each other more than you would with anyone else, the chance of hurting each other naturally increases. But this can only mean one thing: It also increases the chance to express your capacity for love with that person. This was the lesson I gained after my latest argument with my husband.
When we have an argument that escalates into revealing the deep anger and resentment- these negative feelings often do not directly relate to my partner I am angry about in the present moment by the way. Their roots go way beyond the time I met him- I ask myself this question: “What if this moment, this arguing and hating, is our last moment together here on earth?” That question never fails to soften my heart. I can sense my spirit flying back to him and when my heart tells me that we are both ready to accept each other again, I start a communication in a calmer manner this time. The worst thing a couple can do is to harbor any hard feelings towards each other for a long term. Days go by, months go by, years go by without resolving that small little incident that you don’t even remember anymore. I don’t want to make that mistake this time. I lost my first marriage because I did not communicate my true feelings out of fear. My sister just got divorced because she and her husband neglected each other for so many years.
I try to live each day as if it is my last day. I don’t always succeed of course. I just keep trying to be mindful of that question “Is today the day?” as much as I can. Some would say it is morbid. I once led a yoga class and ended the session with a guided breathing meditation. While everyone was lying in savasana, I gently reminded that in order to create a fuller space for inhalation, exhalation is crucial. “As a matter of fact”, I continued, “an exhale is so important that it is the last breath we will let out here on earth”. Some people came up to me after the class and half-jokingly mentioned that it was a bit creepy. Living life with death constantly on the mind can drive many into manic state of mind. I know this to be true because I once had that manic mind. But if you can hold life and death, if you are able to see the two contradictions with clear vision, then you will see that the life and death we know here on earth work together to create the tension that allows love to grow more fully. Fear of death does not easily dissipate. Especially, if you have children you will be leaving behind. I have to say it is a daily work I have to let God take control of. But once God takes the center stage of your life, death loses its victory, loses its sting. This was the very knowledge that had power to save me from the destruction of bipolar disorder. And it can save anyone who are going through any kinds of destructive behaviors, disorders, illnesses, and relationships. Once we are over the fear of the physical death, then we can safely ask “Is today the day?” This question has power to transform not just a single day, but years of a neglected marriage and perhaps an entire life if asked enough.
Daily meditating on the resurrection of Christ is a good therapy. It’s the best therapy that I know. I place the wooden cross in the center of my living space. I purchased this Cross at a monastery when I was a new convert. When I have a brief chance to be alone and quiet- since I now have a busy toddler- I sit with the Holy Presence, and ask Him: “Is today the day?” Then my heart’s immediate response quickly follows and I simply listen to the words. “Then may today be the day that I love the best, the fullest, and the most Christ-like. May today be the day that I give back what I received from You fully and completely. May today be the day that I exhaust all the Love that You have filled me with”.
Just try this once. You will experience the best day of your life. You have just began a new chapter of your life lived in full love.