Best. Valentines Day. Ever.
Holy crap, what just happened?!
You guys, I want to share a story with you that I haven't told anybody. The last week has been one of the most miraculous and mind-blowing weeks of my life.
A few days ago I was on my way to visit a friend. I stopped to fill up my car with gas, and my credit card was declined. I had gone over my credit limit. The day before I had paid a few bills, and realized that my bank account (savings and checking) had been completely drained. I literally had zero dollars and zero cents.
It was terrifying. I felt hopeless. I panicked. I didn't know what to do. I already felt so inadequate, and now my dreams were collapsing on me, and that I had officially become a failure. I had reached the end of my rope.
A few days later, I woke up early in the morning. I hadn't been sleeping well lately, and I didn't want to waste my day. I plopped in front of my laptop not even bothering to put on pants, and started answering emails when I had a thought enter my mind. "You should try doing an AMA on Reddit." (An AMA, for those of you who don't know, is a sort of virtual interview where people can ask you anything they want.)
I tossed up a post about my quest to interview couples over the past year and a half of my life, and it exploded. Thousands of people asked questions about what I learned from interviewing so many amazing couples, what a great relationship looks like, and how this experience has affected me.
I share this with you because I don't know what you're struggling with right now. I don't know what craziness is in your life, or what burden you're bearing. You might feel like a failure like I often do. You might feel inadequate. You might feel like giving up.
Whatever heaviness is weighing on your heart. Whatever trial you're slogging through in your life right now... please don't give up.
I've learned once again that it is when you push through that last wall - the wall of abject poverty, or of emotional defeat, or of utter exhaustion - that something truly miraculous will be waiting for you.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement through the last year and/or week. Your support of me and this mission I've felt called to means more to me than you could ever imagine. I would have given up 1,000 times if it weren't for your love and encouragement.
I love you all. Really.
What About My Valentines Gift?!
Oh right! Sorry bout that. Maybe we should call it a President's Day Present?
I've been saving this interview for a special occasion. I think Valentines Day (or a few days after, in this case) is the perfect timing.
Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages is one of my personal heroes. We got to sit down with him and learn about his marriage early on (I'll bet you didn't know he almost got a divorce...), and we talked a lot about what you can do to nurture your relationship BEYOND the 5 love languages.
A huge focus of the conversation was about forgiveness. Here's one of my favorite quotes:
I think that learning to apologize and forgive is a second fundamental. I deal with this in my book “The 5 Languages of Apology,” but the recent book’s title is “When Sorry Isn’t Enough,” because typically if people apologize at all, they say, “I’m sorry.” Well, for some people that doesn’t hack it. That doesn’t really communicate sincerity. So in that book we deal with 5 different ways that people apologize, and learning what the other person considers to be an apology, so if you’re going to apologize you can do it in a way that’s meaningful to them, and communicate sincerity to them.
And then the whole concept of forgiveness - that it’s a choice. You either choose to forgive or you choose to hold it against them. And if you choose to hold it against them, the relationship doesn’t go forward. If you choose to forgive them, it opens the door to the possibility that the marriage can continue to grow.
I hope you enjoy it.