Two people meet and fall in love. Time passes and then, one day, he takes her to a special place and surprises her. Their special place could be a park, a restaurant, a room in one of their homes, some landmark place in their city, etc.
He asks her to marry him. She says “yes’ and a beautiful ring is placed on her finger.
Her eyes sparkle, her face glows. Yes, the ring sparkles too, but no diamond could ever outshine the beauty or the luminosity of her face. Her happiness shines from within, illuminating her whole being, spreading outward to touch those who love her.
I am reminded of my mother’s oft-spoken words – “Beauty is internal”. If you cultivate beauty within your own soul, it shines forth, making its mark in a world that can sometimes be difficult, dark and chaotic.
Truly, this is one of those special moments. Anyone who sees her that day is immediately aware that something wondrous has occurred.
There is the Joy of Acceptance by the Beloved; there is the Validation of Love and of Identity; There is Hope for a wonderful future together; there is now a possibility of creating together the long desired dream of children, yet another symbol of their love.
I think of the specialness of this particular moment in a couple’s life. I think, too, of all the
excitement, anticipation, romance, love, hope, joy and peace that this moment contained.
No matter what new adventures, successes, failures and disappointments that come their way, I hope that they will never forget the day of their Engagement.
Then I remember how easy it is to forget the unique alchemy of love contained in such moment. How easy it is to become frustrated with oneself and with one’s partner; how easy it is to become angry; to build walls of self-protection that shut down all but rudimentary conversations, spoken in irritated monosyllables. The home becomes a psychological war zone and children get caught in the crossfire.
Nobody plans to live his or her life that way. Most people want to be happy and at peace. However, the cultivation of Positive Remembering is needed to assist each of us to live our lives in a way more congruent with the natural highs we experience during especially happy moments.
Perhaps, it is otherwise because we have not been taught to consciously remember the light when the dark comes; to not consciously remember the beauty that existed before the scar from an injury; to not consciously remember the high points of a relationship when bad days come as they inevitably will to any relationship, to any life.
I believe it would be a good idea to make a conscious decision to never let a day pass without some positive statement made, one to the other – a compliment, some thing of beauty glimpsed from a bus or car window, an ‘I love you’, said with meaning, a warm embrace, a kiss on the cheek, a memory shared of the happiness and joy inherent in the special moments that we have shared in the past – moments like an engagement with all its attendant sharing with the beloved, with family, with friends, with co-workers.
Would it not be a good idea to create a Memory Album and/or a Memory Box, filled gradually, over a lifetime together, with photographs and symbols that remind us of all those meaningful and glorious events – events that touched us at the core of our beings, making our lives richer and our relationships deeper?
Then, when difficulties arise and we fail to see the good in the other or, for that matter, in ourselves, we can take out our Memory Boxes and share together our Special Moments.
How can you continue to fight with me, how can I continue to fight with you, if we together, look at a photograph of you and me during those special moments – those moments when all the intensity of love and happiness was obvious in our faces, in our postures and in our intentions? How can I continue to build my Wall of Silence and incipient hatred towards you in the face of such glory?
Anniversaries are also a great time to revisit the past with each other. As we look at the bad and the good, we can try to resolve the bad together, with love and in peace, being open always to professional help if we get lost.
We can review the good and celebrate, in our own unique way, our profound gratitude that we two, one day, found each other.
Thus, we renew our memories, our romance, our love and our commitment, each to the other.
What ‘has been’ can never cease to exist for, somewhere in time, that love was and is. We just need to remember to keep the embers of love burning bright. The experiences that we have had together will remain as long as one of us is alive and has an intact memory.
And, if we continue to nourish our love with daily remembering, our children and our friends will carry that memory with them long after we have gone.
Through this writing, I make a gift to all of you who struggle to remember love. Please remember all of your special moments – those moments when your face glowed and your happiness was evident to the entirety of your world.
Betty Stockley, Director of Betty Stockley Counselling Services, is a widely recognized psychotherapist, educator, lecturer, consultant in Human Relations and writer. She has worked extensively and effectively with individuals, families and couples in crises. For more information on couples counselling visit us online or contact us for mroe on our counselling services.