Anyone who has been married or in a long term relationship, myself included, will know that the following advice from Mother Mary is easier to read than to implement. Having said that, it is good to be reminded of what we need to do to keep our relationships alive and thriving.
Marriage is a gentle baby that needs to be nurtured. You cannot leave the baby alone. You leave the baby alone and it grows lonely. If all attention falls on the practicalities, then the baby grows up learning only how to wash itself, to comb its hair… To nurture the baby so that it becomes a fully blooming, expansive, vibrant human you must nurture every fiber of its being. It has a consciousness all its own—one that will touch each partner if it is allowed to blossom. It needs to stretch out its petals to capture the sun. It needs to stretch its petals so far that it can’t stretch them any farther without falling off. And in this way the baby grows and transforms into a fully blossoming rose.
The marriage can stay over many years as a small child, or as a tightly closed rose bud; or it can open to fully embrace its true nature. A marriage is created by two people—as each of you grow so must you feed the marriage. There is no marriage that can thrive on neglect. There is no formulaic means by which to feed a marriage. What works for one does not work for another. You must find your own formula. Heaven awaits your cry for help—to help feed the baby. And then there are those babies who need to be set free…. Untie the knots that bind that baby’s feet to the floor. Allow it to walk, to grow, to explore. Know that each of you is a separate being in the marriage who helps to create the baby of the marriage.
Focus on the marriage to yourself, then the marriage to your spouse. In the marriage to yourself you will watch the flower of yourself bloom. In the marriage to your spouse you will watch the baby grow. The marriage to yourself demands constant introspection. When each partner, whether in a marriage or in a close relationship is also doing this work a fully blossoming relationship may develop. As each person grows individually the space between the two has to be nurtured as you would nurture a small child. In this way two people can grow individually while simultaneously nurturing their relationship.
Full disclosure: I have not yet mastered this!