One year before my marriage crumbled I actually mentioned to my husband, as pastors of a congregation, we should consider focusing more heavily on the topic of marriage. Our marriage was rock solid. Being married 34 years, I felt like we had something to say in regards to how to create a lasting relationship.
The burning question people have for me now is, “Thinking back, were there signs that you noticed something was not right?” These are the TOP 3 things that I regret not paying closer attention too.
1. My Feelings. There were ‘feelings’ that I ignored. Infidelity leaves clues. As the truth revealed itself, my recollection was often connected to a feeling or an emotion - that something did not ‘feel right’. My spouse had 100% of my trust, which led to overlooking that little nudge. In my personal spiritual journey at the time, I was reading and reflecting on the topic of ‘presence’. It was my desire to show up in the world and give each moment my undivided attention. So you can imagine how this realization of being oblivious to nudges, impacted this pursuit of presence.
However, I now hold a new belief. I believe one of the most precious gifts given to us at creation is our Inner Emotional Guidance. This truly fulfills the statement, ‘we have everything we need inside of us’. If we made it our highest priority to pay very close attention to how we ‘feel’ in the moment, we would be shown everything we need to know. Holding to this belief can also impact dealing with anger, depression and hopelessness.
2. Our Sacred Space. Every relationship has one, this literal space where a piece of God dwells fusing two people together to co-create a beautiful divine world. Frankly, I had no idea the depth of this sacred space, until it was shattered.
I am ‘pro-marriage’ and for the fight to save a marriage. I believe the secret lies in this sacred space premise. Just imagine a spiritual partnership that has this precious spiritual space where you cherish what you are and your purpose to fulfill on earth and have each other’s back in making sure this happens? A space where ALL THAT MATTERS is being ‘for’ each other in this divine place of co-creating an awe-inspiring life together. I absolutely believe this is God’s ideal.
3. Passion for Life. A very wise man once wrote, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” As we mature, our dreams and passion for life should become richer, deeper and realized. But all too often that is not the story. Instead we settle for mediocre in the Dream Department. Boredom and weariness sets in and then just as Solomon predicted – we perish. We are not wired for boredom. We are wired for dreaming, desiring, living expectant for what an incredible day we get to create. When we find ourselves mentally explaining away why our spouse seems ‘burned out’ or has given up on dreams, Do Something!
This is what I wish I would have done. I wish I would have sought out a safe place to talk and imagine and explore how to do life better. There were areas I settled for mediocre. I would learn to listen and embrace the gift of my Inner Emotional Guidance. When one becomes clear on the divine nature of what they are and who God is – honestly, anything is possible. I wouldn’t dare let life pass me by with limiting beliefs that dreams are scarce. When was the last time you imagined something wildly fantastic and charted a path to make it happen? Insist on fabulous.
I would put into place a maintenance schedule for marriage coaching. Calendar it in like a vacation. I would joyfully pursue the creation of the Sacred Space in a Spiritual Partnership as God dreamed up for relationships. Take your life from blasé to brilliant!