In the disposable society where we throw everything away when we’re done with it, it’s no surprise that we might take the same approach to dealing with other people in this manner.
In our society we are trained to accept the idea that all of our relationships are temporary; the teachers who instruct us, the sales people to help to provide us with what we need or desire, our friends, acquaintances and even our parents and other relatives.
Especially these days, we all have more independence than in the olden days. In the olden days (not that long ago) if you did not have a family to help protect and support you or part of a community that would help you to survive in a more primitive world, it was likely that you would not live very long.
In as little as 150 years ago, we were a more communal society; today, for the most part, we are all individual units fighting for survival one against the other. This individualism is being promoted 24 hours and day, 7 days a week in every type of media that we are exposed to.
As active members of this society we do our best to keep our relationships superficial enough to stay somewhat reserved or disconnected enough to be able to move on at the first sign of an open door leading to a new experience.
Yet, with all this programming, every once and a while, our conscious is awakened by being deeply moved by another human being; additionally, this part of our psyches can become energized by separation from a non-human interaction, possibly an environmental form of nature, like a plant, a particular view or activity in nature or even an animal.
In that moment, we acknowledge a deep sense of love and suffer varying degrees of sadness or depression from the separation, grieving from the loss. All making one consider, “Is there something more?” Only to be followed by the prayer, “Oh, dear God, please, no.” Begging the deity for protection from this type of connection again because the loss is too much to bear.
There is one relationship that society will nod a blessing to that is allowed to survive the test of time, if it’s possible. If you dare attempt such a relationship; and this is represented by the institution of marriage.
Till death do us part
I have been in the business of uniting people in holy matrimony, and I still perform this ceremony on occasion under the right circumstances. How romantic it is to see two people standing before family, friends and the community at large pledging their love one to the other and promising to honor, love, cherish, respect and protect each other for life.
In that moment we all send as much support as we can muster in support of these two individuals… which, sadly, is not much.
Behind the soon-to-be-husband’s back, the bride is coached by friends and family to, do this, don’t do that; don’t let him make you do this, don’t let him think that’s going to last forever, and for god’s sake make sure you get the word, “obey,” removed from you vows.
Likewise, the groomsmen and coaching the soon-to-be-married groom, “You can back out now, there’s still time,” along with a litany of caveats and last-minute-romp offers from exes and others.
Not to worry, if you change your mind in time, you can get an annulment.
And divorce is a larger industry than marriage ever thought of being, so your word? It’s not worth much.
Then, as if the result of a miracle and against all odds, couples make it for the long-haul.
Unfortunately, as the officiant, I would like to think that all of the marriage ceremonies I performed lasted forever, when in fact, half of them ended in divorce.
To all the divorcees, I lift you up in admiration and thank you for being willing to play all in against the odds and assure you that
You are not disposable
And I pray that you find that everlasting love both within yourself and with the person with whom you can join for the remainder of this life’s journey; if that’s what your heart desires.
I believe that an evolution is underway and as we evolve, we will return to love, loving each other and a tendency to begin to practice a love so great that in retrospect, the greatest loves we have known thus far will pale in comparison.
And we have loved… Oh, have we loved.