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Find Strength From Your Relationship

In these strange and divisive times, it behooves us to take a real look at all that is good, beautiful and loving in our lives, and to take comfort and joy from those things. The fabric of our intimate relationships can be a powerful force for peace and unity if we treat it consciously as a source of renewal and solace.

People so often forget or take these very relationships for granted, and no longer draw on them for peaceful energy. In fact, when under tension, it is too often the tendency to act out with the very people one feels safest with.

We want to not only remind each of you of this source within all your relationships, but to draw your attention to the many possibilities to celebrate those relationships. Be present with your loved ones and recall for each other how special they are. In this way, your relationships will become a source of spreading peace and love.

We are aware and appreciative of our own relationship and have many ways to show each other how we feel, from little daily acknowledgments to full-blown celebrations.

One thing we have done from the beginning of our relationship is to give cards to each other. We do this not just for holiday celebrations, but also any time we feel like expressing love to each other. We often proclaim our feelings, honoring each other and our togetherness.

Last night, we shared one of our favorite rituals. We don’t do it too often, but we do it consistently. We take out a bunch of those cards and read them alternately to each other. This is always a profound experience. We are reminded poignantly of what it is that makes up the fabric of our togetherness. There is a sweetness and a closeness that ensues that is incomparable in its depth. We usually wind up sharing and professing the rare and beautiful way we are matched with each other. It renews our spirits and our closeness deepens.

Because we have dated the cards, it stands out that even early on, we had a clear understanding of the nature of our relationship, and that more than a decade later, that understanding is unchanged. For instance, on the card that says “I love us,” Phil wrote: “And everything about us. How we are connected as soon as we meet. How we have the same politics. How sex arises between us so intensely. How we travel together. How we give each other space. How we both like cards. How is this all possible?”

It still seems impossible, yet it must be possible because that is how it is. All of those words work just as well today. We think this is because the premise of our relationship – being together and also remaining our own persons – nourishes it. Some of these are similarities we bring to the table – politics, for instance – but we agree on so many fronts as sometimes to be eerie. It’s beyond coincidence. As best as we can understand it, we do not compromise in the usual sense of the word. It is, instead, a form of non-attachment made possible by our faith in the goodness of our relationship – that our ultimate goals, to live peacefully, contain no harm.

Why are we sharing all of this? It’s not to suggest that you specifically do what we do. Yet, we do believe that finding how to do this in your own way will be a wonderful way to keep your awareness and appreciation alive and well. Find those things that brought you together and speak of them. Renew regularly the connection and what it is about. Dig down deep if you must, but it is there to find and bring forth into your daily awareness.

It is an interesting phenomenon that talking and sharing about your relationship, how it was in the beginning, and what you appreciated about each other then, will help you stay in the present and will actually help to deepen your bond.

Find ways to stay aware of your connection and you will all the more easily remember that you are on the same side and why! Don’t take these things for granted or even worse, forget what they are and why you are together. If we want to spread peace and live with peace, we must stay aware and grateful in the present.

Click here to hear Phil read this to you. To share your comments, click here and scroll down to the bottom.

In Memoriam

We are sad to say that our dear therapist, Kat, passed away from mouth cancer after 16 wonderful years. She is greatly missed by Kit and the rest of her family.

Successful Relationship Reading Corner


In this week's blog, we wrote about how to find strength from your relationship. Here is a wonderful article from our dear friend Gail Brenner and a couple more articles with great advice on relationships.

10 Ways to Have Peaceful, Loving Relationships "I’ve made a million and one mistakes in relationships. I’ve expected too much. Or not asked for what I needed in fear of rocking the boat. I’ve been competitive. I’ve been suspicious. I’ve been dependent. I’d like to think what redeems me from all these mistakes is that I’ve also been honest. Being self aware, in my opinion, is far more valuable than being perfect—mostly because the former is attainable and helpful, while the latter is neither."

The Secret to Peaceful Relationships "The dictionary defines an expectation as “the act of regarding as likely to happen” and “anticipating the occurrence or the coming of.” An expectation is essentially an imagining about the future, a theoretical pseudo-reality that is created by thoughts in the mind. It is a thought that, when taken as real and true, leads us to assume that a given occurrence will happen. When seen for what it really is, it is merely a thought that has nothing to do with what may or may not happen. I may expect my friend to attend the concert, but this expectation is irrelevant to what she actually does. And believing that she “should” attend the concert when she decides not to only sets me up for an unpleasant emotional reaction."

13 Steps to Better Relationships...And Peace of Mind "Sometimes you need to know that you have good people at your back when things go awry in your life.  Good relationships can bring peace of mind, not to mention longer life, companionship, health, happiness, and a host of other benefits.  At bottom, we are social creatures who need each other.  Even meditating monks do it—congregate in communities, that is."

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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