In keeping with my theme of steps to create a renewed vision for your marriage and invoking you to remember the joy of falling in love again, I submit a blessing by my favorite inspiring Irish writer, John O'Donohue:
As spring unfolds the dream of the earth,
May you bring each other's hearts to birth.
As the ocean finds calm in view of land,
May you love the gaze of each other's mind.
As the wind arises free and wild,
May nothing negative control your lives.
As kindly as moonlight might search the dark,
So gentle may you be when light grows scarce.
As surprised as the silence that music opens,
May your words for each other be touched with reverence.
As warmly as the air draws in the light,
May you welcome each other's every gift.
As elegant as dream absorbing the night,
May sleep find you clear of anger and hurt.
As twilight harvests all the day's color,
May love bring you home to each other.
John O'Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us, page 136, Doubleday, 2008, First Edition, USA
To further elicit upon O'Donohue and the light he sheds on blessings, John helps us understand that "...the word blessing evokes a sense of warmth and protection; it suggests that no life is alone or unreachable."
May you feel such warmth and protection, love and harmony in the miracle of your chosen one, and as you return home at the end of a given day, may your hear your lover's song greeting you as you welcome each other, "You are the promised kiss of springtime...."! (Oscar Hammerstein II & Jerome Kern)
Let's make a proposition! A proposition, that is, for how you can visualize your marriage and family relationship to make it vibrant again.
After taking 100+ hours of executive coach training some years ago, I reread a recommended text entitled The One-Page Business Plan, by Jim Horan. Jim wrote about organizations building the business environment around clear mission and vision statements in order to thrive. I thought, if the business world pays attention to building its thriving system around a vision statement, why hadn't we thought about this for relationships, marriage, and family? I began thinking further that we learn from the world's resources...business, religion, philosophy, the human condition... the universe is our teacher! Wouldn't it be marvelous that couples, too, create a marriage/relationship vision statement of their own?
Here's my hopeful thoughts about it: A healthy and vibrant marriage requires an intentional, expansive VISION that portrays your heart/mind/physical/emotional hopes, wishes, and desired behaviors, aimed at with a shared intentional mind-set. Moran states that a vision statement "...should stimulate thinking, communicate passion [there's that passion concept for you!], and paint a very graphic picture...". I translated this concept of Vision to Marriage and Relationships. I recommend that couples create Vision Statements by writing descriptions about the relationship they want with their partner and share them with each other. Some start-up ideas could be the following:
1. Describe three characteristics of what you will be doing with your partner ( fun activities, love play, cooking dinner together, weekend travel, etc).
2. Describe three characteristics of your own best current, and potential, behaviors that enhance the vision for which you yearn.
3. Describe three characteristics of relationships you admire in respected others which you would like to emulate in your own relationship (they might be grandparents, an endearing, solid couple,etc).
4. Describe three behaviors you absolutely won't do in your relationship covenant.
5. Describe three characteristics of behaviors and talking points (bad mouthing, spiteful retorts) that you would be better off not bringing into your relationship covenant.
Here's a couple or so vision statements you might begin as an example for writing and doing:
1. Each day we are hugging and kissing good morning & good night together!
2. Each day we are eating one of our meals together!
3. On one week-end a month, we are_____________________________________________!
4. One night a week, I offer my_____________________________________to my partner!
5. Before we leave home for the day, we__________________________________________.
6. We feel gratified with each other sexually and we welcome each other's___________________!
7. Each day we have a ritualized ______# of minutes of talking time with each other to__________.
Of course, you've got lots of your own thoughts for your Marriage/Relationship Vision. Go for it! It's a great proposition! Talk to each other about your VISION for you life together! Make it so!!
Want to fall in love again? Want to reignite the luster, the passion of romance in your relationship? Try it, falling in love, all over again!...with your wife, your husband, your significant partner. Here's three things you can do, starting today, that could put you in the mood and lead to increased closeness and intimacy with your wife, husband, your partner, your committed lover:
1. Smile, and the world smiles with you! Before you lift your head off the pillow in the morning, smile. It'll conjure up relaxed muscles in your face and the upward turn of your lips will brighten your day, encouraging a pleasant first thought of the day.
2. Seek out your partner, embrace each other for a full 30 seconds in a body-to-body hug and a 12-second lingering mouth-to-mouth kiss. Extend the ritual if you dare!
3. How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways: offer each other 5-8 smiles this day as you say 5-8 Appreciative Praises looking into each others' eyes. Well, you may do some of these actions at interlude times during the day, such as (1) in the morning when you awaken for the day; (2) when you're ready to say good-bye as you journey out for the day; (3) when you think of each other in the middle of the afternoon and decide to call or send a text message of greeting; (4) when you return home at the end of the day; and (5) when you say good night as you go to bed to rest...or play!
Caring behaviors, some of us call it. Falling in love again. Ah, the joy of it! That's what I call it. Try it, and let it permeate your days as you train you brain to positive as its default.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!