Good ol’ Mom (RIP) used to say these words to me about marriage. I’d discuss a boyfriend with whom things were getting serious, and she’d teach me to distinguish between traits that are less important and those that define the essence and character of a person. When discussing the latter, she engrained into me to “never settle”. So powerful was this message that I recall looking deep inside on that sleepless night before my wedding to be sure I had no doubts and was not settling on the values that meant the most to me.
A friend of mine and I were recently discussing another perspective for living life: “expect nothing”. At first horrified by the sound of that, I now understand that he means we should not expect anything in order to receive all that is, just as it is. That does not contrast with “never settle”, and in fact it helps us clarify in every relationship whether the other person possesses that which we value most, and how much we actually make each others lives better.
There is no judgement in saying that a person is or is not right for us, or a relationship does or does not work. It is much like cooking and trying different spices together to determine which spice bring out the potential of a dish. We must keep in mind that God dreams a bigger dream for us than we dream for ourselves and God will fulfill dreams. By settling for a partner or spouse who is not our best match, we no longer leave an opening for our best match to enter when we do encounter him/her. That is a high price for settling.
You may be thinking that it takes more than one spice to bring out the potential in a dish. So true! This is why “never settle” applies to much more than one relationship in our life. Expecting one partner to be our everything is not only unrealistic, but it strains a relationship with pressure that is unhealthy and may ultimately break it. Having quality friends, work, hobbies, etc. completes our lives much as those important secondary spices enrich a recipe. That is why in all facets of our life we should “never settle”. Life is a bountiful buffet not to be consumed in mass, but to receive in gratitude, then carefully selecting that which enriches and fulfills us at our deepest level.
Journey of Possibilities