In Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote that the Argonaut shell is a good mental image for love. She stated that we don’t love the same person the same way, all the time. Spoiler alert! That lustful, first-blush love may not last forever! “It’s a lie to…pretend to.” But that’s what we all believe, right? The songs, the movies – they only show us the beginning, the giggly period, the crush-like phase where everything the other person does is wonderful and brilliant. Do they show marriage after a few years? Ten? Twenty? Nope. I think Lindbergh is genius.
“We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships.” We are worried the ebbing tide will never flow our way again. “We insist on permanency…when the only continuing possible…is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom.” So how do we create a secure relationship? We can’t attempt to own or possess another soul. We can’t look back dreamily, but ahead, in “anticipation.” We must accept what is, now.
And yet, when you include the every-day nagging things that drive you crazy about each other, letting go of the other person’s flaws and mistakes can be highly difficult. We have to re-train our brain, I guess, to anticipate the future and quit focusing so much on the present day’s troubles.