"Did you like yours?" she said, as he began to nod yes. As I sat in Panera Bread this morning, I was near a married couple sitting at a quaint two-person table. They were younger. Probably newlyweds. I often think a lot about my future. Too much probably. Marriage is a topic that crosses my mind at times. I have always feared the cliché, hum-drum type of marriage. We all want to be the most beautiful and most attractive, most interesting, for our significant other. I had this epiphany, and it didn’t dawn on me until later this afternoon, long after breakfast. Something hit me for the first time. Something that I think is huge, and something that is hopeful.
While I watched this couple, I paid attention to the fact that obviously, this is not like watching a first date. On a first date, there are flirty eyes, shy and intrigued smiles, forks roaming around a salad (instead of really tasting your food in order to maintain initial attraction), and lots of conversation. (Depending on how good the first date is, right?) Well, this couple, they have been married a little while. I don’t know, 2 years maybe. It was typical. They sat down comfortably across from each other. He began with his orange juice, and she with her latte. You know that lull of silence you see between a couple that sees each other all the time because well… you’re married? Yeah. You’ve all seen it. That’s what I have feared for so long. In that space is where I fear my significant other getting bored, or finding distraction to fill that silence with something more new and interesting. BUT. Today. Just from watching this couple, I noticed something further for the first time and put some things together. She began to spread cream cheese on her bagel, and I could hear her say “This is just my favorite.” I watched his reaction, and his sincere smile said more than words. I realized through this incredibly, incredibly simple interaction that being in a relationship where you are comfortable does not mean things are boring. It means that you get to live fully present in the moment. And isn’t that the most beautiful thing we can experience? And what more to experience living fully in the moment with love? It really struck a chord in me. It’s a daily struggle for me…or a moment to moment struggle for me… to remember to just embrace the reality of the moment. To be fully present when eating, drinking, breathing, sleeping, seeing, speaking, walking, reading, brushing my teeth, washing dishes, you name it. When I really shift gears and hone in on the environment, taking away the background noise in my head of past and future, it begins to free my heart. For so long I’ve lived with the mantra of each sensation is passing, because I needed to know that. I lived in fear for so long of the next passing moment, that I had to remember that no emotion last forever. While this is still true, and good to remember, it’s time for me to press into every reality. I’m not a victim anymore. I am a victor. And I am currently extremely fulfilled with a loving partner, and a life full of rich blessing.
I can’t wait to figure this out. Sure, it’s important to have conversations of dreams, and deep talks and to flirt and remain playful with one another in a relationship, but how beautiful of a gift it is to also take each moment in stride, drinking orange juice. Eating a bagel. Really knowing each other, and feeling together what that moment has to offer.