If this picture doesn’t represent our individual personalities, I don’t know what does. Scott, all buttoned up with his golf shirt, hat and sunglasses. Me with dreads, a Star Wars t-shirt and a giant sombrero.
No explanation needed.
Just like most couples, these are the things that drew us to each other. My wild side needed his stable side. Of course, after 12 years of marriage, they are also the things that make us completely coo-coo. When I want to go mudding in the Jeep, he wants to keep it clean. When he wants to sit down and make a plan, I want to run out and wing it.
You get the picture.
Last Friday night Scott led a marriage seminar here in town. His entire focus was helping couples grow individually in order to grow together. It was brilliant. It was a kick in the pants.
It was painful and encouraging.
It was painful because it reminded me of how much growing I still have to do. This life is a constant process of learning to take more ownership of my own behavior and say kind words out loud that express my feelings. Especially when I want to stomp my feet and tell everyone else what they’re doing wrong and how it’s making my life so miserable. Growing myself means when I’m ready to stomp my feet, I need to stop, turn around, and look in the mirror.
Sometimes it’s not pretty.
But here’s the encouraging part. Owning your behavior actually gives you all the power. Instead of allowing someone else to decide your mood, your circumstance or the outcome, it becomes totally up to you. When you take all the responsibility for how you show up, that foot-stomping turns into a deep breath with words of humility and courage.
You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of. ~ Jim Rhon
It’s the first step toward growing together in any relationship. Learning to take responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors, regardless of your circumstances. For us, it’s been a little life-boat on the giant ocean of marriage that has carried us this far. We’re each responsible for getting in, but it carries us together.
Let it be a life boat for you, too.
In your marriage, your family, your friendships and your work.
Take a deep breath.
Speak with humility and courage today.
to more love,