When I was a teenager I overheard my Grandmother saying very straight-faced, after being complemented on her 50th Wedding Anniversary, “Well they weren’t all good years.” I was slightly shocked to hear her admit that, especially in the midst of her celebration, but most everyone around who was married for any length of time nodded in agreement. In the ensuing years, I have come to realized that life often brings harsh challenges, sometimes a whole avalanche of them, and these can alter even the best of relationships. My spouse & I have weathered many such hardships, most certainly there have been periods when we weren’t sure we would survive. When COVID sheltered us this worry intensified because all I heard about via every social media outlet was the spiking divorce rate due to the lockdown. I started to obsess it would happen to us, but eventually I had to stop reading the negative news, focus on my present day, let go of the fear and the hype, and believe in what we have built together over the decades.
I feel so lucky to have raised kids before the internet, before cell phones, before so much junk that fills all our minds. It’s a mad mad world now. Remember how cool Facebook seemed at first? When you could first text? Those beautiful photos filtered all over your Instagram? All the platforms seemed to promote a broad and unifying community, and I was nothing but thrilled when all the apps came together in my first smart phone. But then something changed. Not all at once, but definitely after we were all hooked. Suddenly, false profiles and fake news and hackers or just misinformation and heated politics and nasty arguing and clear sides drawn with sharp lines divided us into red and blue, one side right and another wrong. My feed looked different than someone who thought or felt differently than I did about any number of issues. I found myself getting angry about stuff happening in Israel or New Orleans, somewhere far and to people I didn’t know. I am not alone in this sensation, for so many people were duped by social media into strong baseless stances all due to posts created by who knows who.
Last year this problem really intensified. The divide in our country, across our planet, even in our homes, has been crippling. In some wild housebound terror, for months I was glued to my phone, my computer, and my TV, over the pandemic, the failing economy, the questioned election, the riot at the capital, the validity of the vaccine, you name it, I bounced like a ping-pong ball trying to establish one isolated truth. Who to trust? Who to listen to? I will tell you this struggle for Reason and Science tried my very last nerve. But eventually, I had to trust something. I had to find one path that seems to make sense while in my family, and in my spouse’s, and in our some friends and colleagues there is a chasm of disagreement about which truth to believe; we are not there yet, but we acknowledge that, in the end, these differences have to be okay. If there is anything we have learned this year it is that information is evolving, and that one needs to be flexible in their mindset. But more than that, we have learned that bottom line love is the one constant, the only one worth living for, which brings me to my last point. Love matters.
Love is not an easy to find commodity. At least not for most. It is quite precious, and absolutely fragile. It ebbs and flows and only if lucky, can grow. Love can feel utterly lost one moment and yet swell up inside of you one minute later. Love has the power to transform a hard-hearted person into someone glowing with sparkle. It can make the longest of arduous days worth the strain when you fall into your beloved’s gaze. Without care and attention love can fade, but the deep roots are there to rise again if nourished.
2020 did damage to many love stories, even marriages and friendships, but I believe in a brighter horizon; those who are struggling right now in their relationships might be able to find their common ground, their higher purpose, and perhaps the life they intended to start pre-pandemic if they strive together. Love needs attention. Look for it in the places where you and your mate have shared beliefs, and if you’re as fortunate as we, you will find it in the ordinary moments, those you often overlook when you are in a rush.
This post is dedicated to all the couples who have weathered amazingly harsh storms, yet return to love time and time again. From my vantage, if they bridge the divide one more time, it will be a forever love… I hope you do try my dears. I am your champion for sure. xxoo