kind promise: I will love without keeping score.

PaintingMy husband and teenaged daughter were late getting out of the house this morning. It was upsetting. He gathered his stuff and left the house for the car, bellowing, “we’re really late! Get a move on!” She, almost in tears, scurried through the house, picking up book bag, coat and scarf muttering, “I know… I know…” as she followed him out.

We have been married almost 33 years. The boy and girl who were married all those years ago no longer exist nor does the world in which they made their vows. This long-term relationship is constantly teaching me about love and not keeping score. We are not who we were and what I expected – or even expect from moment to moment – is not what I find.

What makes it love? That I want the best for him. That I want him to be happy and to be all of who he is in the world. Not keeping score means that I continually let him choose what that means. My job is to drop my ideas about who he is and how he should be and be willing to be surprised.

I want to practice relationship the way I practice meditation. Instead of following my breath, I can follow love. I hold him and our relationship in my loving heart. In times of upset, like this morning, when I catch my mind tossing around thoughts that begin with “he shouldn’t…” or involve “if only…” I can let go and give us a fresh start by returning to love.