Possible. Courageously.

January’s theme is possible. If you are just now joining us, WELCOME!

It is possible to live a marriage that is passionate, connected and loving. A marriage of unbounded, limitless, devotion. We didn’t say probable, or likely. Reality is, if your marriage ISN’T amazing, and you keep doing things as you have in the past, it isn’t very probable at all.

So how do you move toward a marriage that will astound you in the constancy and depth and breadth of possibility?

It starts with you, and your ability to see yourself differently within your marriage, to see POSSIBLE. We shared in January’s first post (find it here) about changing your vision to the picture you want so you can break free of the way things are. Create your personal vision statement and embed it into the fiber of your being so it becomes part of your DNA.

Then we encouraged you to quit allowing any of the skewed perceptions of love to shape your understanding of love. Rather than looking to our flawed past, cultural pictures or (fleeting) love stories of stars and celebrities, we guided you to read and consider RENEWING YOUR MIND in Truth about love (find that post here).

Last week, we asked you to CHECK OUT (the post is here) real pictures of real love. We provided several more stories on our facebook page (join us here)…so you can soak in the beauty of love-done-well.

Today we talk about COURAGE. Without courage, it is so hard to dream. To vision a different life and marriage filled with intimacy and passion, fueled by transparency and vulnerability and undergirded with devotion and commitment. Without courage, it becomes almost impossible to walk out of the fog of lies about love and marriage, and to embrace new understanding of love. Courage is needed to see between-the-lines of stories of real love, love that acts and is kind and is others centered and is present and never fails. This week is about COURAGE to vision, to renew, to check-out.

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We can learn courage, and here are some tips:

  1. Nelson Mandela says it so eloquently: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” If you have fear, that doesn’t mean you don’t have courage. Change your thinking and believe that it is only in fear that you can demonstrate courage.
  2. Embrace that courage can be learned. It isn’t just something you are born with and if not, you lose.
  3. Courage can become a habit, your habit. But that comes with practice, and courage can, and should, be practiced. Begin today to identify small ways you can act in courage – and then do them.
  4. Focus on why you are being courageous. Our why? Astounding marriage, freedom of our souls. But that required new ways of thinking, listening, and responding. It helped us not lose courage in the battle toward amazing marriage to always keep a focus on where we wanted to be.
  5. Take note of how you feel you begin to move into courage; your body may be screaming to run the other direction. See that battle, and win it.
  6. Bolster your courage in numbers: find other people committed to astounding relationships and speak your hopes, share your fears and encourage possible. Stand together against negative forces.
  7. Actively turn away the negative thoughts that creep in, and lean in to the positive realities that are present, even if they are very small.
  8. Find role models of courageous people and listen to their stories. Those role models can become the YES in the midst of a sea of no.

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When I learned of Jere’s serial infidelity woven in throughout our marriage, I was devastated. At first, it took courage for me to get out of bed. It took courage to go out in public where I now felt like such a fool. It took courage for me to consider myself and to be kind to myself…to allow myself to consider what was best for me. It took courage for me to tell our therapists the truth, and eventually, our children. It took courage for me to take next steps, and most of all, it took courage for me to forgive.

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It took courage for Jere to strip away the years and years of lies and deception. It took courage for him to choose to radically change. Every day, this new man calls on his courage to think and hear and be different. It took courage for him to share his story, to change, and to lead others.

It took courage for us to look deep inside ourselves and to dare be vulnerable when we decided to work on our marriage and not just end it. It took courage to walk together through the path of healing that often meant tears and shame and rage and fear. It took courage to heal. It took courage to love.

We beg you become a person with the habit of courage. Passionate, connected, loving marriage is possible. With vision, renewed mind, focusing on evidence of love and engaging courage, the possible becomes probable. Have a courageous week.

Living Unbounded, Susan and Jere