The secret of having a long-term loving relationship is for each partner to continuously create the other in the image and likeness of Love.
It dawned on my yesterday, that this May, Larry and I will be celebrating our “official” 25th wedding anniversary. I say “official” because we lived together for two years before we got married.
I was 36 and Larry was 58 when we married. We both had trepidations about making our relationship legal. Our marriage was Larry’s fourth and my second. But we were following our inner guidance and committed to one another despite our 22 year age difference.. We affirmed that we’d have at least 20-30 good years together.
So now we’ve had 25+2 magnificent years together. Larry is now 82 and I’m 60.
Our lives have been an adventure in spirit. We’ve weathered breast cancer, prostate cancer, two hip replacements, and countless teeth issues. We drove cross country the first year we lived together. The following year, we drove to Mexico City from New York City. We moved from New York to Miami in an old station wagon with two cats, a computer and a TV. We went through near bankruptcy. We also confronted our demons of jealousy and betrayal.
Our relationship ground has been the teachings of “A Course in Miracles.” In “Course” language, we’ve transformed our specialness (or separateness) into relationship that has holiness as its foundation. Through all or our challenges and triumphs, the Course’s proscription to love and forgive expanded our capacity to love and be loved love and in turn each of us has become more loving.
In my “Course in Miracles” online classes, I talk about “what is it like to live so as to demonstrate that you’re not an ego.” For me, marriage has been the path through which I’m learning how to not live as an ego. An ego is an identity that is separate and apart from any other identity. An ego is the bubble you make when you chew a wad of bubble gum. Sometimes bubbles burst leaving sticky goo on your lips and cheeks. We know that all bubbles we blow are temporary; either they burst because you’ve blown to hard, or they burst because you crack it deliberately. Either way, as soon as the bubble is burst, you go ahead and blow another one. The process continues until the gum is tasteless or there’s no fun in blowing bubbles any more.
When a relationship is tasteless and no fun, it’s time to invite in the Holy Spirit., but first you have to genuinely want to do relationships differently. The Holy Spirit is the Course’s term for the frequency of love that connects creation, because only love connects. Unless we connect at the frequency of love, we will remain in our own little bubbles. But we can’t see past the bubble’s shell which, symbolically, represents our own limited thinking.
We will never authentically connect unless we connected in love. Love dissolves the gum and allows us to see each other in clear light rather than the translucent shell. that mutes the light.
It’s only in joining in the light of love that we know each other as creator and creation – as mirrors. As in the Upanishads when the creator says I have poured myself forth and this is what I am. Each of us has poured ourselves forth in thought, word and deed and created one another in our own image and likeness.
Think about it: What is it you love in your mate? What is it you hate in your mate? Each of those aspects of him or her is an aspect of you. As you focus on what you love, what you hate diminishes; as you focus on what you hate, what you love diminishes. Your mate changes in response to what you focus on.
In twenty five plus two years, Larry and I have continuously created each other in the image and likeness of love. Because of that we’re happy. We live in gratitude every moment for the life we’ve created and share.
On this Valentine’s Day, in the year that we will be celebrating the anniversary of our 25 years of being officially married, I want to dedicate the following song to my partner, lover, friend, spouse, and fellow traveler:
You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off you
You’d be like heaven to touch
I want to hold you so much
At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I’m alive
You’re just to good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off you