Linda: Consider this story of devotion about a couple that takes time and effort to show how much they cherish each other.
Mira: “I know that Ari loves me, and even when he is away from home traveling for business a lot, I know he loves me. But knowing that he loves me and experiencing his love are very different. We have worked out a method that has been good for us over the busy years of raising kids and raising our business. We choose a block of time, a few hours during the day on a weekend, or an entire evening, where we will not be disturbed by children or telephone, and we turn off all tech devices. We make a clear agreement to be in service to each other the entire time.”
Ari: “Over the years, we have become quite creative in the variety of ways we have devised to be in service to each other. From time to time, Mira likes me to feed her dinner, and she gets a big kick out of feeding me, not just a few mouthfuls, but the whole meal! It definitely does jog us off of automatic pilot. Slowing down the pace of the meal forces us to pay attention to what is happening moment to moment. When I stay in eye contact with Mira while she feeds me or I feed her, we tune into each other and learn a lot, she takes smaller bites than I do. But I pause more in between bites so my pace of eating is slower. I had some resistance to it in the beginning. It brought up issues of feeling vulnerable and dependent. It’s been good for me to practice generosity and patience, gently pressing the edge of my comfort zone by surrendering and allowing myself to be given to. I have become a good receiver.”
Mira: “Ari is a great receiver now. Years ago when I would offer to give him a massage he would refuse. It would blow my mind. I love massage so much. I couldn’t fathom why he would say no. Now that he has become a gracious receiver, he lets me give him full body massage and he actually enjoys it. He gives a wonderful massage too. We took a couple’s massage class; it was a great confidence booster. You don’t have to be professionally trained to do a satisfying massage. Sometimes we just massage each other’s feel or give head or back rubs.”
Ari: “Mira really likes it when I brush her hair. We have also played with brushing each other’s teeth. I’ve shaved her legs and armpits; she’s shaved my face, trimmed my eyebrows, nose and ear hairs. She even put my contact lenses in for me one time. We find that it breaks up our automatic patterning and keeps us more alert.”
Mira: “Ari has a melodic singing voice. Sometimes he’ll bring out his guitar and sing a song to me. I just melt. We don’t ever rely on the message in a card for birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. We always write a personal message. We are constantly scanning for possible ways that we can show our devotion. By practicing so regularly, we have both opened to deeper levels of giving and receiving love. Even during the times when we are really busy and can’t take the few hours or the whole day to drench ourselves in the luxury of being in service to each other, we take a smaller amount of time. A little bit can go a long way. There are long hugs, deep passionate kisses, and sweet eye contact, gestures that don’t take very long, but satisfy us on the deepest level. It is these small tokens of affection that come straight from our hearts that have the greatest meaning.”
Perhaps Mira and Ari’s sweet, tender story prompts you to question whether you are being in service to your partner in ways that are meaningful to them. If so, be sure to tell yourself the truth if you want to do so even more and what form that might take. Do you know if your partner is filled with your love in the way that is meaningful to them? Ari and Mira have an alive and harmoneous and relationship primarily because they take such good care of each other. Would you like to receive and give more of your love in creative ways?