“In the absence of bravely journeying inward and taming the beast
that we find crouching in the shadows, life itself is merely a shadow!”
-The Redneck Molar Mechanic
When we have taken the time, had the experiences, formed a true bond and pledged our love and soul, accepting those things, that are less than ideal in our partner, is at the very root of Acceptance. When things are going well acceptance is relatively easy. However when challenges present themselves, those less than ideal “things”, can become quite amplified. Every one of us is flawed, everyone would readily agree with this statement. But it seems that the length of tether in which we allow our partner to stray, from the way we “Need” them to behave, is incredibly variable in we humans. We often expect more from our partner when it comes to our own emotional, and other, needs. The degree to which we need our partner, to behave as we have prescribed, speaks to our own level of security or dependency on our mate. Must our partner, strictly adhere to our vision of who we think they should be, or can we afford them the latitude they so desperately need to be themselves, to mess up, to grow, or to go through pain required to learn? Within a committed relationship, where all of the challenges of life are in full force, it is imperative, if the union is to survive, that both participants fully accept one another. Acceptance is then a component of love, of understanding, of giving, of growing, of learning, of empathizing, etc. The challenges, of this life, are what give life it’s very meaning! This is when we grow, when our love deepens, when we gain knowledge and wisdom, when we truly learn Commitment and instruct our children. These lessons are invaluable and are requisite for true and lasting bonds. By persevering through the challenges of life we strengthen, not only the mutual bond between two tender and fledgling souls, but the very fabric of humanity.
When we can’t even accept ourselves, how could we possibly accept our partner? When we are young and enter into marriage we are very rarely complete human beings, as it relates to acceptance of the self, let alone of our partner. In their infancy, relationships are fueled mostly by infatuation and excitement. When that fuel is spent the real work begins. In preceding generations, people got married and stay married. Wether these lasting unions were successful due to the stigma of divorce, the influence of Christian ideals or the lack of career opportunities for women, the fact is they tended to last. People found a way to make it through the trials and tribulations of life within the confines of the marriage. As a result of these achievements, many gifts were and, have been, bestowed on the couple, their offspring and society. Things like commitment, hard work, acceptance, communication, perseverance, family strength, love, giving, etc, were realized and reinforced. The Greatest Generation, as it has become to be known, buttressed this nation and their example strengthens us still today. Not every marriage that endured was perfect or a shining example but overall the effect of truly committing had, and continues to have, a very positive influence on our society. One can speculate and blame many shifts in society for the large spike in divorces since that time, but the net result has not been a positive one. Today divorce is our example and the norm. The message is quit, the grass is greener, you can always start over, etc. I wonder if the escape module, that divorce often is, will have as positive an impact as did The Greatest Generation?