We’ve all seen it: the cottage just over there. The one that has perfect landscaping, a gentle cobble stone walk leading to that welcoming door. We see the lights blazing; the interior must be warm, bright [but not fluorescent] and finely decorated. We just know that carpets are thick, linens are crisp, the refrigerator is full and something delicious and comfortably exotic is bubbling away on the stove. Surely the inhabitants are festive interesting happy people and we would be lucky to be invited in.
At the bottom of that cottage’s driveway and a bit down that meandering road, we see a warehouse. Its a big one. Not so pretty; bare bulbs light the space. The walls aren’t paneled and the floor is concrete. The space is large, cavernous, unfinished. But here’s the thing: everything necessary to make the space liveable, beautiful, wonderful is there. Ready to go. We just need to recognize things and put them where necessary to make Home.
Relationships are similar to the Cottage and the Warehouse. When we meet each other, we come with hopes and needs. Most folks want to move right into the cottage of light, manicured landscaping and promised softness. This is the equivalent of wanting our partner to be fully created with no more growth edges and everything fixed, all wounds and troublespots gone.
The gift of the Warehouse, the unfinished space, the unfinished partner, is the possibility of growing, of becoming, of co-creating. There are those who experience the finished, fully decorated cottage as stifling; changing themselves to fit the environment even when their natural tendencies don’t match.
Loving on Life’s terms means taking the unfinished person, the life being lived today [taking the risk of a splinter or two] and accepting the growth – the wonderful, messy, confusing, joyful growth – of those we walk beside.