Wisdom for Living
I read “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck, MD back in 1984. My mind often goes back to the first sentence in that book because it holds some of the greatest wisdom I have ever read. It goes like this:
“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. it is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult—once we truly understand and accept it—then life is no longer difficult.“
Wow, what a concept!
Relationships are Difficult Too
Our relationships are difficult too; but when we hold on to ideals that our loved ones “should” be perfect, we don’t allow for them to be human. We tend to be demanding and have irrational expectations of perfection from our partner that we don’t expect from ourselves. Is that why relationships are experienced as “so difficult”?
Acceptance and Compassion in Marriage
When we accept the premise that relationships are difficult, we can begin to relax. In the moment when we are starting to criticize or argue about an issue, is it possible to step back and remember that relationships can be difficult and that we are not perfect? It is possible when we have the same compassion and understanding FOR our partner that we expect FROM our partner when the tables are turned. When we are more compassionate for our “humanness” and give our partner the same leeway we would want for ourselves, we argue less and accept more.
In her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection”, Brene Brown, Ph.D.(a vulnerability and shame researcher), reminds us that none of us are perfect. When we expect perfection from others, we are guaranteed that they will always let us down. If we can get in touch with our shared imperfection and vulnerability, then we can reach out to our partner from a place of compassion. We will feel so much more connection. Our relationships will then not be so difficult.