I was talking to my good friend, Richard a few days ago about relationships. As a teenager I went through a lot of time wondering why we bothered with relationships. I mean, sooner or later - they end. Sooner or later they leave, move on or die. What was the point? I was thinking a sense of Buddhism was the answer- less relationships, less pain. It took me a while to realize some things (I can be really slow!).
The first thing is, real relationships or lasting relationships - be they one of friendship or more intimate - e.g. boyfriend/girlfriend or marriage- really can't be based on, "I love you IF". It's really just a, "I love you for who you are no matter what." And the best relationships go deeper than that, "I love you in your uniqueness and our relationship is based in the common knowledge that God is the center of this relationship." I don't mean that in a corny or preachy kind of way either. It's a real, straightforward thing.
Second thing is- as you get older, and the less you see certain people who you called "friends" before, you realize who your real friends are. After years of not seeing each other, even without communicating, you're still friends. It's like starting off just where you left off, as if no time had passed. And oh, what a beautiful feeling it is. :)
Third, which is especially true for marriage is- we're all in this world for a certain period of time. We don't know how long. We don't know when we're suddenly going to get pulled out. So we live our lives in a way where we do what we can and learn what we need to and help others and ourselves while developing our relationship with the Supreme Person. We are all totally unique and know all others to be equally unique with their own quirks, skills, and talents. We respect each other. So in whatever short or long time we're in this world, married or in a similar relationship, it's really quite nice to live knowing that, "Just as I'm living my life and walking my own path and developing my relationship with the Supreme Person, my spouse/partner is living his/her life in the same way." In other words, marriage or similar relationships really shouldn't be one of sucking each other dry and trying to see what and how that other person can satisfy my own desires, but one of being there for each other while knowing we're both on our way back to the Supreme Person. We both have faults and what not- but that's not what we focus on. It's not always easy to not see the faults of the other person, but relationships are just so much nicer when you're both not looking at each others faults but instead look at each other's good qualities. It's definitely not going to come instantly either, but all things take time and work. It's all a learning experience.
And yes- belated Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you Lord, for everything.