My heart aches today.
A friend of mine, my neighbor, is about to lose her 50-year old husband to the result of a sudden, massive heart attack. Her sweet children, under the age of 14, are about to lose their best bud, their hero, their dad.
In an effort to bring some comfort to this devastated family, I ran to the store to bring snacks and grab ‘n go foods to their home. I’ve prayed harder for a miracle in this last week than I’ve prayed in months, begging God, the universe, any form of a higher entity to spare this family of this tragedy.
Today, I was informed that this beautiful family will not be spared. So, as they say goodbye to their beloved, I sit at home with a heavy heart, puffy eyelids from crying and shallow breath. As I turned off the TV to go to bed tonight, I thought of all of you.
My readers and my dear clients, who struggle to give and receive love, intimacy, sex, or, those of you who are rebuilding after betrayal or trauma…all of you are ultimately seeking connection and sustainable love.
My message to you today is this:
Love. Love and do it hard. Go all in. Every. Single. Day.
Because your partner, spouse, beloved is not a permanent fixture in your life. In fact, neither are you. Life is fragile. Every day, every single minute is a gift.
So what I’m saying here is not that you have to be perfect in every moment, or that you should never have disagreement or feel anger.
But love through your anger.
Be angry and loving at the same time.
Disagree and reassure at the same time.
Let go of winning in favor of connecting.
Choose vulnerability over pride.
You see, you do not have to choose one or the other. Conflict can propel a couple forward when it is rooted in love and genuinely good intent. I am not proposing a conflict-free relationship but a conscious loving one.
Yet I do encourage you to be selective in your conflicts. You know that phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”? Well, there is a reason it caught on in popularity. In it’s simplicity, it carries wisdom.
Life is too short, too precious, to focus on the minutiae of the exchanges in your relationship.
A simple example: My spouse is not as neat and organized as I am. In fact, for the last 22 years, he has managed to empty the dishwasher and place many of the items where they do not belong. I typically cook so you can imagine my frustration when I need to find an essential tool.
Should I spend my time fretting over this? No. Is it a little annoying? Sure. Are the minutes of my day precious and important? Absolutely. Would I rather spend those minutes loving than bitching? You’d better believe it.
This is a small example of conflict but believe me when I tell you, these minor incidences become the central focus for many couples. When chronic and stuck, these issues mirror larger struggles, such as those of power, inadequacy and more.
If these issues plague your ability to love with ease, get help, reach out and work on it.
My point is this:
Tragedies like my neighbor’s often serve as the wake up call for many, that life, people, homes, our breath, our jobs, our health, are all impermanent.
Savor what you have now. Express gratitude, say I love you, hug, have sex, do something extra special “just because”, say thank you, apologize, because now is the time to do it. Live and love now because you do not know what tomorrow will bring.
Everyday that you get the gift of being with your beloved is a truly precious, valuable, priceless gift.
I know that I have been holding on extra tight to my man over the last few days. We are both stunned by the tragedy, aware that in some moments of our day, we stop breathing from grief and the harsh reality of our own mortality.
Loss is a powerful reminder to all of us that our moment to love is now.