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Top tips for a good relationship #1

ElkRmnpWhat a beautiful thing it is when something happens that reminds us we are loved.

Love is the supreme power of this universe, and when we touch that magical, indescribable power, even in the simplest of circumstances, we feel it in every fiber of our being.

But love is not love unless truth is present also.

Joanne and I like to relax with a cup of tea and a newspaper first thing in the morning. As she sat down in her chair this morning and picked up the Denver Post, I thought she looked tired, and asked if she slept okay.

She said she didn’t have a very good night, but she left it at that, didn’t say anything more. I was going to leave it at that too, but I felt a little nudge that something was wrong. “Was there any particular reason?” I asked.

JoAnn went very quiet. She put down her newspaper. "Actually, there was," she said. "The truth is, I've been worried about you the last two or three days. I think you've been trying to do too much, getting yourself overtired.

“When you came back from your last hike on Saturday you could hardly walk into the kitchen, and I was worried because I had no idea where you had gone.

"I know things always look worse at night. But please let me know where you're going if you're heading out for a hike. I wouldn’t know where to begin if something happened to you or you got in trouble of some kind.

“I’ve mentioned before I think there’s some kind of insurance you can buy so that if the Ranger has to come and rescue you, you are covered. And please – don’t forget to take the cell phone when you go, I saw you left it behind Saturday."

My mentor used to say that love is characterized by truth and truth is characterized by love. Love is the very nature and power of the universe – it has little to do with the romantic notions and fascinations that consume so much energy and attention in our society.

I don’t always like it at first when JoAnn speaks her truth to me. She is a very succinct person, and if she has something to say, she says it in a direct and straight-forward manner without a lot of preamble (unlike me).

But I’ve learned how important it is to let our process keep working, and not allow myself to get side-tracked by feelings of resentment or defensiveness. I’ve learned that both of us really do want to get at the truth, and every time we let that happen, our relationship gets stronger. The truth, as it was said long ago, makes us free.

In this particular case, of course, it was a no-brainer. Things got blown up a bit out of proportion in JoAnn’s mind during the night, perhaps, and I’m sorry for that. But I saw the truth and common sense of what she was saying. I felt her love for me, and I was both chastened and deeply touched.

I checked up and found I can get an inexpensive waiver that will cover me if I do run into trouble on a hike and need help from authorities. You may be sure I will have that -- and a cell phone -- next time I go out.

What’s your experience in these more delicate aspects of a relationship? How is your love life working?

Are there areas that are a bit murky, that you don’t want to get into for fear of what may happen, what may be revealed?

We have a choice: we can hang on to the status quo, and watch our relationship stagnate or wither on the vine. Or we can face the truth and let our relationship grow and blossom, take on new sparkle and luster.

Personally, I think we are in a time when truth is coming to the surface all across the globe in every conceivable area and situation whether we like it or not. We may call it change. But what’s causing the change?

Truth is what is causing the change. And though it’s not always comfortable, truth ultimately has only one concern: it wants to set us free. It wants us to remember the beauty and timelessness of our true being.

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