The Plot To Steal Joy: Day 2

Pic: Overlooking the Pacific Ocean at McWay Falls, Big Sur, California 

Pic: Overlooking the Pacific Ocean at McWay Falls, Big Sur, California 

Day 2 Unfolds:

Marriage is hard work. It takes more than just passion, love, smiles, cuddles and snugs. It takes more than just effort, compromises and giving ins. It takes sacrifice, selflessness and humility. Growing up with little love, attention or money, I learnt to be selfish. Whatever little love that’s dished out to me, I take. Whatever little attention that’s given to me, I take. Whatever little money that’s made available to me, I take. I know little about giving. Because I was so starved of everything a child needs growing up, I brought my lack into adulthood and into my marriage.

While my husband continually gives, I continually take. Till he could give no more. Till he’s dried up on the inside and breaks down in despair. It sobered me to realize my selfishness. It was then I learnt to give. But the journey is rough. I would give one day, pat myself on the back and resume taking. When he nudges me, I would get back on course and give again. I would do well for a day or two, and soon after, resume my old lifestyle of taking yet again. I’m like a child who doesn’t learn her lesson.  

This pattern goes on for a long time. A very long time. Till his patience runs out. Till my sorrys ring hollow. Till I realized it isn’t just about giving; it is about sacrifice, selflessness and humility. A sacrifice of my needs and wants. An ongoing exercise of selflessness for the interest of the other. Humility to accept the tumbles that injure the heart, mind and soul.

Knowing is one thing; living it out is another. I often fall short. We often explode. Yesterday was no exception. He lost his patience. I lost my cool. We both exploded. The cycle repeats.

The Score: Joy: 0. Anger: 1

And then we calmed down. We picked up the pieces and patch them back. We are tender again.

Through it all, I’m glad. I’m glad we may be different but our core value is one and the same - it is the only one thing we need to weather through the storms: Commitment. The rumbles and tumbles are not in vain - they have produced in us, better versions of us individually and as a joint unit. We hold steadfast that one basic principle and cornerstone of marriages: Commitment. Come good or bad, rainfall or thunderstorm, we are committed. Even when we’re knocked down time and again, we get back up and we win. I believe it is not our inadequacies that disqualify us from a fulfilling life; it is our lack of commitment that prematurely terminates our journey.

And this, I declare, reverses the score above. For now, it stands as:

Joy: 1. Selfishness: 0.