dogs-sniffing-butts You know how dogs sniff each other’s butts when they meet each other? For us to follow suit in a literal fashion would likely create a host of problems. But there’s something to be said for sorting out who’s the top dog with alacrity. My wife, Paula, and I had a low-grade power struggle for the first 5,261 days of our marriage. On January 7, I waved the white flag, gave up being right, and created a whole new world.* white_flag

Do you know what’s not sexy? Being right. Do you know what’s not seductive? Making someone wrong. In the right context, perhaps the three most powerful words are “I don’t know.”

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, but it’s miraculous to say we’ve had nearly two weeks without harsh words, arguing, or swearing. The gap has been filled with a climate of warmth and intimacy.

You might say I’ve “known better” for the entire marriage. Perhaps the message to other dough-heads out there is that everything affects the “feeling state” of the relationship. The absence of callousness and the presence of kindness and spaciousness in the little things of a shared life impact the bigger things.

LifeFamilyThis all fits well with one of the great moments of a Wisdom Quest I completed recently. As I was walking, I noticed a memorial on a bench with the line “Life begins and ends with family.” This is another reminder of what really matters and what is foundational.

As I’ve been happy, comfortable, and enjoying the closeness with Paula, I’m starting to confront other places in life where it would be valuable to “drop the rope” in my tugs-of-war (first time I’ve used that as a plural) and let go of all the ways I think I know how it should go or how it should be done. How much peace can you stand?

*Thanks go to Brian Lanier for pointing me in the direction, Julia Dederer for putting it all together, and for my Excellence in the Zone seminar for witnessing my declaration.

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