My first wedding anniversary is coming up next week (although we were together 8 years prior to getting married) so love is in the air as I try to plan some sort of anniversary celebration. Which is what lead me to creating this art journal page. It started with a page that already had paint on it from cleaning my flower stencil from a previous project.
The rest of the materials were recycled as the the large heart was made from a shopping bag that I painted over with watered down acrylic…
and the small one was from a very cool textured napkin from Via Rail.
This page led me to contemplate more on the whole topic of love and my feeling is that love, whether romantic or not, is as critical for your mind and body as oxygen. It’s not negotiable. The more connected you are, the healthier you will be both physically and emotionally.
Most of us get our ideas of romantic love from popular culture. We come to believe that love is something that sweeps us off our feet but this ideal of love consists of unrealistic images created for entertainment, which is one reason so many of us are set up for failure. Love is a learned skill, which is why good communication skills are so important. They are a means by which you develop trust and intensify connection. The more you can communicate the more you will feel known and understood.
There are always core differences between two people, no matter how close you are or how much alike you think you are, and those differences eventually surface. The issue then is to identify the differences and negotiate them so that they don’t distance you or ruin the relationship. You do that by understanding where the other person is coming from, who that person is, and by being able to represent yourself. When the differences are known you must be able to negotiate and compromise on them until you find a common ground that works for both.
If I can offer any advice, when things are getting tough in your relationship, focus on the other person. Instead of focusing on what you aren’t getting and how you are being treated, figure out what your partner needs. What does this person really need for his/her own well-being? This is a very tough skill for people to learn in our narcissistic culture but it really will help bring you down from that angry cloud you have likely been living on. It will help you see your partner as a person and not the enemy and they will likely, in turn, naturally want to help meet your needs. I know this is very difficult to do and I am not always capable of doing it myself but it has helped when I have been able to. There are, of course, limits as you don’t want to lose yourself in the process. You also need to make sure you are doing enough self-care.
Those are my two cents and just like in art, you need to keep showing up! Have an amazing week!