Metaphor can help us gain new perspective on things. Seeing things in a different light (or with a different understanding) can be critical to making better choices, getting a “bigger picture,” and unlocking potential.
With that in mind, April 22nd marks Earth Day each year – and it presents couples with dual opportunity to help the planet and gain insight into their relationships. Even though the observance has passed this year, this is a mindset you can use year round!
Think about it: Earth Day is all about inspiring people to take care of the planet we share, educating them about the habits that make a difference (like recycling, reusable shopping bags, energy efficiency, etc.), and teaching lessons that last throughout the year.
The Earth is a gigantic, complex system that can be damaged by neglect and carelessness – and your marriage is no different. It’s not just malicious behavior that hurts it, but indifference and lack of awareness as well. Earth Day observance is meant to help reconsider the way you treat the planet, and plant ideas in your head that will make you more aware of your actions in the future.
So, back to marriage… If you think about the “environment” of your relationship, this metaphor will begin to take shape. If you aren’t aware of your actions, it’s all too easy to say and do things that might hurt your spouse’s feelings (think of this like littering) with little awareness or regard for the consequences – or how the effects compound over time.
This extends further! You can protect your marriage “environment” by encouraging positive habits and unlearning negative ones. When you spend quality time together, you are “planting trees” that nourish the atmosphere of your home and life together. When you keep the quality of your marriage a top priority, your actions will reflect that choice – just like it takes a conscious effort to do your part to protect the planet!
And while we should be environmentally conscious throughout the year, special days like Earth Day help reinforce the ideals and get us back on track. In your marriage, these holidays could include anniversaries, birthdays, and the like – days where you make an extra effort to think about the quality of the relationship, and internalize the lessons that will keep it beautiful and healthy for years to come.
With Earth Day in mind, think about the literal meaning AND this metaphor for your marriage. Build habits, stay focused, and do your part to make the world a better place!