Why Equality is so Important in a Relationship

Why Equality is so Important in a Relationship

PHIL: So, another birthday ran into me and Maude deluged me with cards, in one of which she wrote, “This becomes our only task – live every day, every moment, for all it is, and be all we can be in each of those moments,” and I know exactly what she meant. There is so much joy in living our lives each trying to be the best that we can be, both for ourselves and for other people (sorry for the recruiting slogan), and this happens with the other person both supporting and not interfering at the same time. Anything I might want to do, Maude would applaud. We live in this strange place of complete independence and total support.

Trust and communication are essential to this, but today, I want to focus on equality, the way that we treat each other as equals. This does not mean that we are the same. It means that I see Maude doing her own thing, living her life in the way she wants to, and who am I to interfere with that in any way? Along with similarities, she has different thoughts and goals and habits that I would not choose, but they are not my choices to make.

It doesn’t mean that we drift apart like two autumn leaves in the wind. We support and applaud each other. The strange, magical result is that we feel extraordinarily connected. Because there are no simmering conflicts, no unresolved disagreements, we can come together, whether in the kitchen, the office or the bedroom, without having to perform a dance of connection, because the states of connection and separateness are not at odds.

It is equality that makes all this possible. The head knows it as the golden rule and the body knows it as empathy.

We live in this magical place of complete independence and total support #relationships #quote Click To TweetMAUDE: This has been another giant week in the nation’s life. For us, there was also a big event – Phil’s birthday, and in this case, one of celebration! We celebrated Phil, his birth and his life.

I wrote something on one of Phil’s birthday cards that opened a discussion about a basic aspect of our relationship. A key to the way we are with one another is that we treat each other as adults rather than from the perspective of a parent to a child.

We are both dedicated to supporting each other; for the other person to achieve their potential and to do it in the way they find right for themselves. This does not involve telling the other person how to do this or coaxing them into a particular behavior in order to achieve their fulfillment. The sense of freedom to be ourselves that comes from this kind of unquestioning acceptance and the knowledge that you are being cheered on to rise to your potential is remarkably empowering.

This way of relating to each other is predicated on a deep sense of equality; not sameness, but equality, a party of equals. Every right I have, you have. Your desires are as valid as my desires. You are just like me, only different.

This way of being together creates a calm peaceful foundation from which to handle the things of life that come toward each of us. It has carried us through this year of tension and difficulty, as well as through less complex times. This is something we can strive toward in all our relationships. There are other ways to be sure, and other preferences of how to relate, but that’s not us.

If you want to experience relationships full of mutual support and appreciation, if you want freedom to develop while still inviting another into the depths of your being, choose this path.


Photo credit: Maude Mayes

9 Comments on “Why Equality is so Important in a Relationship

  1. I sure appreciate your voices (even though Phil read both of them) of wisdom. Holding someone as an equal gives me a greater sense of freedom to be myself because I am open to them being their authentic self. It’s so good to keep in mind that we’re just learning to live with what triggers us. It helps to trust the process. God is still working in us and all around.
    Esther

  2. This is an amazing piece of practical applications to a wonderful relationship. So very often we hold ideals of how things ought to be, however only experiencing those ideals in real life gives wisdom. You are a wise woman; thank you.
    Patricia

  3. Happy birthday Phil. I would hope that the compassion we have for each other in personal relationships would be extended to the community and on the political front. I.e., I refuse to demonize anyone including those who voted for the other party. If I listen carefully with a peaceful foundation I can understand that there are legitimate concerns on each side of a disagreement. … supporting and not interfering. For the most part people want to live in peace and prosper with their neighbors. Love both of you and the wisdom of your experience.

    • I hope for that, too. I was involved with Braver Angels a while back. They bring conservatives and liberals together to hear each other, a very interesting exercise. The current state of two different realities concerns me greatly, and I blame the media for it — after all, that is where most people get their ideas from. Hardly anyone dreams them up from scratch. I have hope that the divisiveness will lessen. Peace!

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