Monday, May 2, 2011

Meeting in the Middle

My husband and I are different from each other. When we first started dating one of his friends had trouble understanding my allure because I didn't play volleyball and this friend thought that was an indispensable attribute for any partner. Luckily John was willing to overlook this character flaw in me. John is sporty. I am bookish. John tends to solidly occupy the lower three Chakras. He is grounded, secure, physical, confident, and practical. The closer his connection with the earth, the better he feels. So he runs, climbs, hikes, and camps among other very physical outdoor experiences. He even works in construction, though he hasn't done the physical work in many years. His bond with our sons is very physical - he wrestles with them and plays catch.

I tend to live in the upper three Chakras. I am concerned more with feelings, kindness, learning, introspection, and spirituality. I am happiest connecting with others through words, both written and spoken. I am far more likely to be drawn to reading, writing, meditating, or talking than I am to moving. My specialty in parenting involves communication: setting expectations, discussing feelings, talking with teachers, reading stories, and that kind of thing.

You could say that we complement each other in our differences. In the 17 years that we have been together these differences have sometimes been challenging, but for the most part it has encouraged both of us to dwell comfortably in areas that wouldn't initially seem attractive to either of us. For example, I am inspired to keep physically fit because I live with a multi-sport athlete who is in fabulous shape. I love how I look and feel because of that. Before meeting John, I had never been camping and now I love it and initiate multiple camping trips every summer. Our family time in nature is where we are all happiest. John grounds me and provides a base of stability and security.

To his own surprise, John has become spiritual, without any of the gagging that he thought might accompany such beliefs. We now enjoy talking about spiritual and philosophical topics, though the transition to this level of comfort was not easy. A couple of years ago we had a long road trip alone together as marital medicine because we felt disconnected. On the way to Pagosa Springs and back, we listened to Ken Wilber, an author who writes about the meeting point of developmental psychology, philosophy, ecology, sex, and spirituality. It gave us a meeting point. It was through Ken Wilber's words that we found common ground and language, putting us back on track. In John's car right now is a CD of the Irish poet, philosopher and former priest John O'Donohue, talking about wisdom, spirituality, and connection. He enjoys listening to it on his drive and then sharing the highlights of it with me when he gets home. It's been wonderful to share my interests with him and I appreciate seeing that side of him.

John's glass of wine is half empty and mine is half full. We are Yin and Yang. We give balance to each other and to our family when we are balanced ourselves. After so much time together, we are each better balanced and better at meeting each other halfway in mind, body, and spirit. Of course there is the physical meeting of masculine and feminine, fitting together right at that half way point that blissfully strengthens our connection as well! There is much to be said about meeting in the middle!

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