It turns out a small circle is the most important shape in successful relationships.
The other day a speaker was talking about marriage and other long-term bonds.
“Reach out and grab the other’s hands so you’re facing each other,” he said. “Now look at that circle – the space between it — and be committed to protecting it with all you’ve got.”
At first I was a bit confused, not understanding how two people standing together and holding hands while facing each other could be so important.
“Remember this little circle is where everything began for the two of you,” he said. “If the circle is going to work, you can’t let anyone — or anything — come between you two.”
While this seems simple enough advice, the speaker continued.
“Not work, not family, not even your children,” he said.
Thinking about these words, the concept began to come into focus.
Marriages and other long-standing relationships are built on a foundation of trust, honestly, and respect. And for two people to become one, these are non-negotiable. A family, after all, is built upon the foundation of the two who originally came together. And without a solid foundation, how can the life built on top of it be expected to stand?
I pictured myself standing in the driveway holding the hands of my wife. We’re now decades into this run – and still feel as if this is some sort of surreal dream. But the reality is, the circle we created long ago remains the basis for all we have and who we are in life. Without the unquestionable love, trust, and commitment from the person we’re holding hands with, everything we’ve built from it would crumble before our eyes.
I suddenly realized the small circle, as the speaker said, truly is the center of everything in a relationship.
Love is a complicated thing. And in relationships, particularly marriages, love plays the bonding role of the mortar between the bricks the foundation of a life is built upon. But no matter how strong the bricks, a weak mortar will eventually allow the elements in – thus jeopardizing the integrity of everything built upon it.
And the same applies to those making the small circle. If behind these hands is a weakness in trust or respect, outside elements can seep in and erode the strength the two create. And the resulting love – the secret ingredient to surviving even the most difficult of times – can be irrevocably extinguished.
The other day my wife and I stood in the kitchen holding hands and facing each other. I now get it. The space between us is truly where life begins and ends for us. This small circle is the single most important footing post in everything we see, feel, or will ever touch in life. Our world – and everything important to us – is built squarely upon the strength of the relationship the two of us share.
And from this day forward I understand the secret to happy life is — and always will be — at the end of my fingertips.