Every year countless people get up in front of their friends and family (and whoever their mother is trying to impress) and profess their love to each other. And every year, most of them will say big words like “til death do us part” and “forever.”
These promises aren’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 in the universe 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 yours will too” and you’re left to think, “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 mean, thats how I love, too. So far, if I love someone once, I love them forever.)
But this still isn’t mine to promise.
“Forever” belongs to nobody.
Things happen. People change. Expectations change. People leave. All people eventually die.
Life does stand still for you. Life will not make exceptions. Life will never preserve anything that’s true in the here and now to suit your 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.
You’re setting your loved ones — and yourself — up for potential heartbreak by promising them something you 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.
Sometimes partners ask me, “will you promise to love me forever?”
I always tell them “no.”
But then I do them one better, and say, “but I’ll wake up every morning and choose to love you all over again. I promise that if I’m here, it’s because I want you. I choose you every day.”
When I’m here, it’s because it’s deliberate, not because I made a promise “forever” ago.
I’m here because I want to be, each and every day, and I’ll treat each partner with the same day-by-day appreciation.