We visited grandma and grandpa at the senior center last Tuesday with the children. It was a lesson in love. During our visit, we witnessed what love did to the spouse who submitted to the other’s superiority. They lost all their self-esteem and their identity of whom and what they are. Most relationships end up that way. We saw overbearing wives at the center, still telling their husbands what to do next and vice versa with overbearing husbands, even after all those years together. They just accepted the fact that they are subservient to their spouse, and they would be lost without them, because they are lost as people. Their dignity and individuality have been drained out of them.
Grandma and grandpa are still building each other’s morale in the same way as they did when they first starting dating. They don’t need to tell the other one what to do, because they loved each other so much that they did what they wanted without them saying anything. They did it out of their love, introspection, and selflessness. They found in themselves and each other, the key to eternal happiness; the connection to the spirit within. Like a garden, it needs to be nourished in order to flourish. That connection is tenfold what happiness is brought about from one’s superiority over the other. When power is acquired through degradation, it loosens the moral fibers that hold love together. It is not a divine power but a selfish one, the kind that causes dissension; hence, a disregard for the other one’s feelings. If that dissension is not acted upon, it becomes a passive submission to the other one’s authority. Self identity becomes lost throughout that painful process.
Grandma and grandpa still have their disagreements about some things, but those arguments also become a lesson in self-awareness. Each one listens to the other, and uses the other’s advice to build his or her own character throughout the process. It becomes a constructive argument instead of just one trying to overpower the other and closing his or her ears to any good advice, which is meant to be good advice in the first place. Yes, our visit at the senior center last Tuesday made us realize what the key to a good relationship is; mutual consent.
The winds of freedom that dance between man and wife decrease when the desire to control each other’s thoughts increase. Proud and private revelations are the blossoming of free and independent thought, nourished by the desire to respect the space that is needed to nurture such thoughts. A clear mind is a voice in the wind that turns only love that is free and pure into sweet music. Freedom can’t prosper until love is free of all possessive desires. We have no right to control another’s mind, and to feel superior in doing it. Only love is superior as it opens its heart to the both of us.