“Love like there’s no tomorrow.”
I don’t know who said this originally, despite hearing and seeing it hundreds of times throughout my life. It’s one of those quotes that I always nod along to but haven’t ever really thought about in any kind of practical way. Until this week at least…
This month, I’ve organised a ‘Mindful March’ programme for about 30 people who felt that they could benefit from some daily mindfulness practice. Annoyingly, I’ve had to lead by example and actually follow my own advice (imagine that?!)
The first stage of informal mindfulness practice was all about noticing when you were on autopilot, before stepping into the moment and really looking, seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing. So for over a week now, I’ve been exploring life as I see it every day, with a fresh set of eyes. I’ve been living curiously, like an alien.
So, the other evening, I was laid on the couch with Mr. G. And I just looked at him – really looked at him. I took him all in, from the top of his head, to his rather oddly shaped toes. He was laid flat, watching TV, so there was quite a bit I could ‘get away with’ (we’ve been together for nearly ten years so he’s pretty used to my apparent ‘creepy’ violations of his personal space.) I sat staring at his beard for ages, looking at the different tones and shades; examining his surprisingly long eyelashes and deep, blue eyes.
Where’s she going with this? I hear you ask.
Before things just get weird, I’ll explain. A good chunk of mindfulness practice is about really seeing what you have in your daily life, and appreciating it. When we’re not being mindful – when we’re on autopilot – often, we’re taking things for granted. We’re forgetting that we’re lucky to have this thing; this job; this house; or this person in our life at all.
When I was staring ‘creepily’ into Mr. G’s multi-tonal beard, I thought, “What if this was my last day on Earth? How would I look at him? What might I notice that I hadn’t before?” And I was just filled with a sense of love and gratitude for every moment we’ve had together, and all that I love and admire about him.
Holding together a relationship is pretty hard work at times, but one thing that definitely helps is actually appreciating each other, and remembering that you’re lucky to have each other at all. The concept of loving someone ‘as if there’s no tomorrow’ has many layers to it, but part of this is definitely noticing and appreciating your partner.
When you’re doing this, it’s pretty much impossible to hold on to feelings of resentment, bitterness, anger and the need to be ‘right’ at all costs – it’s much easier to forgive and just be content.
Disclaimer: If you come to realise that you’re not grateful for your other half, and that your partner in life is a gross, horrid twerp, I cannot be held accountable.
When was the last time you creeped out a loved one or family member with constant staring, neck-sniffing or other privacy infringements? Share below and spread the love!