It was another beautiful, balmy day in southern Spain, where I had been living for almost six months. Things move at their own rhythm in Spain…definitely slower than the “productive” power-house countries (Why do we need to be so productive and busy, anyways? Oh, that’s right. We don’t!).
I had some chores to do in a neighbouring town about 30 minutes away from my adopted, seaside Spanish town. While at the bus stop, waiting for my bus back to my town, I overheard a short, but powerful conversation between an elderly British couple.
They were in front of me, trying to figure out which bus was theirs. A stream of buses were arriving and departing almost constantly. They didn’t want to catch the wrong one. It was difficult to know which buses were the correct ones to take because the bus signage didn’t always clearly label all the town destinations. I often found it confusing to know which bus to catch.
The woman, who must been in her 70’s, anxiously asked her husband, “Should we get on this bus? Is this the right one? What if we get stuck in the wrong town? I don’t want to get lost.” I could hear the worry in her voice.
Without doubt or hesitation, he gently and reassuringly said, “All is well, Dear. All is well.”
That was all I heard him say. That was all that was needed.
Those words hit me – beautiful, caring. Such consideration and true friendship.
The tone of his voice was supportive, calm and comforting. I can’t say for sure, but it seemed like this was a relationship of enduring love.
When he said those words to his wife, I could sense that she immediately relaxed and trusted. After all, everything was going to work out just fine.
After this short exchange, they boarded the bus. I assumed they must have confirmed with the driver that the bus was indeed going to the destination they wanted. They climbed up the steps and the doors closed.
I wanted to talk with them, but our paths were not meant to continue that day. I had to wait for my bus.
Who was this couple? What experiences had they lived together? How was this calm gentleman able to cultivate patience, care and devotion to his lifelong partner? How did this lovely elderly woman develop such deep trust in her husband? Had it always been a loving relationship? Or had it been rocky at times? I wanted to know…maybe not by asking so directly, but by chatting with them and observing their attitudes towards each other.
In a world where divorce, breakups and unsatisfying relationships are so common, to observe this couple even just for a few moments was a breath of fresh air. I felt hopeful…maybe it was possible that a relationship could last decades and still be strong.
The best summary of what relationships are for that I’ve heard was from relationship coach, Corey Wayne, who said, “The purpose of all relationships is that you go there to give. You’re there to help each other grow, become more and to meet each others needs. Loving therefore, is about giving, not holding back. Fear and hurt imprison the heart. The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry. When we fail to authentically compliment what we like in another, we hold back our love out of fear or for manipulation to get what we want, we experience pain, suffering and regret.”
This is why I believe that personal development is so important for people and why I got interested in it at a relatively early age. Personal development helps us become better people, more open and it brings positivity into the world.
I sometimes think back to that brief moment I observed at that bus stop. I remember the enduring friendship the couple showed, their care and kindness toward each other, captured in a micro-moment. I remember those words, spoken with love and consideration:
“All is well, Dear. All is well.”
His words were meant for her, but sometimes I feel like those words were meant for all of us.