Let’s play a game. One of those horrible forcing you-into-a-corner type of games that some of us do our darnedest to resist, or get out of, until we know the rules. Here it is: Which three words best describe your Beloved?
Three words aren’t a lot to describe someone who matters enough to you to be awarded Beloved status. These are your inner circle people – likely confidantes, encouragers and challengers, people who really ‘see’ you and, to paraphrase Melvin from the 1997 movie ‘As good as it gets’: “make you want to be a better person”. They may even qualify as Cherished. That’s how special they are to you.
The rules are:
Rule #1: Thou shalt not be flippant; deep reflection is required for this game
Rule #2: While you will not be required to share the words publically, sharing them with the Beloved concerned is strongly recommended
Rule #3: Flattery has its place but honesty will win every time
Rule #4: You may choose only three words – no more, no less (Note: ‘and’ is not allowed as one of the three words)
Rule #5: Discomfort may ensue, as part of useful introspection. It’s a good thing!
A minimum of 10 minutes of thought per Beloved.
In theory, this should be an easy game because we already know our Beloveds, don’t we? If we’ve deliberately chosen to have them in our inner circle, surely we know which of their attributes we value, admire and respect. Nor will we be naive enough to be blind to their foibles either – by midlife their character is likely to be well and truly formed with what the late author, Debbie Ford, referred to as “both the light and dark sides”. Therefore, eyes wide open applies.
So, what’s the twist in this game? Firstly, narrowing down the many descriptors you’re likely to come up with to just three is an interesting challenge. But the real twist is the time required for you to choose your three words for each Beloved. Pondering, musing and mulling beyond your quick response will probably take you to another place – where more meaningful and honest descriptors surface. Where longevity, storms weathered together and mutual investment in the relationship adds colour and changes the easy answers to some perhaps less obvious. As an example, deep thinking about my Beloved man led me to the word ‘steadfast’ – not one ordinarily in my top ten list of descriptors!
If you’re really stuck (and veering towards the dramatic), imagine yourself giving a truthful eulogy at your Beloved’s funeral. How would you finish this sentence: ”Here lies (my Beloved). He/She was a (1)……….., (2)………….. and (3)………….. man/woman, whom I …………….”?
And then, because we all deserve to know that we matter to another, preferably while we’re still alive, please consider applying Rule #2 – go share the love with your Beloved.
What has playing this game revealed to you?