Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Do you have current CEU's on your relationship?
I was hiking up Big Mountain last month with Mike and some friends, and we were talking about people, and the nature of relationships. Friendships, mentor-ships, working relationships, romantic relationships, they all have something in common.
They need to be tended. Now this is nothing new, we all know that we need to care for each other, pay attention to each other, but it occurred to me in a way that it hasn't before.
We were talking about staying current in our respective fields, and how there are some people who are always psyched to learn, to make sure that they are up on what is changing in their field.
I love to take CEUs (Continuing Education Units) in Skiing (of course) Philosophy, Psychology, Massage, in writing, in art, in music... I love to keep growing and learning. I'm not sure who said it, but suddenly we were talking about the fact that people don't do that for each other.
What I mean by that is, can you imagine if, to keep your certification in your relationship current, you were required to do 32 hours a year of continuing education on your significant other?
You should know what they are doing, what they are interested in, how they are growing and changing, what their path is. You might even take a class in something that interests THEM so that you have a deeper understanding of this person, who means so much to you.
Now, if your partner is an accountant, and you are a performance artist, you might very well be putting each other to sleep. But as I see it, you are still obligated to care for your relationship with the same eager forward thinking as you would care for a career that you feel passionate about, and keep your education current. That means not just GOING, but paying attention and learning.
Its not just something you should do for your partner, but something they should do for you. My friend Shanon once said, "A relationship is not 50/50. Its 100/100. You give it everything you've got, and so should they."
Mike also put it nicely. Think of your love as a bit of cave man fire. You just got it. You aren't really sure how it was made, but you know its precious and important and hard to come by. If you are going to keep it, you'd better carry it carefully if you move it, you'd better tend it, feed it gently, blow on it to give it life, and check it frequently to make sure its still burning.
A truly excellent book on this subject, which I'm reading now, is called "Hold Me Tight: Seven conversations for a lifetime of love." Now I have to say, I am not a fan of self help books, that's one thing I don't really read. But this is like an easy to read Psych text book that is written by a woman who completely revolutionized couples therapy in the last twenty years. Its AWESOME. Check it out.