Monday, July 28, 2014
“The history of your happiness is the history of your feeling connected.” *
Tonight, when we were each finally home from work and able to chat, Pat and I spent some time inquiring about each other's day...how it went...how we were. A simple thing, "How was work today?" "How are you feeling now?" We were each able to share some good things and each good thing was not only acknowledged by the other, but jointly celebrated. On other nights, when one or the other of us has had a bad day, we've been able to hear the other one out, offer support and encouragement, and be available for as long as necessary one for the other.
It's a way of coming together after another day apart and reconnecting. It's something I have always craved in a relationship, and while I have often asked how my partner's day has been, there has never been the same type of give and take and the same type of connection that Pat and I have been able to create with one another.
It is that feeling of being connected that we seek in one another that creates our happiness together.
I was married once for sixteen years. Even excusing the last six of that union as a time of illness, there were still ten years of relative youth in which we should have been happy.
But we weren't.
Because there was seldom any connection.
I can count on one hand the times when the two of us were truly happy and purely able to enjoy any time together. Each of those rare moments happened when both of us were truly present and available emotionally. It never worked if only one of us showed up.
Another time, I was married briefly, and there was a similar pattern of disconnectedness. Again, I can count the times we were happy with each other. Which is a shame given the many days that make up a year and the years that made up the relationship.
Whatever my motivations for marriage in the past...in my youth and in a time of similarly discordant choices in my life...I tried to make connections where none existed.
Maybe because I finally became my own person...maybe because we are older and wiser...maybe because we started out as friends first...maybe because stability and recovery have become more ingrained in our psyches...Pat and I have always been able to connect in more than just a cursory manner.
We have been friends for ten years. As our relationship has changed and grown, I can count the times when we have seemed not to connect...but I cannot count the number of times that we have met each other intimately on an emotional or intellectual level. There have been myriads of moments when like met like, when we learned something new about the other in which we can delight.
My history with him...and the history we are making...is already one of abiding happiness...in ways I could only before imagine. Because we know how to connect with each other...and we make a choice to do so every day.
*Vironika Tugaleva, The Love Mindset