Adults Re-Connecting

Liz Pardey

“out of the mouths of babes ”  ……. Now that I am being delighted with the language development of my grandchildren, I am reminded of how much I have learned from my own children; to be more caring, more generous, more loving, more open, more selfless, more forgiving, more present, more real.

Let me explain.  One day when my younger son was 7, he was playing with a friend.  As they were delving into the toy box in our family room, I heard him say to his friend, “This toy used to be broken, but now it’s real”. Apparently this toy had been repaired and restored to its original use and function.

Was that toy not real while it was broken, or was it now “more real”? Sometimes I feel like that toy, and I struggle with the pain of the repairs!  As humans we are living, learning and dynamic beings. Broken spirits can be hard to manage.  Sometimes such brokenness comes as a result of our own choices, or others’ choices.  From wherever it comes, we inevitably experience pain while we are in the midst of brokenness.  When we are willing to wait for the brokenness to do its work in us, we may experience repair, acceptance, healing, mending.

Learning through the brokenness, growing through the pain, and grasping meaning, can enable us to become “more real”.  We may access greater understanding and more compassion of oneself and others.

Our relationships often need repair, healing, mending. Wherever possible, this is done through connecting with those we hurt and are hurt by.  Psychologist and Relationship Researcher John Gottman writes about the importance of couples letting their partner influence them[1].  He explained how both partners need to honour and respect each other and their opinions and feelings; and that we can learn from each other.   As we live in partnerships as friends, we can learn to treat each other as friends whose differences and brokenness don’t overwhelm our love for each other.

A favourite movie about relationships tracks the social discourse of an American/French couple on vacation.  Ethan Hawke as Jesse, pleads for reconnection with Julie Delpy as Celine his wife, and says, “Love isn’t perfect, but it is real”.[2] Given the differences and problems that all couples have, making intentional efforts to connect and re-connect with each other on a regular basis, we become known by each other and have the opportunity to influence each other to work toward more creative solutions. Thus we can become more real with each other.

I have pondered on my son’s comment for many years, and its truth never ceases to amaze me.   For “out of the mouths of babes” comes a truth for all.

[1] Gottman, J.M. and Silver N., 1999.  The seven principles for making marriage work, Three Rivers Press, New York, New York.

[2] Before Midnight, 2013, movie directed by Richard Linklater

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