Currently, two of the people in the small group where Gentleman Jack works are going through marital difficulties. One, actually, recently completed a divorce. Unfortunately, when you work that closely with people, you do notice when their personal lives are affecting them. It tends to bleed into their attitudes.
When we went out a few weekends ago, we ran into a couple that Gentleman Jack knows and decided to have dinner with them. The couple watched as my Gentleman and I, naturally affectionate with each other, relished in our time together. Soon, after more alcohol was consumed, this couple began to tell us how they resented our affection, how that "used to be" them. We made a quick exit and let them fight it out.
We've both been hit with a deluge of relationship negativity lately. We each become worried, even fearful, that one day, that could be us.
Ah the past relationship fears that surface...
"I can see it," he explains, "I can tell that the problems they describe in their marriages or relationships run so much deeper than the trivial things they complain about."
Its true. I think many of us divorced parents can relate that our problems were nothing more than symptoms of a real, much deeper problem. More than likely, that problem was disconnect.
Gentleman Jack and I do our best to choose each other daily.
If there is the slightest disconnect felt by either of us, the other one immediately steps in to bridge the gap. It is a choice, a daily choice, to continue to remain connected to each other. I think in marriages, we tend to go complacent - we assume that cohabitation or obligation is connection enough. It isn't though. It has to be a conscious connection.
He continued, "But baby, we have it good. We can always go back to who we are. We don't live together or anywhere near each other. I can still do my thing and you can do yours. We don't take our connection for granted because we still have our own lives to lead. Would we still do that if we were together daily?"
I can't answer that but I do know that part of that conscious connection is spiritual.
Both of us have to go back to ourselves and our respective churches.
I don't mean a physical place of worship, as in organized religion. Then again for some, maybe it is. I can name many places where I feel connected to God or Spirit - yoga class, on my bike, in my A Course in Miracles study group, in water. In GJ's case, his church is a duck blind or in his boat with a fishing pole or lifting weights at the gym or on a golf course.
Maybe neither of us is conscious that we're connecting to God but we're consciously connecting to our Selves. In those moments, we are not thinking or attempting to control. We are simply allowing ourSelves to be.
Controlling = fear
Allowing = faith
In that allowing, all the noise of the brain (or monkey mind) is silenced. That is when inspiration is actually heard. That is when the body is nothing but a tool; the brain is nothing but quiet; we're simply IN THE MOMENT.
Those moments in our "churches" fill us back up. Those moments bring clarity and peace. Those moments remind each of us WHO WE REALLY ARE. When we get back to that, we're willing to reconnect with that significant other that we love.
I believe it is the spiritual connection that drives every other connection in my life. I try to remember this simple rule:
Connect vertically first. Then connect horizontally.
Connect with Spirit first. Then connect with everyone else.
It is a constant practice. Sometimes I find it difficult to remember to connect with Spirit. I can feel it. When I ignore mySelf for too long, I feel disconnected from everyone, including my Gentleman. Those moments remind me, sometimes not so gently, of where my strength lies.
I'm hoping that Gentleman Jack and I continue to choose something other than what happened to us in our past relationships. I hope that we continue to choose something other than what is happening with others in our lives. Day by day, as long as it feels right, I hope we continue to choose each other.
Because neither of us know what's going happen, that's the only thing we can do.
"Relationships--of all kinds--are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold onto some of it, but most will be spilled."