Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Grace is Hard Work

"We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness." Ellen Goodman

I saw a couple lately, deeply in love, new again in love, after decades of marriage. It's a perk of my job as a therapist that I get "the inside track" on really cool people with wonderful stories that inspire me personally.

Love that has lasted decades doesn't happen by magic. It is a product of years of hard work, times of "hangin' in there" even when it would be easier in the short term to bail. It happens because each of the couple is secure enough in who they are, and able to have inner resources to extend grace and understanding without being reactionary or inflammatory...or asking for forgiveness when this (inevitably, at times) occurs.

I often ask young couples, when they come in for help, "How do you know what you want? Who has what you are looking for? Who have you watched and learned from, so that you know how you want to be as a couple?"
The answer is important...some couples have trouble coming up with a time or a couple where they have seen it. Others have numerous models of what a loving longstanding relationship looks like.

It takes strength and courage to be grateful and forgiving. But man, to watch it and see it in living color--it's worth it!

1 comment:

D. Marco Funk said...

Great post Carolyn. I'm loving some of the same things about my job in Gretna. Just yesterday I visited with an older man in the congregation and he told me about his life and about his partner who passed away just last September. Their story is amazing and completely drenched in the flood of God's transforming love. Also, just wanted to encourage you on the good job you are doing with those two boys. They're super special but I'm sure you know that in a much more profound way than I do. God's blessings to you in your work and ministry.