Being Different, Unique and Separate in Identity
The United States was founded on the belief that each individual is important. Each one entitled to be free, to be independent -- not just from British rule but from oppressive regulation from the United States government as well. In other words, being different, unique and separate in identity was seen as an inalienable right.
Do you treat your own behaviors, attitudes, and feelings with such reverence? Do you honor your spouse's differing ways as sacred?
Chances are pretty good that your answer is no. Why? Because, while the founding fathers attempted to protect Americans' sovereign uniqueness with the First Amendment, which spelled out your right to freedom of speech (if you live in the U.S.), you've probably grown up feeling that it's not wise to be too different, too independent.
Because the fear of differences between people is epidemic it undermines our marriages and our ability to create long-lasting romance. That's why in our book, "Be Loved For Who You Really Are," we focus on what is required to truly gain independence in dating and marriage and better yet -- be loved for it!
How about that! You get to be who you are in your own right -- and be loved for being nothing more nor less than who you really are! That doesn't mean you never have to change in order to nurture the love and life you share with someone. To the contrary, when you feel accepted as is, you find yourself wanting to change in order to grow and expand and feed the love that so fully embraces you.
You may be saying, "How do I get this kind of love?" After all, isn't this what everyone wants -- to be loved and accepted with no demand to fulfill someone else's expectations? Well, first you have to be committed to a belief in independence in which you recognize that everyone is different and special in their unique ways. Then you have to give up your fantasies that a lifelong love comes to you for free and/or on your own terms. Love has much bigger designs on you than that.
Love that lasts will take you on a journey that is both challenging and filled with blessings. We call this the arc of love and it is made up of four passages--each with its own gifts and need for personal development. And what is love's goal throughout it all? To lead you into wholeness. To open your heart beyond anything you've ever imagined. To reveal to you how to celebrate life every day -- no matter what is happening. That is what occurs when you are fully loved and who you are keeps changing and growing through your willingness to express and live inside your independence.
When you are loved for who you really are, and you love someone else in the very same way, you are a living, breathing celebration of all that July 4th stands for!
© 2005, The New Intimacy
Intimacy is spelled "in to me you see". - Stan Dale
I have always made a distinction between my friends and my confidants. I enjoy the conversation of the former; from the latter I hide nothing. - Edith Piaf
Husband and wife psychology team, Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski, are the bestselling authors of "The New Intimacy" and "Opening to Love 365 Days a Year." Their latest book is Be Loved for Who You Really Are: How the differences between men and women can be turned into the source of the very best romance you'll ever know. They provide corporate trainings on breaking through resistance to success and relationship workshops about The Magic of Differences--romance based on respect and value for each other's unique ways. As guest experts they've been on over 600 television and radio shows including Oprah, The O'Reilly Factor, 48 Hours, Canada AM, and The View. Visit their website at www.themagicofdifferences.com
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