In Alaska, there are mountain ranges around Denali where the weather and clouds are so thick that there are only twenty to thirty days a year where it is clear enough to see the peaks of the mountains. Twenty to thirty days per year! Think about it. You could save up money for the adventure of a lifetime; the opportunity to see, or even climb the highest peak in North America. You travel thousands of miles to reach the beginning of the adventure, only to discover that clouds and weather will force you to turn around. You can not see where you are going. Doesn’t life sometimes feel this way? Consisting of only a few mornings where you wake up and know clearly your path or purpose.
A requirement for experiencing a marriage fully alive is clarity. Clarity is the ability to see both near and far with accuracy, understanding and insight. Along with space (as discussed last week) clarity is instrumental in creating a life and relationship we want.
When you don’t know where you want to go, any route will do. This leaves a lot to chance, luck, circumstances, etc. When you know where you want to go however, life becomes easier to live, circumstances are easier to navigate. I’m sure that there have been times where you have been clear about life and relationships. When it felt like you were in the flow. You had energy and a zest for life. This begins with clarity but clarity alone will not sustain it. Otherwise life would have been clear all along.
So where do we begin to find clarity? It starts with identifying clearly your gifts. Your strengths, your abilities, your skills, your attitudes. When you know clearly what you have been gifted with, you then can begin to choose how you want to use your gifts. Take some time and name your gifts. Ask others for their input and see if you agree with their insights.
Society seems to want you to become a jack-of-all-trades. Good at a lot of things, masters of nothing. This produces relationships and lives that are nice, not great. Getting by, not fully alive. You may be unsettled about things or bored and not know why. You may be feeling like you are spinning your wheels at times, getting nowhere fast. When you begin to create clarity, you pick up momentum in life. And the more clarity you get, the more fulfilling life becomes.
Personal development is what will sustain the momentum clarity creates. Seeking to become a better human creates better relationships and families. It starts and ends with you. The others involved will have influence over what happens, but you are the major player in the creation of the life you desire. The star of your story.
There is an art to personal development. It involves incorporating some of your own desires, goals, and dreams. This is not done by ignoring the others in your life and their desires, goals, and dreams. You are faced everyday with the give and take of relationships. To blindly seek your own desires and goals will likely end up hurting those you care about and yourself. You can however, begin sharing your dreams and desires with your spouse and hearing about their own. When this is done, relationship desires, goals, and dreams can be created or addressed.
In a nutshell, the vision of a marriage fully alive is done by discovering and expanding the space needed for the life and relationship you want. Which is done when you become clear about the life and relationship you want. Which requires you to develop personally to create the life and relationship you want. All of these are interconnected. When you are working on one, you are working on the others. These concepts feed off each other and are necessary for the creation of marriages that are fully alive. If you are waiting for another person to do the work for you, you may be waiting a long time. If you are waiting for your spouse to begin before you do, you may never start. It starts with you. What are you waiting for?