I love my wife. She is my best friend. I know she is my best friend because she is the one I share all my tasteless jokes with, try out all my cheesy 70’s pick up lines on, and 9 times out of 10, it still gets me action! She is the one who plucks the occasional long white lone hair from my face, or insists upon being my own grooming monkey by picking pimples on my back or tweezing an ingrown hair. Yep, we are sexy like that.
My wife is also my heroine. She has saved me from going down the rabbit hole of hopelessness too many times to count; she builds me up, believes in me, and shows me that bravery isn’t one bold action, but persistence through trial and many errors.
Even more than her, I love “Us”. There is something magical that happens when two people who belong together finally unite. One and One equals Three, with that third component being Unity; a synergistic “hall pass” that allows you access to places that were always off limits before, or out of bounds. When she and I are together, I feel as though the whole entire world is celebrating with us. That sounds like a delusion of grandeur, and maybe it is, but we seem to be at exactly the right time and place where wonderful things happen. We win contests and prizes. Last moment chances of fate step in to help us all the time while traveling, dining, vacationing, or just out and about. It is as though we live in this beacon of love and anyone who sees us, recognizes Love, and affirms love back to us.
When we have our “learning days” (My Dad says ‘There are good days and there are learning days’) we might not be in that bubble of pure love and bliss with each other. We might feel the pangs and pain of feeling disconnected from each other’s heart, or as a military family, the very real absence of each other physically. It is during times like these, that the importance of ‘sacrifice’ means more than sucking it up and being a stoic Navy wife. It is not sacrificing my happiness for hers. It isn’t sacrificing my position as if there is a power play of ego and only one of us gets to “win”. This sacrifice is a sacrifice of ego to “Us”. When we sacrifice our own ego to “Us” the Individual self sees the beauty and wonder of us. Joseph Campbell refers to this as Unity.
Sacrificing to each other sounds noble, but eventually will lead to resentment. If I feel the scoreboard reads she got her way more than I feel I got my way, I’m apt to feel resentful, retreat into my defensive posture, and not play very well with others. On the other hand, if I don’t see sacrificing as giving up my own agenda, I can view the entire vista of possibilities we can have, not just a snap-shot selfie of my own version of “winning”.
Sacrificing to “Us” doesn’t end up being a sacrifice at all, but rather allowing a richer experience to unfold that I could not have created or fathomed on my own. Because “Us” is pretty awesome. Even with the distance. Even with the occasional misunderstandings. Even when I go down the rabbit hole, or she goes down hers. We will not fail, and we will never be alone in the process.