Happy Thursday! It’s Avocado Mornings, Episode Three. This week I talk about why it’s important to renew your commitment to your relationship—or rather, your license to continue driving it forward (fun phrasing!). Read the post below, listen to me talk about it, or both.
Here’s the audio link (will open in a new tab): Renewing Your Relationship Driver’s License
You know that feeling when you first move to a city or travel somewhere, and everything around you is so vibrant, so checkered with possibility?
Then as time passes, the wonder starts to fade into the background. It’s like the way you start not seeing things in your home, like something on top of a bookcase or a painting on the wall. When you move out, you might not even remember these things until the walls are bare, because you can hardly see them anymore. They melt into part of a structure that you rely on. And, that you can take for granted if you’re not careful.
We get used to things. We accustom. And this I think, is the most important thing we need to focus on in relationships. In fact, I think it can single-handedly be responsible for killing great relationships.
We need to be vigilant about appreciating the other person as just that—another person. Not as our possession or even a permanent fixture in our lives. Because they’re not. Thinking so only breeds apathy.
I recently listened to an episode of This American Life in which Ira Glass talked to a man who proposed the idea that a marriage license should expire every seven years. Then, both people could decide together if they wanted to get it renewed. Kind of like a driver’s license for two—the vehicle being the relationship. They could decide if they wanted to continue their journey together—or just park the car.
If you want to take the wheel again in your own relationship, where do you start?
You probably won’t be surprised when I say: It starts with you. Take time every day for you. Truly, for you. Not with a computer, or an iPad, not even reading a book. Be with your mind. Be with your heart. Breathe deeply.
If you’re having trouble centering, focus on gratitude to start, then ask yourself a simple question: How do I want to show up today?
This is so important because when we show up for ourselves, we can show up for our partner. When we take space for us, we can also hold space for them.
When I’m not showing up authentically, I feel tightness in my chest. I look around a lot. I try to find an escape route. I breathe shallowly.
Do the opposite of these things to come back. Loosen. Breathe deep. Focus on the person you’re with, or come back to yourself. There is no escape route from self. And besides, you are free. Wherever you are, you are free.