Not everything is a big deal.
The other day, while sitting around with a couple of very good friends, the subject of tattoos came up.
Recently the mother and daughter had a very personal message added to their bodies – each reflected in the handwriting of the other. Tastefully done and ripe with sincerity, they will share this connection for the remainder of their lives.
The father, however, walks the earth with an unmarked canvas.
“How do you feel about tattoos,” the question came up to him.
Pausing, he gave a remarkably honest and enlightened response.
“I’m not crazy about them, but they sure aren’t a ‘go to the mat’ type of issue,” he said.
After spending a few more minutes on the subject, we moved on. But his words of how not everything in life demands a polarizing decision, hung around in the air. I thought about his perspective – and the lesson we all eventually learn to practice over time.
Like most couples, when my wife and I we newly married, we had out ‘top of the toothpaste’ issues. And being young, we thought everything needed attention, negotiation, and resolution. After all, every relationship expert espoused the need to air everything out – to always address a disagreement or issue before it leads to bigger things.
Well, my wife and I did just that – me driving her to madness with my male tendencies of leaving wet sweaty clothes on the floor or me hearing but not listening to what she’d said. Learning to be a couple – probably for most everyone – is a process for both sides.
Which is what brings me back to my friend’s remark – or perspective – of ‘is it worth going to the mat for’.
The more miles (years) I find myself putting on, the fewer things I really find all that important. Early in maturity I think we all focus on discovering who were are – many times driven by what affinities define us. Our style of dress, the people we hang out with, or the things we do – each puts us in a ‘club’ allowing us to feel as if we belong to a segment of society.
But today I really don’t feel to concerned about anything of that nature. Over time my wife and I have learned what countless other couples who’ve come before us cued in on – there really aren’t too many things worth getting wound up about. A relationship is about learning to let the other person be themselves – to grow in the direction the wind blows. Being a couple is accepting each other so long as the relationship is based on love, respect, and devotion to the other.
A tattoo doesn’t change that.
My friend’s words are a slice of wisdom I think we should all carry with us. To judge or impose our beliefs on another is selfish. If we really love one another our goal should be to live for their happiness – not ours.
Going to the mat should be respected and reserved only for an issue in which challenge the integrity of two people living as one. And learning to live together – long term – is about just that.
– 30 –