Don’t Make Light of Past Struggles

R.J. and I were adventurous the other day and decided to hike the long trail in the park by our house. It’s the one that includes a steep hill. It usually takes about 2 hours and we definitely feel the pain afterwards but it’s nice to stretch our legs. It helps me unwind a bit more than our shorter route.

It’s like the longer I walk the more my mind is able to rearrange and process things that I would otherwise be to busy to do. R.J. and I also have a chance to talk which is kind of nuts because we’re always together. We have ample opportunity to talk but something about our hikes allows us to discuss things that we otherwise wouldn’t.

Of course this month is always special to us since it includes the anniversary of the day we met and then the day we got married. We’ve been together for a long time – over half our lives!

So the other day when we were on our longer hike I couldn’t help but say how thankful I was that we made it to where we are now. To say the early years of our relationship were rocky would be an understatement. They were rough and a lot of it didn’t even have anything to do with either one of us. Then again, some of it did.

We both had a lot of growing up to do and came into the relationship with enough emotional baggage to sink the Titanic. But we both knew that what we had was too important, too special to walk away from. Running would have been easy and the biggest mistake either one of us could have made.

It’s easy sometimes to look back with rose colored glasses and make the past not so bad but I think if we did that we would be doing ourselves a disservice. We worked and fought so hard to get where we are – at peace with ourselves and each other – that to make light of the struggles we had early on would make it seem cheap, pointless.

But here’s the important part, we never go into specifics. We acknowledge that some bad stuff happened, that people hurt us, that we felt lost and helpless just about every day but then we move on. We’re grateful to be able to have learned from everything that happened and hopefully we can use those experiences to make us better spouses, friends, and people.

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