Sunday, March 9, 2008

Song of Songs

Last night Gary and I watched the Spiritual Cinema Circle movie called SONG OF SONGS.( It is a documentary about love and relationships that featured the director's grandparents, who have been married for 67 years. One of the premises of this movie was that the adult role models in your life shape your expectations of marriage. The director was honoring his grandparents for their modeling of deep caring and fun-sharing. Interspersed with words of wisdom from relationship experts was the story of this aging couple who were still in love. It showed the development of their relationship and comments from each of them about what made their marriage last. Both of them said that they respected each other and worked stuff through when it came up. The guy said they had been through a great deal of hardship and had used it to get closer. Their hardest time was when their kids were all gone and they had to reconnect with each other as people after being so focused on parenting for so long. The woman said that even though neither of them was in very good health anymore their love for each other had flourished and deepened. They were grateful to each other for their wonderful life.It was so sweet and so inspiring to be able to witness two people who had learned to accept and love each other and been together that long. Harville Hendricks and Helen Hunt were interviewed about their relationship. He is the person who I did my couples training with. Harville cried as he talked about commitment and what it was like for him to finally commit to using his relationship to heal. He thanked Helen for bringing up all of his stuff and being clear and firm about his doing his own work on withdrawing when he felt hurt. What I got from the movie was a deep appreciation for Gary and how much he has loved me even in the midst of my fears and doubts about our relationship. We had a great talk sparked by the movie and its discussion questions and stayed up past midnight sharing from our hearts about us. I don't remember the last time I was able to stay up past midnight. I treasure that he is a person who is willing to work on our relationship and also that his lightheartedness is a good balance for my tendency to be so serious sometimes. I feel lucky to be with him. We all have our stuff. It is important to know that each of us is a package deal with qualities we admire and qualities we'd like removed immediately. The people who are willing to shine a light on themselves with mindfulness and compassion are the ones best able to offer those qualities to others. What do you think makes a relationship last?

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