Valentine’s Day is at the end of this week and we have been reflecting on what we would like to share about this day that’s dedicated to love and the celebration of relationships. I love celebrating any and everything, and am a person who considers birthdays as lasting a week long, full of celebrating the birth of beloveds (And myself, for that matter!)
It is lovely to take time out for a day and let your partner know of your love and your caring and to generally turn attention to your partner. But as well, for us, the art is to bring celebration into the everyday.
For a relationship to stay alive and vibrant, it is critical to make this kind of awareness of your partner a part of your ongoing experience and not just on one day or a few days that are set aside to show this attention.
You do not need to do this with gifts or cards, although we do like giving cards as a surprise acknowledgment when there is nothing special happening. It is not about giving so much as it is about sharing, the sharing of yourself by being actually present. A favorite quote of mine from Thich Nhat Hanh is “When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?”
For a relationship to stay alive and vibrant, make awareness of your partner a part of your life Click To TweetWe set aside time every evening, a sacred space if you will, where we are only with each other, sharing activities and celebrating being together. These evenings are not filled with special activities per se; the specialness comes from sharing our present moment with each other. Not everybody can put aside that much time; there may be children or work activities, to name a few. However, you can find moments in every day, and hopefully more than just moments, when you stop all else and are fully with each other, even if just in passing.
It is so easy to take your partner for granted. Strangely, this often happens because you feel safe and loved in your relationship. All too frequently, problems and situations that are not working are what get attention. We all seem so overloaded these days, and often the first thing that loses your attention when you are so busy, your relationship, is the very thing that can offer you the support to get through the rest.
Don’t wait until something is broken in your relationship to give it your attention and your presence. Avoid paying attention to your partner only when things are not working, or the distance created by lack of quality time sets you against each other, and you wind up arguing during your time together.
For a relationship to thrive, you should find a way to build in shared time and experiences. Keep adding new ones and do not rely on past closeness to sustain your connection. This applies to all relationships. Reach across the divide between you and the other and show that you appreciate them, you acknowledge them. The greeting in Avatar says it all “I see you,” is what we are all longing to hear!
Photo credit: friend of couple