I had the wonderful opportunity about three years ago to run in the Los Angeles marathon. When training began it seemed overwhelming, but after talking to the coaches I was reassured that it would be okay. We started off with little runs, and then moved on the weekends to bigger runs. Before I trained for the marathon I started running about year out. I started with simply running one lap around the track, then two, then a mile. As I built my lungs up, I trusted my feelings to move me forward not my head. I realized early on that my head wanted everything now. It wanted a 3 hour time in the marathon, wanted to be noticed, wanted, wanted, wanted, well after evaluating the runs over time, I realized that this was my first marathon and found a comfortable time that would be realistic for me. I loved everyday running, somedays I felt really good and it was smooth, other days when I had to make bigger runs I realized they weren’t smooth but I still had training to do and did it.
I bring this up because love is a marathon, sometimes when people get into relationships they want the house, husband/wife, kids, dog. cars, and yet they don’t breath, grow, and learn with their partners and how they are in relationships, in fact they try sprinting and they tire out and move to the next relationship because they are exhausted, impatient, and in blame mode about the expectations their partners didn’t meet. But that isn’t love, we all know this and yet we get our pants in knot over love. Love is a marathon, meaning things come up, thing arise, and adjustments need to be made. How you handle the marathon of love is handle you handle your life. In a country with divorce, dropping lovers each week, speed dating, wanting it now, internet dating, quick fix society living, we miss that love is a marathon. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
When I was training I was committed to the marathon, in relationship we are committed to the other, that means no matter what comes up, we will work with it, be a team, and explore the possibilities. If things came up in my training, I didn’t complain to others about it, I just adjusted to it and moved forward. In fact if I did mention it, guaranteed someone would quip, “Dude you are running a marathon, I couldn’t do that.” When you realize that love is marathon it allows you to enjoy everyday and live it fully, when love becomes a sprint you miss the point, we are learning to love and create in loving ways. That is a process of patience.
So relationships are based on softening up, being receptive, and enjoying, rather than the old paradigm of wanting, expecting, and running away from things. Many people in relationships with their self and another panic. Impatience is panic, like sprinting it is exhausting, tiring, and before you know it, you are dwelling on what used to be. There is no aliveness, newness, because sprinting is about getting to the next moment, a marathon is about enjoying. A world class marathoner quipped, “Americans are funny at marathons, they have their goals, times, lists, and they forget to have fun and enjoy the race, I wonder if they live life that way.”
Are you living to get to the next thing? Are you living to die? Living to die means that you don’t want to experience life fully, you are not involved fully. My hope is that you live love as a marathon and enjoy it. Give yourself a break each day and enjoy nature, friends, lovers, family, fully. Marriage isn’t awful, but it is when you need, want, sprint, push, hold on to everything, don’t want to learn/grow with yourself in the relationship and the other. A relationship is how you are perceiving the other and how you perceive yourself. Some people create the same relationships and are bummed they are not married, kids, house, etc…well guess what, who is the central character in the story, who needs to change, when I ran the marathon, it wasn’t about anyone else but how I was viewing myself. Same in love. Be gentle with yourself, love is a marathon, so enjoy each other and give each other break for goodness sakes. Your partner is doing what they know and so are you. Stop punishing them all the time, or criticizing them. Appreciate what, and who you have. Maybe it ends, maybe you continues on, but treat it as a marathon. There is no reason why we can’t live for 40, 50, years with someone, the only reason is because we don’t want to run the marathon, we want to run the sprint and live for the end.
In a relationship, appreciate rather then criticize, love rather than judge, hug, touch, and feel rather than hide, escape, and run. Be honest, and when your wrong admit it, and when your right shut up, don’t rub it in. I love this, “Just because your right doesn’t mean I am wrong.” Relationships like a marathon is a process of learning, growing, and appreciating life, please do. Stop venting about your 4 month, 2 year, 5 year relationships as though they were the difficult ones of your life. Maybe you simply need to run the marathon and stop sprinting to get things and wants met.
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