Avoiding Groundhogs Day All Over Again
How does one live life well? And how does someone grow up on the inside, so that inside they are the same age as they are on the outside? Here are two things I think are important, and a third suggestion I heard from someone else.
First, develop your soul-mate. Note, I didn’t say “find your soul-mate.” It’s not a question of finding one, for if you are married you are already married to someone who could be your soul-mate. What you see when you look at your spouse is your potential soul-mate, and your task is to develop the connection between your souls.
Look, researchers have found that 69% of the problems any couple struggles with will never be resolved. That’s right–NEVER. And that statistic is true in marriages that fail as well as in marriages that are rip-roaring successful. The difference is how the couple relate to the unresolvable issues. Those that fail increasingly become hostile with each other–those that succeed learn how to talk about the problems. Successful couples learn to listen and how to compromise.
First, becoming soul-mates begins by liking each other–you certainly did like your spouse early in the relationship. And if that seems to be a problem, it’s really not–you can learn to like each other again. if’s worth working on, so get some help. It’s more than a cliche that a good marriage is the best thing that can happen to you.
Second, take your faith seriously. I’ve been rereading about the study done by Gallup for the magazine Psychology Today. Over and over again, they found that when couples prayed together often, if not daily, two things happened: 1.) Their intimacy grew stronger, and 2.) Their sex life improved. Interesting how faith and sex are related to each other. It’s all in the brain.
Third, yesterday was Groundhogs Day, which is supposed to predict the next six weeks of winter. Not very relevant here in Southern California, but when we lived in the northeast, we paid attention. But I suggest iwatcvhing the movie “Groundhogs Day” repeatedly on separate occasions. It came out over two decades ago and is a comedy that stars Bill Murray. He’s a weatherman who is stuck in Punxsutawney, PA by a snow storm. Every time he wakes up in the morning it’s groundhogs day all over again. Without preaching to us, the movie shows us the gradual evolution we mght rightlyi call a jerk into a fully realized human being. There’s a lot we can learn about a life well lived by watching and talking about this comedy.
Question: When you’re with your parents, or some authority person, how old do you feel on the inside?
This 58 year old would become a 4 year old when around my parents. Because I was raised in a very conservative religious home, scripture was the weapon of choice. My parents wielded it like a sword and would draw their King James Versions out of their pocket at any given moment to use as a tool to get their way or justify their constant need for affirmation. It’s been a long journey. So glad I became a Christ follower as a child and actually read my Bible. I knew their shenanigans were not “Christ like” but was so fearful that I would not be “honoring” my parents that I stuffed the anger and fear so deep it took many years to break free of it. I’ve forgiven them but reconciliation will probably come only in eternity. They are too caustic and angry. So sad, the Giver of joy stands ready to give they just can’t unclinch their hands in order to receive it. I could write a book about the minister’s kids that are “missing in action.” Thank you for your books and your blog.
Your advice was very timely as even this morning my husband and I had another rough start to our day. We have watched Groundhog’s Day and can certainly relate to your words of wisdom about getting in a rut. It seems like we do fight about the same issues:our hectic life and the house being in a state of disarray. I know what we need to do is pray and study God’s word together, but half the battle is getting my husband away from the TV or computer screen in the evenings. Thanks for your help and encouragement. Will share your article with my hubby tonite!