Love is in the air. We’re rapidly approaching Valentine’s Day. Most of us are either pining for a partner, head-over-heels in love or struggling to keep the love alive with our partner. I have experienced all those states of being. Also, having been a United Methodist pastor for over 20 years, I have observed countless other’s heartache, joy and pain in their quest to find and keep love.
I am happy to report that it is possible to find and have a committed, long-term loving relationship that both deepens over time and has the same hot spark of those first few weeks of falling in love. I know this because I have it! My wife, Winter and I have been together more than seventeen years now and people still ask us, “Are you newly-weds?” I am amazed that I still fall more in love with her every day and she tells me she feels the same way.
“How can this be?” I would have asked 20 years ago. My marriage to my first wife had been on the rocks almost from the day we said, “I do.” We loved each other but after 7 years of struggling to make it work, we decided the best way to honor our commitment “to love and to cherish” was to let each other go.
What I have discovered was that the best advice my father gave me was “spot on.” He advised, “Marry your best friend.” What I wish he would have followed up that advice with was, “There is a big difference between very, very good and best.” The difference is that with your best friend, the two foundation stones of a relationship are easy. These foundation stones are not ‘hot sex’ and shared hobbies. Instead, they are trust and communication. Not very sexy. But, within a short period of time without trust and communication, you aren’t going to be doing anything considered sexy.
When you marry your best friend, trust is a given and communication is easy. Your best friend likes/loves you for who you are and vice versa. You can spend countless hours together and not get bored. You bring out each other’s best. You are able to call out the misses because you know you have each other’s best interest at heart. And, when trust and communication are firing on all cylinders, you will be enjoying all kinds of things that are very sexy indeed!
My life purpose has always been to grow health, wellness and joy in life. When pondering the most effective place to start working on this purpose, I remembered the poem written by an unknown monk around 1100 AD,
“When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.”
So, I wrote my first book, “After Ever After: Finding and Keeping the Love of a Lifetime” with that in mind. It begins with me and ends with my greatest hope that everyone is able to have the love they most desire. If you are interested in exploring further how trust and communication can strengthen your relationships, I invite you to join me on Saturday, February 10 at 10:00 AM at the Francis Banta Waggoner Community Library for my workshop, “50 Ways to Love Your Lover.” I’ll be signing copies of “After Ever After” at the end of the workshop. You can also find the book for purchase at my blog at www.tomboomershine.com or you can purchase a copy at THE CROSSROADS Inspired Living & Garden Cafe.
Tom Boomershine – DeWitt United Methodist Church Pastor & Founder of EcoSphere Coaching