“We are put on earth a little space that we may learn to bear the beams of love.”- William Blake, “The Little Black Boy”
In Chapter 13 (“Who Will Cry At Your Funeral? The Point of Intimacy”) of I’d Like You More . . . , John Ortberg cites Patrick Morley. At one point in his like, Patrick mistook, or equated, the quantity of his professional network with the quality of his relational life. Hence, thinking he’d finally arrived, his wife responded, “Yes, but at the wrong place.”
As a result, Patrick and his wife arrived at the following conclusion. Writing in The Man in the Mirror: Solving the 24 Problems Men Face (Zondervan, 1997), Mr. Morley states:
” ‘Why not prioritize everything we do on the basis of who’s going to be crying at our funeral?’ . . . Why should you and I give ourselves to people who don’t love us, at the expense of those who do?”
Therefore, Pastor Ortberg asserts, the people most likely to cry at your funeral are those with whom you have true intimacy. Thus, Martin Seligman (Authentic Happiness) recommends five rituals to observe on a daily or weekly basis. While Seligman designed these rituals with couples in mind, you can adapt them to other relationships.
1. Beginnings. Since we must acknowledge another person’s existence in some way, why not do it with joy? Thus, a minimum investment of ten minutes a week ( 2 minutes/day x 5 days) makes a positive difference in our relationships.
2. Reunions. At the end of each workday, devote twenty minutes to a “low-stress” reunion conversation. Here “low-stress” means to relieve the other person’s stress level rather than adding to it.
3. Affection. The blessings are quite obvious here. Affection builds feelings of intimacy and safety.
4. One weekly date. Find a relaxed atmosphere to update your relationship.
5. Appreciation. Every day, look out for opportunities to express genuine appreciation.
Today’s question: How does God provide a little space for you to bear the beams of love? Pleas share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Swing – it comes as a gift”