Leave Your Ego at the Door – Lessons I’ve Learned after a Decade of Marriage
Today marks the ten year anniversary of when Papa Gray and I officially got married. Ten years. Dies Anos. A DECADE. Wow, it’s incredible how quickly time flies, yet how it feels like we’ve been connected for an eternity. In a way, we have. I truly feel that what we have is so powerful, so special, so deep and so genuinely happy, that it goes beyond this life to a connection with our souls. Marriage and a wedding ceremony is simply our cultural norm for a relationship to conform within the government standards – I was committed to him long before we said “I do”….but that’s another rant.
It’s hard to express in words the depth of my love for my soulmate, my best friend, my husband. In an effort to spare you the sappiness of just how incredibly awesome he is (which he is, by the way), let me share with you my top three things for an awesome relationship.
Check your ego at the door.
Papa Gray amazes me with his authenticity. There is no “putting on a show”, macho-ism, or need to keep up with the Joneses. In actuality, only one of the definitions of ego equates to conceit or self-importance. We see ego as simply acknowledging our own individuality within the world…but the hierarchy doesn’t start. Be authentic. The only comparison on greatness is that which you challenge within yourself. In our marriage, we are individual, and we work together as a team. Conceit or entitlement has no place in our relationship. We honor and respect each other and place mutual value on what we both bring to our marriage and our family. And being goofy and playful can be so fun when the kid in you is free to thrive. Which leads me to…
Feelings are so powerful. Remember, people may forget the way you looked, the things you did, the words you said…but they never, ever forget the way you made them feel. First step is being in tune with your own emotions – both the good and the hard. Be angry, sad, hurt, embarrassed, frustrated, happy, silly, etc. Be in the moment and truly allow yourself to feel. And remember that any time you come in contact with anyone else (especially your significant other), you are responsible for not only the words you say, but for the way you channel your emotions. What pours out of you? If you’re angry, can you express it in a positive way? What is your goal? For us, it’s to open our hearts and our minds to the other – so when we’re upset, we don’t attack; we share how we feel and why, and work together toward a solution. Because the ultimate goal is for us to come together, not spend life worlds apart.
It’s crazy how this can be overlooked. How many days have you gone since you gave your love a kiss? How about a real hug – not a quick one, but just standing and holding each other? Have you tried having a discussion/argument while holding hands or putting your hand on each other’s legs? It completely changes the dynamic. How about that wonderful amazing intimate love connection? Although our daily sex challenge ended last year, we still have sex at least 5 times a week, if not every night. Why? Because it’s hard to be distant emotionally when we are so in tune with each other physically. Empty your mind of thoughts and try meditating during sex – doing nothing but feeling. It’s powerful stuff.
Not a day goes by that PapaGray and I don’t marvel at the ease and joy in our relationship. Yes, we have rocky moments and fight like normal people. We aren’t saints and we definitely don’t have the world – or each other – all figured out. But then again, how boring would life be if we actually DID know it all and there were nothing more to learn and grow from? When you are synced into a relationship where the common goal is for mutual success and to thrive…and you connect at the levels above, it’s a wonderful, wonderful ride.
Here’s to you, Papa Gray, and for going even deeper in our relationship, laughing even longer, and loving life together even more in the next ten…twenty….thirty years to come. I love the way you make my heart smile, and how there is no place in the world I’d rather be than by your side as we live life to the fullest – together.