I offer this thought three days after my husband and I celebrated twelve (!?!) years of marriage. While long-time couples may smile in knowing agreement, the underlying sentiment has relevance beyond the married crowd...
We live in an age in which "me first" is a prevailing perspective. It seems almost unthinkable to move past our own outlook to recognize - let alone meet - the needs, desires, and preferences of another. But opportunities to do so are all around us: From choices as insignificant as where to dine tonight to life-altering philosophical pronouncements, we are constantly confronted with ideas that challenge our own.
Living in community is hard. Sharing your life - whether with a spouse, sibling, or dear friend - means exposing your vulnerabilities, acknowledging your imperfections, taking responsibility for your transgressions, and asking for (and granting) forgiveness when it is least desirable. Even the most enthusiastic extrovert will concede there are plenty of days when it seems infinitely preferable to go it alone.
But you can't be your best self in a vacuum. Our interactions with friends and family add value to life. The struggles born of commitment create the conditions we need to grow and change.
Whatever your relationship framework today, you will be presented with someone else's needs, desires, and ideas. Can you take the opportunity to recognize where they are coming from and extend grace? Can you move down the path toward becoming your best self?