My husband and I enjoy going for walks at night. I love to look up at the sky and see the stars and the moon as we walk. We’ve seen full moons, half moons and crescent moons. However, the last few nights we haven’t been able to see the moon at all. It’s been disappointing. Of course, we know the moon is not really gone – it is always orbiting around the earth – it’s just out of our view for now.
So it is with feelings of love. Sometimes they’re full and robust like the full moon. Other times they’re less intense, more like the half moon. And at other times our feelings are like the crescent moon, barely noticeable at all. But as long as we can feel anything we seem to be OK.
Sometimes, though, just like the “moonless sky”, we don’t feel anything at all. Couples who come in for counseling frequently lament that they just don’t have “those feelings” anymore. “They’re gone”, they say. It’s interesting that as they complain about the different problems in their relationship, the thing that often stands out the most to them is that they just don’t have “those feelings” anymore. The implication seems to be that even if they were to improve their relationship – work on overcoming their problems – the feelings would still be permanently, irretrievably gone.
The truth is, though, feelings change all the time and absolutely can and do come back. What we need to do during those times when we don’t feel anything (when we can’t see the moon) is to just continue walking by the light of the stars, having faith that as we continue to put one foot in front of the other - keeping our commitments - our feelings of love will come back, just like the phases of the moon.