We’ve asked and asked.
“What’s your advice for us going into marriage?”
They laugh and bumble, they smile and shake their heads gratuitously. But they always say communication.
Communication. Over and Over.
And most of the articles on this blog or my own have always been about the triumphs of communication between us. We definitely weren’t pros back in 2009 when we started dating. I’ve talked about some of our biggest lessons and how we almost eloped.
Yet I haven’t talked about one special thing that made it possible for us to get to the other side when communication was hard…impossible even.
It’s something that I’m discovering more and more, with each passing day. And it’s definitely not as popular as COMMUNICATION.
Listen to this article:
It’s self awareness.
In the times when communication is hard or seemingly hopeless because of the pent up emotion that rises and dares to push anything out of its way, remember yourself. Remember who you are and where you want to be.
Communication is not only something you do with someone else to make stuff work or to see eye to eye.
It’s the big picture. It’s the first relationship. It’s you and you. And when you remember that most of time our egos will defend and scoff at criticism AKA feedback, you’ll quickly recover back into rationality.
Once you do this enough with yourself, it’s easier to see the change happen in others. Escalation usually happens because one flame is lit and your flame wants to rise higher to protect itself. In so many conversations based on love, business and life; we’ve come to a point where it’s safe to call each other out to that awareness so that we don’t ignite our emotional (and sometimes irrational) flames.
It’s like our own special fire extinguisher, and it’s amazing because we built it together and know we can both use it for us.
So while communication gets the ball rolling, it’s self-awareness that serves as a checks-and-balances and maintains our course. It’s the courage to know who you are in a relationship and remain staying true to who you are even if someone else is in your life and seems to occupy your every thought.
I’ve always said that a great relationship is two people who each bring something to the table that serves each other and themselves. We didn’t come into this world attached to this other person. Somehow we found each other and decided for ourselves that there was a life to be made together.
And we work for it. And that work has earned us many of the joys we experience now and will experience down the line. But we work. We work on ourselves separately and come together to enjoy those wins.
It’s the awareness that rises within us individually to be better than our old selves, and that makes us better together. And I feel an immense sense of gratitude when we can say thank you for being you, and he gives me thanks for being me.