I met a married couple the other day who announced they were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Others around us oohed and ahed, commenting about how wonderful the event was, and how unusual. Later I questioned many of them about their feelings. It wasn't that the couple were in their eighties that was remarkable, but the fact they could put up with each other for sixty years.
Relationships in our modern age often fail within the first ten years, many more within the first twenty. One, or the other, falls into a "mid-life" crisis, and, poof, the relationship is over. Single-parent families are not unusual, as are families with steps- and halves.
In order for a relationship to prosper there is a core element that must be nurtured, and that is the relationship one has with him or herself. Is the essence that resides at the core of your being a stranger to you? Do you know who you are, what your mission in this life is, or are you merely a robot that has been programmed to automatic? Do you equate your personal identity to the job you go off to everyday?
If you lack an understanding of your own identity, how then can you ever expect to prosper in a relationship with another? In the modern age with its stresses and strains, life speeds up and many of us lose our way in the confusion. We, each of us, have the ability to slow things down and consciously enter into a personal investigation. We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to our spouses, friends, and co-workers. Only after this integration with the self is affirmed can one expect to expand this understanding in relationship with others.
Only once a question is asked can an answer be found. The basic questions begin with you. Questions that go beyond yourself cannot find satisfactory answers until the basic ones are embraced.