My husband, Dan, and I just completed a month-long, intensive on-line course called “Renewing Your Relationship” ( www.todoinstitute.org ). It’s so easy to allow one’s relationship to take the back burner to work and kids. Since Dan and I have both been through divorces, we are very aware that our marriage, as our primary relationship, requires attention, focus and energy.
What did I learn from this ‘Relationships 101’? Not what I expected, that’s for sure! It had nothing to do with ‘getting the love I want’ or ‘getting my needs met’ and everything to do with giving. It was more a variation on John F. Kennedy’s familiar theme: ‘ask not what your spouse can do for you but what you can do for your spouse.’
Many of the daily assignments offered me insight into my own behaviors, transgressions, and motivations. The emphasis was on being open hearted, giving, reflective and supportive. This course put the insatiable self’s needs squarely in the background.
The lesson that came home to me is that when I give freely and without expectation of reciprocation, I experience a love blended with gratitude, inner peace, and acceptance. While all of life is surely full of changes and transitions, when I keep an open heart, a constant and pure love bursts forth that in the end, is the truest love of all.
To receive Ashley’s weekly blog every Friday via email Click Here