Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Leaning In

The beautiful thing about marriage is that when one of you feels fragile/weary/inadequate/overwhelmed, the other person is there to hold you.

The awful thing about marriage is that when both of you feel fragile/weary/inadequate/overwhelmed, the other person is not there to hold you.

Well...not in theory.
Not immediately anyway.

I remember coming to this realization about a year ago before we were married. I was talking to my brother-in-law, Ben. I asked him what happens when both people are feeling low. Who supports who? He said that each person kind of silently sizes up the situation and decides who's having the worst day. And inevitably someone steps forward. And even when you're tired. And even when you're weak. You lean in and support the other.

This is what happened tonight. Both of us came home feeling fragile/weary/inadequate/overwhelmed and we went to our corners. I stood at the kitchen sink pretending to do dishes longing to be validated in my exhaustion. He went to the bedroom longing to feel whole in his brokenness. We both wanted to be seen, to be heard, to be held. But neither wanted to lean in first.

Ten months ago, we played "Dear True Love" (Sleeping At Last) at our wedding ceremony. And as if set for a Hollywood screenplay, while I stood at the sink, that song came on iTunes. And that just made it worse.

Dear true love
I'm a writer without any words
I'm a story that nobody heard
When I'm without you

I am a voice
I am a voice without any sound
I'm a treasure map that nobody found
When I'm without you

So with this ring
May you always know one thing
What little that I have to give
I will give it all to you
You're my one true love

It was worse because I distinctly remember standing at the ceremony during that song and thinking, "I am the luckiest woman alive." And that's still true. And that's so easily forgotten in moments like this.

Moments like this remind me of how Dr. Brene Brown says that "vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” And she defines courage as “to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”

And if that's true (and I know it's true), we are one damn power house of courage. 

Even in moments like this.
Learning to lean in. 


EMILY STAR said...

Ahhhh heather, this is so well put! That Brene Brown quote has challenged me before when my friend Kati shared it with me. Sharing all of one's heart--brave, speaking your mind by sharing all of one's heart. You and Jeremy are both really neat people. Thanks for sharing :)

Carley Brown said...

I just finished reading Emily's blog...I love how both of you put Brene Brown quotes. Brown's are good people :)lol. I really appreciated this post a lot! I'm curious about being married because I'm not, but learning from a lucky woman like yourself is a pleasure. Truly glad you're bold enough to share.