Our wedding was held in a beautiful location overlooking the bay and the city of San Francisco. The ceremony was a blend of German and African American marriage customs. From my heritage - the jumping of the broom. From her German heritage, we were presented with a bowl and cup, from which bride and groom feed each other and say “May you never go hungry and may you never go thirsty.”
The decorative broom is mounted on our wall in a place of honor, and the bowl found it’s way to an honorary place under our lovely hand painted (thumbs literally) wedding guest registry picture.
The other day, I caught my beautiful wife eating peaches at the dining room table. She was innocently enjoying her bounty when I noticed the bowl. She was eating from our ceremonial wedding bowl!
Appalled, I gave her a look. She did not get my gesture. I pointed at the bowl, and all she could say was “whaat?”.
Then in a split second I was presented, by mind, with a number of judgements.
"Oh my god she is so unromantic."
"She is not my equal in the romance department."
Then my victim voice spoke up.
"How can she be so insensitive."
"Doesn’t she know this is important to me… to us??!"
Then my self-righteous voices as I could feel the alarms going off in my system and my muscles starting to tense.
"Who does she think she is?"
"Well I’m not going to live in an unromantic relationship this will have to change!!"
Then a quiet little voice chimed up during the nanosecond barrage of thoughts...
"Why don’t you tell her how important the bowl is to you?"
When I heard the voice, It was like the crowd in my head dispersed. I would choose communication over judgment, victimhood, and self-righteousness.
So I spoke up.
I said: "Hey babe did you know you are eating peaches out of our ceremonial wedding bowl?”
The questioning look on her face turned to surprise! She had forgotten the bowls significance.
In the next nanosecond, I felt a rush of compassion flow through my body and ideas like:
“Maybe it was her pregnancy brain that made her forget the importance of the bowls." "You know, that bowl was just the right size for her peaches".
"I get it, from a German’s point of view, the bowl was an efficient choice".
Once I said something instead of insisting that she read my mind, it was easy to have another frame of reference. It’s so easy to take the path of judgment or victim in situations with people we love. Worse yet, is allowing the people we love to let us down because we refused to share what is important to us, in a way that doesn’t blame or shame them. The choice to share and allow is always present in the small voice if we can just listen to it.
All in all, we had a good chuckle which created a moment of connection.