We married over 10 years ago.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

If it were, we wouldn’t have lasted.

more on this another time… 

That’s one reason our relationship is stronger than ever.

Challenges are not to be avoided, just like exercise is not to be avoided.

Another reason our relationship has continued to strengthen is that my wife and I have cultivated a special kind of culture in our relationship.

A culture with its own values, norms, expectations, and nomenclature.

In this Relationship Culture we value growth and self-actualization.

The expectation is that we see something greater in each other and are willing to hold each other to that standard.

The shamanic training we went through years ago taught us about a process that one must go through over and over again in the quest toward becoming an awake and fully integrated human being.

This process involves experiencing a periodic “death” of one’s identity.

The reason our identity must be “killed off” over and over again is that all of our limiting beliefs, cultural stories, and past hurts are encoded and reaffirmed by the existence of that self-concept.

These codes will continue to generate a reality similar to the one we’ve been living. They must be deleted if we are to expand our reality and live at our higher potential.

Just like the individual, relationships have a kind of identity. This construct is generated by both people in the relationship.

And, like the individual, if you want to enjoy a deeper, fuller relationship, then a periodic killing off of the old ways is in order.

Winter’s cold clears the way for fresh growth in spring.

Our vows didn’t contain the phrase Till Death Do Us Part.

the story of how we wrote our vows is interesting (a good future post topic!)

Instead, death has increased our depth and capacity to love. It has brought us closer together.