I wanted to tell you what Ming said about how to have a happy family. I asked, and he had ideas in common with mine.
Ming said it’s not just shared values, but shared worldview. Yes, the communicating we do serves many purposes–one purpose is we stay on the same page.
- What do capitalism and commerce do to the world?
- How valuable is Mother Earth?
- What makes a person have worth?
- Who deserves respect?
- What is violence and when is it appropriate?
- What are we here on earth to do?
- How important is love and service?
These questions are important to me and Ming, and our answers are similar. He has a language-related learning disability and might not be able to immediately answer. But if I answer, he’ll listen brilliantly and agree with me, or mostly agree with a clarification or two. We’re both good thinkers and feelers.
And we’re not on earth to fuck around. There’s a reason we help run an anti-nuclear interfaith peace organization, Ming serves the hungry, we run a radical mental health collective and a street medics collective, make zines and art, live in community, and all the things we do.
It’s our idea of fun, to help others and try to nudge the world toward more nurturing, justice, and joyful diversity. Both of us are driven by the need to do meaningful work in the ways that make sense to us. We’re not here to make money, be entertained to death, or give an annual donation while someone else does the work.
Not to insult donors–we need that too. Personally we have more time than money. “We’re activists–we need to stay active!” a friend once said to Ming, and it’s true.
forming supportive surroundings
I liked what Ming said about forming supportive surroundings. Our relationship can flourish partly because we do our best to prioritize friends who are supportive and bring goodness to our lives. We try to say no to harmful situations and people, and give more to those who nurture.
Ming gave an example of someone we were close with before who was hurtful and talked crap about Ming to me. I’m really glad I could identify this friend’s bad behavior and eventually cut off contact with him.
Ming also mentioned that my mom was kind to him, and never criticized Ming to me. Likewise, Ming’s mom and sister are positive about me and kind.
It makes me think of when Ming and I got married, which wasn’t legal. We got married to ask for blessing to our relationship. We want everyone we know to acknowledge our relationship as an important choice to unite our lives and do family long term. It felt special to marry on the Sacred Peace Walk and ask for relationship support from the radial friends we love. That was a great choice.
I love what Ming said about trust, specifically trusting that we have goodwill for one another. That’s an important part of being able to do relationship.
It took me a while to trust Ming. But once I believed that he respected me and we spent some years together, I understood that his heart is gold, and he always wants to behave in my best interest. That’s comforting and relaxing. I don’t have to analyze his words or check up on him–there’s a lot I don’t need to worry about, when I can just know he’s there for me and truly wants what’s best for me, as I truly want what’s best for him.
Trust means we don’t have to waste energy trying to hold each other accountable or wondering if we’re really ok in our home. Yes, we are ok.
It’s not easy to trust; I was abused by multiple people in many ways as a young person. But Ming shows me that he’s trustworthy, and I show the same to him with integrity.
Ming and I are in motion: learning, changing, getting enticed by new ideas, enjoying new experiences. It’s fun, never to be stuck.
Having dynamic lives separately means our relationship is dynamic also. Always learning and growing as individuals means our relationship is too. We both bring a lot to the table.
Likewise, we do a lot to care for ourselves individually, and that cares for the relationship. So any peer counseling we do, work on our health, rest, constant striving for more understanding… That’s great for us individually, but we’re doing that for each other too. The happier we are individually, the better for our relationship.
Not a bland, denial happiness, but a full-spectrum creative, honest happiness that includes a ton of truth.
Yeah! What do you think of what Ming had to add? I love it! So smart.
This post is an example of how I can articulate a lot. Ming can give clarification that I flesh out, shape, and include. We’re a great team.