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Great Relationships

I was delighted when long time friend and business associate, Gail Davidson, announced her intention to find her soul mate this year. Some lucky guy is going to reap the rewards of life with this attractive, playful and loving woman.

In considering how to nurture a healthy, long-term relationship, Gail is interviewing couples that have great marriages. Glenn and I feel honored to be among those.

“If you were sending your daughter off into a new relationship, what guidance would you give her?” she asked.

“Put love above all else,” I replied without hesitation. “Like what?” she inquired.

“Like the need to be right,” I offered. “Loving and being loved feels oh-so-much better than being ‘right.’

“Also, I focus on Glenn’s characteristics for which I am grateful,” I added. “And I speak that gratitude – to him, to our friends, to everyone whenever and wherever possible.” Just thinking about it made me smile. When I reinforce those things that I adore or admire about Glenn, the characteristics that I find less desirable seem less significant (assuming I don’t focus on them, too!)

“Anything else?” she asked. “Oh yes! How could I forget? We practice the Agreements! We’ve been using them for more than 20 years as a guide through the sometimes challenging pathways of marriage. Among the most significant are respecting our differences, honoring our choices, seeing the best in each other… well, really everything to do with Acceptance and Gratitude.”

With that, she closed her notebook and closed her eyes, imagining bringing the type of lifelong relationships she had built with her neighbors into the intimacy of her home. You see, for more than ten years, her cohousing community has used the Agreements to guide them in all aspects of building their homes and living side-by-side under a common mission. Now she knows that she can experience the same loving, caring, respectful relationships within her own home that she co-created in her special community.*

My conversation with Gail reminded me that when people ask, “What is Revolutionary Agreements about?” I sometimes answer, “It’s about how to have great relationships – starting with your relationship to yourself.”

How do you apply the Agreements to your great relationships?

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