Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love is in the air

Today marks 31 years of wedded partnership with my dear husband Bruce. He is an environmental engineer, and I am a business woman with a passion for communication and connection. At least half of everything I am is Bruce, and being connected to Bruce grounds my aspirations in the practical reality of getting things done in the real world. In an exercise when we were both asked to describe each other using one word, I said he is "home", and he said I am "life". When I asked him what "life" meant to him as it relates to me, he said "life is everything outside and beyond the routine". The two of us are a very well integrated whole. We know each other's strengths and weaknesses, celebrating the strengths and "framing" the weaknesses in the most productive light. We complement each other in almost every way imaginable. I am confident that I would be flailing away in outdated existing paradigms- rather than grounding the design of a workable future - if I had remained single or married another man. His belief and confidence in me fuels my belief in myself.

This brings me back to love. Our Norwegian collaborator, Turid Horgen, once said "It takes seven years to adopt a new idea. And then there is falling in love."

My sense is that seeing the value and collective benefit in uniting to advance our shared commitment...all of us, not just Bruce's and mine.... to collaboration and creating an expanding community of mutual respect and shared values is "like falling in love". It is and will continue to be sudden, compelling and irresistible. It is a softness, hunger and flutter that we have always felt in our hearts, yet were afraid to admit for fear of looking weak, foolish or naive. Living life according to one's own innate, heartfelt core values of caring for our families, our collective physical and emotional health and our relationships, instead of chasing power in its many forms, can be the cultural norm we share when we agree to change the "rules" about what individuals value, and what our organizations, our communities, our governments and our leaders value, together.

And, I am not a "dreamer". I have experienced the joy of connection, shared values and teamwork many times. The emotional high of shared purpose is adictive, and I am hungry for more.


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