There is something funny about watching a sunset. It’s like you’re at the movies. Scenes change. Colors blend. And you watch. And it changes. And every day it’s different. I am at my computer at this table by myself waiting for my chicken burrtito. Watching the sunset over to my left and the family of seven to my right. One of the little girls comes walking up to me. She is around 4. Staring at me. With my computer and my glasses on. She is singing. But she doesn’t know what she is singing. She probably doesn’t even know that she is singing at all. She is in her own world. The lights comes on that are twisted around the tree next to her, and it scares her. She stops singing just for a moment. And then starts back again. And stares. I smile at her and wink. Her mom looks at me
“Is she ok?”
“Oh yeah, I’m just enjoying her singing. She’s great.”
Their kids (5 girls) go off to play in the sprinklers and just mom and dad remain. A once vibrant table full of little girl laughter and tattle telling all of a sudden becomes empty and then there are two. Him and Her. Mom and Dad. Husband and Wife. And they become quiet.
“Do you think when she’s five she’ll grow out of that?”
“I don’t know. I hope so.” He laughs.
They are quiet again. And quiet. And more quiet. And I realize. It’s That. And more than That. But it’s That. The quiet. The unknowing. The who are you when it’s just me and you. It’s that part of us that used to be best friends and laugh and dance and have cookie dough fights. Who are we now. Who are we without them and the beautiful (and sometimes ugly) chaos that comes along with it. And why are we afraid to ask…
“Who are we now and how do we become who we were?”
Talking with one of my mentors the other day I was told this, “You have to stop doing couples therapy. You will never ever open up your heart if you don’t. You have seen too much and experienced too much. You need to be around Kindred Coupleship.”
Kindred Coupleship. What beautiful wording. It stirs a drawing in my soul. And a craving for a best friend to walk, run, dance, cry, argue, love, stumble, climb, and fall through life with. But it’s the fear of doing all of THAT with someone who used to be your best friend, your kindred spirit, your Someone – and then they just become Some One. They become Mom rather than Wife. They become Business Partner rather than Best Friend. They become Housemate rather than Lover.
Evolution is real. You either evolve more into each other and into the Kindred Coupleship and less into the Self or you blend into Separate Lives. It’s a Choice. It’s a Push. It’s a Pull. It’s an Intentional Dance of Learning how to Love Well and Nurturing Kindred Coupleship. It’s a Fear.
I had a revelation the other day about that.
Being brave only becomes courageous if you look Fear dead in the eye and meet it face to face. It’s not brave if you aren’t afraid of it – regardless of how dangerous it is.
What is your greatest fear? Rejection? Vulnerability? Flying over a big body of water? Taking chances? Settling?
I am not afraid to go to Congo. I am not afraid to go to war zones. I don’t know why I’m not – but I’m not. I am not afraid of what adopting a little girl from Congo might look like as a single women one day. I am not afraid of judgements or opinions of others. What I realized is that I’m not afraid of the easy things to me - but maybe I am afraid to let go of my heart and let someone take care of me. maybe i am afraid if i do, it wont be valued or treasured, and as long as I am afraid, I am in bondage to my fears.
I am writing underneath the moon now by the ocean. It’s waves are singing to me and I am calm. I am at peace. I am where I never thought I would ever be in life: happy. Not because life has looked like I thought it would. Not because everything I thought would happen has fallen into place. Nothing I dreamed would happen in my life has. Very little of my childhood dreams have come true. But happiness has come from the joy of simply realizing it’s not about me. It’s about Him. It’s about walking in the humility of the cross and drinking in the drops of servanthood and sacrifice for a Love greater than any unmet need or fallen dream I might have had. And maybe that’s what it comes back to…… The girls are back now and life is normal again. They are telling stories of their dancing in the fountains and playing in the sprinklers. Mom and Dad look at each other and smile. And I my heart is hit.
Going through life protecting your heart so much that you risk never truly loving is no life at all. Refusing to give up the Self and become settled in order to give yourself completely to one person is, in the end, Loneliness Personified. And refusing to look at the person that is your Kindred Companion and just ask that question because we are afraid to ask that question is just feeding Existance rather thanLoving. You know – THAT question,
“Who are we now and how do we become who we were?”
Because you can. Become who you were. And even better. I tell all couples the same thing when they come into therapy the first session. The question is not if you should stay together or not stay together. The question is not can I make it in this loveless marriage? It’s not even – can I really ever learn to forgive them? To let go of the resentment? That part is up to you….
The question starts here: “How do we become best friends again? How do I find my Kindred Spirit?” Kindred Spirits don’t change. They are not lost. They fade. Kinda like a sunset. It fades away….. until Dawn. Then it rises.
It always rises.