I've spent the half a year really speaking not only of relationships, but what it really means to commit yourselves to them. I've written about myself, my birth defect and my accomplishments. I've written about my wife, her radiance, her beauty, her generosity, her kindness and her love for me and her friends. I've written of the many amazing RAGBRAI riders and how their lives intertwine with others all week long. I've written how none are left alone on the road. I've written how some battle the forces of time by their accomplishments and how others are humbled by them. I've written how the best of men return from battle only to be vilified at home. I've written of their strength while their country turned their backs on them. I've written about how one man, forty years removed from battle, saluted my dad, a Viet Nam Vet and said, "Welcome home brother." I've written about a group of Vets that my Dad-in-law has connected with, and how, even now, their bond brings healing. Even now no man gets left behind.
I've written how it is we ought to live together. I've written that it's okay to disagree, to quarrel, to struggle. But then I told you that together you must find the way to repair each other.
I've told you what it is to love.
I tried hard to help you to view others in light of their story. I've told you that for your story to be heard, you must first listen to the story of the other. I've tried to help you magnify your joy for the triumph of others, and by your joy they will also share your triumph. I've told you to listen to instruction, to gain wisdom from rebuke and to enjoy rewards together.
the best relationships, the best friends are those that bear the joys and trials of the other. The best relationships and the best friends take us with them no matter where that is. The best relationships and the best friends don't need "permission" to take the other with them on whatever journey is being engaged. And committed relationships and the best of friends accept the baggage of the other. They're willing to lug that baggage with them, and in many cases, lug the baggage for them. The best relationships and the best friends know that baggage sometimes takes a long time to shed, walls are sometimes difficult to knock down and illnesses sometimes take forever to heal; sometimes they never heal. The best relationships and the best friends love you till the ending day and even the days after your last. The best relationships and the best of friends want to be there to watch you shed the baggage, tear the walls down, and fight the most feared battles.
The wiles and wills of mankind are often to walk alone, separate from another. You nor I need work long to prove this.
It is often the wiles of mankind to take every disconnect and to threaten, even in jest, to leave another.
It is often the wiles of mankind to spend more energy giving up, giving in, than living hopeful, faithful lives.
Even my last two stories were intended to help you discover another.
Unconditional love never looks for a reason not to love. Unconditional love never desires a reason to leave.
I won't necessarily move away from this theme, but I'm going to look for different themes now as well. Maybe you'll look back at past posts to help you find the best and most courageous of your own path.
The video below reveals a dance about one of our worst fears...breast cancer. By this dance you can find how the strength of unconditional love bridges the gap between fear and courage. It reveals how, even at the weakest points, even when the hurting wish to give up, to run away, the other will be there for them and with them. It will show you the unending strength of those with hope and the need for the truest friends when it seems there is none.
The dance will inspire you to wake up and live now. And it will inspire you to be the most amazing friend, the strongest heart, and the best of companions. The journey never ends--what matters is that you travel together.
Watch and live.