Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Close Enough to Forget: A Man's Perspective

About this series:  We all need encouragement, to be reminded we matter. Sometimes the nearest and dearest to us get the least of that needed encouragement. We've all spread ourselves too thin at times leaving little reserved for the ones we've committed to give to most, our spouse. So we're going to do something about it. We're going to focus on the ones living right under our own roof, sleeping in our own bed. But no worries if you're spouse-free. You can apply the encouragement to someone in your life who needs it: children, co-workers, friends, family members. Any soul will do because we all long to know we are seen and heard. Wherever you see "spouse," substitute someone else's name.  So grab a cup of coffee or whatever it is you're drinking today, and get ready to give a little. You'll be glad you did.

Today, we are excited to welcome Steven.  Lori is hosting this week's edition, but here is a teaser before you head over there:
on a day-to-day basis, I try to interact with my wife in a way that is informed by empathy. I want my actions toward her, and interactions with her, to be grounded in an ongoing desire to understand not only where she's coming from but why and how I can relate to her in a way which allows her to feel safe, loved, and above all, heard.

heard. and therein lies the rub.

because frankly, I've gotten lazy. one of the bittersweet realities of life together is all at the same time, we should seek to develop, and subsequently enjoy, the comfort that comes from knowing and being known on the deepest level. we should also be ever vigilant against the tendency to become too comfortable.  honest discussion, absence of pretense, freedom of expression: these are hallmarks of comfort, even safety, if you will. on the other hand, presumption, assumption, dismissal and ignorance are the hallmarks of a relationship wherein one or both parties has become too comfortable.  in fact, when this happens, it's not about comfort at all; it's about valuation. that's not true. if I'm honest, I would admit it's not about valuation at all; it's about devaluation. 

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