And it isn’t ours to promise
Every day, countless people promise “forever” to one another.
But this promises isn’t ours to make.
A woman fighting a very aggressive form of cancer once said,
“Forever isn’t yours to give away. All you have to your name is right now.”
Everything changes — and that includes us
You and I are not immune to the laws of nature.
It’s not that I believe that “every relationship goes sour and ours will too.” I’m not pressing you to defend yourself by thinking, “no, I’m the exception.”
I’m not telling you that you will fall out of love. I’m not telling you that you can’t or won’t love forever.
I’m only saying that forever isn’t ours to promise. “Forever” belongs to nobody.
Things happen. People change. Expectations change. People leave. All people eventually die.
Life does stand still for us. Life will not make exceptions. Life will never preserve anything that’s true in the here and now to suit our needs.
“I have been reading lately about how insignificant human beings are, on this tiny blue planet, lost in a massive galaxy of thousands of planets and stars that are thousands of times bigger than ours — and it’s this desperate bid to be great, to be grandiose, to be eternal that becomes the ultimate fall of our species.”
When it comes to matters of life — and the universe — we may have our best intents, but this sort of promise just isn’t ours to give.
We’re setting our loved ones — and ourself — up for potential heartbreak by promising them something we don’t have.
But this truth has potential to make declarations of love more — not less — beautiful.
Instead, promise “now” — over and over
And accept this as the greatest form of love from them, too.
This present moment is our greatest and most valuable gift, and the deliberate choice around what we do with each moment is one of the greatest gestures we can give ourselves — and others.
A partner once asked me, “will you promise to love me forever?”
I told him “no.”
But then I did him one better and said , “but I promise that if I’m here, it’s because I want you. I choose you every day.”
When we’re here, it’s because it’s deliberate, and that’s better than obligation. It’s better when we’re here because we want to be, each and every day.
And it’s better when we treat each other with that day-by-day appreciation.