One of my favorite human beings, the late mythologist and historian Joseph Campbell, wrote a great deal about relationship and marriage. He said: "When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you're sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship." In the same spirit, Oprah Winrey wrote: "Real marriage is the sacrificing of your ego, not for the other person, but for the relationship."
It seems many people think of "sacrifice" as meaning "scarcity" or a sense of "lack," but these quotes remind us of the "abundance" of sacrifice in relationship. It's about "letting go" or "surrendering" your ego, not to a person, but to the magic and possibility of what the intimate unity of two people can build. Enhancing the individual, enhancing the couple...creating abundance!
"Surrender" is another word that is easy to miss its "abundant" connotations. In her book, Now and Forever: Advice for a Strong Marriage, author Toni Sciarra Poynter writes:
There is a wonderful intimacy in surrendering to each other's strengths, tapping one another's unique wisdom. Become learners again. Honor each other with the attentive openness of the student.
Hmmm. Maybe there is something to learn about letting go of one's ego that is central to having a happy, supportive, "abundant" relationship!
Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia
[Photograph: Ian Grant]