PassionPoliticsMe got to thinking about her current relationship because of my post on relationship deal breakers. She says she’s dating a great guy, but is worried that their differences in religion and his desires/plans to move to a foreign country may eventually break them up. I can relate, but after five years of being with Mr. Juvin and moving across the globe half a dozen times has taught me that her worries don’t have to be deal breakers, but deal makers.
The greatest thing about life and being human is that we are all given the ability to be different; to have different ideas, different ways of living, and different ways of realizing the ultimate ideal of loving the Lord thy God with all our hearts and minds and to love others as we love ourselves. As long as we maintain this ideal in our lives and through our actions, the form in which we honor and serve God becomes an after thought. I, too, was raised in a fundamental Christian protestant faith and Mr. Juvin was raised Catholic. We had different ideas for how to praise and honor God, but our mutual ideal of living and walking with God unified these differences in worship.
Over the years, through much discussion, faith, and compassion, we grew together through Christ and we have celebrated and worshiped in similar and continually different ways. There is no doubt in my mind that he is a child of God – just like everyone else in the world – and it’s my duty to honor God by honoring my husband’s individual path and walk with Him. When we have kids, we’ll raise them with the ultimate ideal and eventually allow them to choose their form of worship – that, we both agree on.
In terms of traveling and uprooting your life, that one takes as much self discipline and trust as the former “dilemma”. From the beginning, my relationship with Mr. Juvin was long distance; four hours of driving to be exact. Three months into our relationship he was offered to move to California by his company, an opportunity he took out of necessity because he was on an H1-B visa and because living in California was a dream come true for the surfer in him. He immediately asked me if I’d move with him. Trusting my instincts, despite not knowing the long and difficult road I’d embark upon, I said yes and after one year of living long distance and finishing my degree, I packed everything into 12 UPS boxes and moved to California to join the love of my life.
Just yesterday, Mr. Juvin and I were reflecting over an outdoor meal how tough it was for us to grow together in California. I gave up a great job, family and friends to be with a twenty something guy who, at times, seemed to take me for granted. I struggled spiritually and was ill a good half of the time because my body was reflecting the emotional turmoil and change I was going through. For a good year, we struggled to cleave together spiritually, emotionally, and financially. When he got laid off from his 6 figure job during the economic crash, it was like a light bulb went off in his head. All he had left was me and at that point, he realized that I was with him for him and nothing else.
Financially, things got tougher, but everything just seemed easier between us. It’s like he finally understood the loss and struggle I went through for us and he appreciated me for that. We grew closer together and he asked me to marry him.
We spoke with a spiritual advisor shortly after our wedding who gave us the best piece of advice ever: to have the same vision and intentions for life. We began praying together (fortunately, every religion prays) and meditating on the things we desired spiritually, materially, and for the world. After that point, it’s as if our dreams started to manifest themselves – we were both getting what we wanted out of life.
To have the same vision takes a lot of patience and communication. To develop the skill of manifesting these visions takes dedication and discipline on both parts. At first, the manifestation and the appreciation grows slowly as in months or even years. When you two are so in sync, you’ll speak your desires and then they will manifest almost immediately (as long as it’s within God’s will, we like to say). This doesn’t mean each day won’t present itself challenges and difficulties, but that trust and knowledge in our God-given creative power will carry us through.
At first, it seems that your relationship runs solely on feeling because you haven’t developed the skill of communication and mutual understanding with your boyfriend. Sometimes, you feel led – like I felt led to move to California – having no clue of what is in store. This feeling is faith; trusting God to lead you, even if your relationship doesn’t turn into marriage, in the direction that helps you live your purpose. But when you both work on that communication, create a mutual vision, and agree upon your ultimate purpose which is to love God with all your heart, you will have a strange peace that so few in love get to experience.
As I write you, I’m sitting on my lounge chair in my garden on a beautiful morning in the French alps; a dream I’ve had since I was fifteen. My husband is at work doing his dream job making snowboards for a living. On May 3rd, we’ll celebrate our third year of marriage and on May 19th, our fifth year together. Marriage is a joy and can be for everyone who decides to enter it’s holy sacrament. However, without the mutual agreement of the number one ideal to love God, marriage can be hell for those who do not take the time to communicate their differences and similarities and act compassionately to their boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse.
In so far as “wasting” your time, fear not. There really is no such thing as a wasted experience. All of our experiences lead us closer to God and closer to that special someone who will go that journey with us. I was with someone for four years before I met Mr. Juvin and while he wasn’t “The One”, he was certainly the one to get me to the next phase in my spiritual growth and next phase of life.
I’ll close with this verse:
“Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
If you can agree to pray that verse together each day and put it in action, you’ll find your lives transforming in due time. Give it what Mr. Juvin and I like to say, “The old college try!” and get back to me.