By: Lisa Hayes
When can you put your relationship on autopilot and let it run itself?
Anytime you want, as long as you don’t really care where things go.
Someone suggested to me a few days ago that my Honey and I make marriage look easy. She asked what my secret was. The answer is easy. We put as much energy into our relationship as we would if we were trying to “save” it. I thought that was a genius, easy answer. She was horrified. “Oh my God. That sounds like so much work.”
I don’t consider it work. I consider it an investment in my future, my sanity, and my happiness. Investing energy in my relationship doesn’t suck. In fact, it’s a joy. Why? Because we’re not on the brink. We like each other quite a bit. However, even if I did consider it work, it would still be worth it. We all tend to our priorities. It’s just a fact. No matter what you say your priorities are, you can tell what they really are based on where you’re spending the very precious commodity of energy. A priority is someplace you invest time, money, and attention.
The most important thing on that list is attention. So, the most important “work” I can do around my relationship is managing how I focus my attention on a daily, if not minute to minute basis. How do I know how important this is? Because when I’m not managing my focus and my attention around my beloved and my relationship, trust me, it quits looking or feeling easy, and it happens faster than I care to admit.
My husband I love each other. We are highly compatible. We work well as a team. We communicate well. And, even with all that lined up in our favor, if I allow myself to start dwelling on things that irritate me or noticing a lot of stuff I don’t like, the wheels on the bus fall off.
Deliberate creators know how this stuff works. Deliberate creators know that life unfolds by default until we step up to the plate and take control of our focus. When we know what we want, we know how to get it. Autopilot is not how that works.
I’ve done some open water sailing, as in sailing far, far away from dry land, for extended periods of time. You can set a course and put your boat on autopilot. Sometimes you have to. However, you certainly wouldn’t leave it for any period of time without tending to it. Having an intention for a wonderful relationship is a bit like setting a course. It’s a required step, but it’s not enough. You have to tend an intention. (Tweetable!)