Yay! Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! I’m not a huge fan of this crazy holiday, even though I’m all about love and kindness. To me this holiday just shouldn’t exist. Don’t get me wrong, I love that we honor those we love, but in my opinion this should be a daily occurrence, not a once a year celebration. If we spent more time being loving and respectful to those that we love, the world might be a better place. We treat total strangers better than we treat our loved ones by times, and Valentine’s Day sometimes sets people’s expectations too high, which in turn opens the door for hurt and disappointment.
How many of you have watched the Big Bang Theory and witnessed Sheldon Cooper’s Relationship Agreement? People may laugh at this 31 paged contract, but in all honesty, this is what we all do. We all start a relationship on the thoughts that our significant other holds a role in our lives. We feel they have responsibilities that they need to fill.
They say falling in love is similar to taking a hit of cocaine. This intimate relationship effects the brain very much the same, by triggering the same euphoria or high and actually the release of these chemicals stimulates 12 areas of the brain. This stimulation only last about a year, and then the thrill of this love is over. This is when the Relationship Agreement starts to take effect! The powerful effects of adrenaline are over and our expectations kick in…along with disappointment too.
Does this sound familiar? Were you once head over heels in love with your Valentine, and had all these hopes and dreams for a life just like a romance novel or a fairytale? One thing I’ve learned over the course of my adulthood is that fairytales don’t exist…well meeting the person of your dreams may exist, but the happily ever after part is the part that is misleading. No Prince Charming is ever going to make you happy forever. The only person that will make you happy is you. I stress that so much with my children. Nobody affects your happiness, but your own inner person. That is the person you should fall madly in love with.
Once people get comfortable with each other, and the year of adrenaline has worn off, people start to take people for granted. Their hopes and dreams start to get dumped onto their fairytale lover and the sky really does start to fall. The Relationship Agreement starts to show through. A contract that maybe unwritten on paper, but quite substantiated in people’s heads. You don’t fulfill your end of the contract, and I am not going to fulfill my end of the contract. This seems to be the path that relationships eventually take. If people were to write out a Relationship Contract, like Sheldon suggests then there might not be so many divorces?
According to Huffington Post, the number one reason marriages fail is communication issues. Right back to the contract again. If we all would sit down and decide on what is expected of us and what is not, there might not be so many divorces. Who knows? But really. Do we need this contract? As soon as we make this a business deal, the romance is totally out of the relationship. But we all do it. We all make a business deal with our spouses eventually and feel like we are owed by them.
Add kids into the mix and it totally escalates. I had the kids all day yesterday while you were golfing, you owe me a day kid-free. I made the lunches and the supper, you owe me to clean up and show me that you appreciate me. I took the kids to both of their sports while you were at a meeting and I haven’t had a second to myself all day, it’s your turn. This is when the contract would be great right? The contract says, “I do half the work and you do half the work.”
As soon as we start keeping score this is when bitterness and anger sets in. You feel like you are on the losing team and being totally taken advantage of. I get that, but it’s our ego that keeps score. Not our spirit. Would you be keeping score how many times you helped out a friend maybe watching their children while they have to do something? No. Probably not, but you are keeping score on what you do for your own children? Is that right?
Luckily for me, I started turning inward and discovering who I was, thanks to A Course in Miracles. This book changed my life, and my marriage. I love this quote from that book, “When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself.” I can admit I wasn’t treating my husband, or myself very well for a long time, and I was miserable. Why? Because I was thinking we had this Relationship Contract, however, letting go of this contract and my ego is really helping in this area. Not just with my relationship with my husband but also with everyone around me. I am starting to treat everyone like they are as important as Jesus to me.
I also love this quote by ACM, “If you attack error in another, you will hurt yourself.” How true is this? For those that keep score, doesn’t it really only hurt you? Is it hurting your loved one by you getting all bitter and angry inside? No. It is only hurting you. Which also makes me think of this quote by Buddha, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
This Valentine’s Day, and every other day from here forward, let go of your ego and stop the score keeping on your relationship. Let go of our resentment towards our loved ones, and start treating them like every time you are together it is a holy encounter. Put the hot coals down, it is really only burning you…not your spouse. Cherish your loved ones today and make everyday a special day like Valentine’s Day!