Holding on to what you think will meet your needs is like holding your breath. Your breath cannot long be held. It is only through the inhaling and exhaling, the give and take of breathing that you live. Each time you are tempted to think that your needs can only be met in special ways by special relationships, remember this example of holding your breath. Think in such a way no longer than you can comfortably hold your breath. Release your breath and release this fear and move from special to holy relationship. (ACOL, T1:9.17)
We have been trying to hold our breath for eons, hoping against hope that what one special relationship did not give us ultimately can be met by yet another. Our special relationships all fail us eventually. Love turns to hate, and we know not what we did wrong. Always we blame the other person for not living up to the unwritten agreement to be there for us anytime, anywhere. We feel betrayed.
This is a script that has been played out in our various dramas for far too long. The only true assurance that we can have from another comes when we have let our special relationship to that person blossom into a holy relationship. Now we know in our bones that this person will never let us down, that love will stay love and not fall into alienation and even hate. We are holding our breath no longer. We know that the safety that we long to have in a human being can be counted upon. We are safe, finally, and we know it to be true.
This is what happens in long-term marriages that stay fresh. We discover how to mesh our needs and wants with those of another whom we love unconditionally, come what may. We know that if our marriage should end, the love will not; the love is eternal now, and we have this assurance as we live out our time on earth. This world can touch this blessing not. We are living our dream of eternal love, and it is our brother or sister, our partner in life, who makes the living out of our lives truly meaningful. He or she is our way back to God, a holy relationship that promises all things, and keep those promises. Our forgiveness even becomes meaningless, for we recognize that there is nothing we need forgive. The significant other is significant only in that we live in close proximity; we don’t look to the other for outrageous answers. We live and let live, in the holiness which God intends for us.
All of us have seen this love, but perhaps fleetingly. We want it for ourselves. And we can have it when we give up thinking that specialness is our due. Holiness is our due. And with our inheritance as favored children of God, all of us are favored in a holiness that does not play favorites.