Share or spend?


“I want to spend my life with you.” What an odd statement. How do you spend your life with someone? Think about the word spend. The dictionary says it means to “ out (money) in buying or hiring goods or services.” Share, on the other hand, is defined in the dictionary as: “..use, occupy, or enjoy (something) jointly with another or others.”

Marriage seems to be connected a lot with the words spending your life together. And in fact, you do spend, literally, hundreds of thousands of dollars together in a marriage over the lifetime of that partnership. Often these relationships are built upon a feeling of possession of the other.

As the years go by in a marriage, partners seem to share less and less with the one they professed to love so devoutly on their wedding day and more and more with others outside the relationship. One reason, in my humble opinion, is the need of each of these partners to control the life of the other, to shape it in a way that conforms to their comfort zone. And when friction happens due to that compulsion, they begin to seek relationships outside that partnership that conform more to their way of being.

Do people do this purposely? Yes, in some instances. But I think, after studying my own life and relationships, that we are blinded to our intent and ignore the warning signs that we have the wrong agenda building up.

There is a way to break this pattern, to actually accept the person you have chosen and to live a life that shares instead of spends.

Walk in their shoes; see each situation from their viewpoint. Have compassion in your heart for them. Feel what it would be like to be treated the way you are treating them in a situation. It is one principle of two that Jesus said were the most important ones to follow.

From personal experience, when I focus on the other person and how they see life, my heart grows fonder instead of harder toward that person. We are all reflections of the other and when we see something that we feel needs to change in our partner or family member, that is an indication that something of a similar nature needs to change in us. It is a mirror to what we must change in our own life to make us a more mature and complete person.

So share, stop spending, and take this new year as an opportunity to embrace the changes you need to make in yourself and forget working on the other person. When you create changes in yourself others see those changes and recognize things in themselves that need to change. Because you cannot change others, you can only change yourself. Words so familiar we have forgotten they are true.

What does this post have to do with photography? No idea. Just woke up with the words spend and share on my mind and it went from there. Happy New Year everyone!

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