Hi friends, welcome to September. Dave and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary this past weekend with a quick getaway. It was so nice to spend time together, share a special bottle of wine, and actually take the time to reflect on our journey thus far. As we chatted, it occurred to me that while our dating years were spent falling in love, our marriage has been all about growing in trust.
I know love sounds more romantic, but it’s trust that glues a relationship together. Falling in love can feel just like it sounds – really exciting, but also uncertain and a little scary. Trust, on the other hand, is a slow burn. It’s less obvious, poetic or thrilling, but it’s deeply grounding and nourishing. Trust is what sustains love over a long period of time. Trust is what stops the fall and provides the stable foundation for us to grow – together as a couple, and individually as people.
Trust is not easy. In order to build trust, we need to be wiling to take the armor off and show up for each other wholeheartedly, time and time again. Whether it’s with our significant other, siblings, parents, kids, friends, or ourselves, trust works the same way. Brene Brown uses the analogy of a marble jar in a school classroom to explain. When the kids in class do something good, a marble gets added to the jar, and when they do something bad, a marble gets taken out. Similarly, when someone takes the time to really listen when we’re upset, sends us a “good luck” text the day of our big presentation, or offers to help us move to a new apartment even when it’s 100 degrees outside – they get a marble in the jar. Over time, we start getting clear on who we can trust, and who we should think twice about sharing our lives with.
In my opinion, the weight of the jar isn’t as meaningful as the number of marbles in it. Big marbles – memorable times when someone has gone above and beyond to have our backs- are great, but they also leave a lot of spaces in the jar. It’s the small marbles, the everyday demonstrations of support, that fill in the gaps and really make a relationship solid. Showing up at the altar five years ago to share our vows, exchange rings, and say “I do” was definitely a big marble occasion. But I’ve learned it’s not what you declare in front of a crowd that really matters, it’s what you say to each other around the dining room table, in the car ride to the grocery store, on the phone during a stressful work day, and every night before going to bed. Love may get two people to the base of the mountain, but they won’t get very far up without trust.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that things don’t last. The only investment of time and energy that’s truly worthwhile is in each other, in building solid, trustworthy, supportive relationships with the right people – our marble jar people. My business has drastically changed in the last few months, and I confess that at the beginning of the pandemic, I felt all the effort that had gone into growing it had been a waste of time. I see now that’s not true at all. Marble by marble, we’ve built a strong community of like-hearted yogis who continue to support Yogaleena and each other despite the curveballs we’ve been thrown. No virus or hurricane can take that away, and I am deeply grateful to be a part of it.
This month, I invite you to reflect on how you’re showing up for the special people in your life. Are you giving them your full attention? Are you listening with compassion instead of judgement? Are you investing your time and resources in strengthening the relationship and deepening your connection?
We have a heck of a mountain to climb, and we’re not going to make it to the top alone. So let’s do this, together, one marble at a time.