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Couple Holding HandsAs I sat with my friend having dinner, I was struck by how many couples were sitting opposite each other engrossed in their cell phones, with only an occasional comment to their partner.

Or they were simply sitting quietly, looking out the window or watching the activity in the restaurant, each deep in their own thoughts with emptiness reflected on their face.

Where was the active engagement in conversation – listening, gesturing, offering points of view, and laughing?

Moments in time

At any moment in time we are offered opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle and connect with each other.

We choose what we do within each moment.  We can spend our time on trivial things or purposefully spend time to connect with one another.

Relationships take time to develop and they require conversation, face to face interaction, listening and then responding. It requires feedback for better understanding, validation and confirmation of feelings. It requires being in the present moment with each other.

I subscribe to Frederick Buechner”s Quote of the Day and am always pleasantly surprised and intellectually and spiritually challenged by his insights. Today’s quote resonated deeply because it echoed my sentiments on being in the moment.

“This is the day which the Lord has made,” Psalm 118:24. “Let us rejoice and be glad in it”.

Buechner goes on to say: “Or weep and be sad in it for that matter. The point is to see it for what it is, because it will be gone before you know it. If you waste it, it is your life that you’re wasting. If you look the other way, it may be the moment you’ve been waiting for always that you’re missing.”

We only have the moment

Any moment in time holds the promise of discovery, reflection, or opportunity.

Dr, Nathaniel Branden, in his book entitled, “The Art of Living Consciously” speaks to the need to take responsibility for where we are at any point in time. “Living consciously is a state of being mentally active rather than passive.”

What has all that got to do with conversation?

We live in a very fast paced world, with everyone going in different directions, oftentimes fragmented and disconnected. We are faced with drastic changes in our world view that challenges our values and beliefs. There is less and less time to sit and just enjoy each other’s company.

Yet I believe that many marriages would not end up in divorce if there were regularly scheduled times to “be” in each other’s company, without phones or I-pads, worksheets or To Do lists or complaint sheets.

We schedule time away with the “boys” or the “girls”, but do not see the need to schedule purposeful time with our mates to share our love, let them know how much they mean to us, focusing on their good attributes rather than all the things that irritate or displease us.

How important is your marriage? How important is your relationships?

When we make a commitment to spend quality time with the people we care about and love, we will be rewarded with incredible blessings.

Life isn’t a “bowl of cherries” where everything is great and we are given all the love and attention we crave. Life, instead, is a challenge to ferret out the important and work hard to build on that.

Marlene Anderson

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