Today, I will be participating in my friend’s wedding ceremony. This time, I will not be officiating the ceremony. I will be in the wedding party.
When you participate in important events, like this, you can’t help spending time inside your head and your heart, reviewing your feelings about love and marriage, and what meaning it has for you.
I have officiated many weddings, and of those relationships, about half of them survived the matrimony. There’s a part of me that thought they would all work out, and the bride and groom would live happily ever after.
I have been married before, and when I made those promises on the altar, I meant every word, but it takes two. And it’s not all about integrity. I used to think that if the bride or groom could not keep their promises made on that day, in the presence of family and friends, then either one, or both, of them simply lacked integrity.
But I realize, now, that things are not always as they seem, and we (all of us, people residing on planet earth) are only doing the best we can with what we have.
When we look around at the people we know and care about who have been married and subsequently divorced, it can’t help but make an impact on you. Some of my friends have vowed never to marry because of the tragic effect it has on the couple as well as the damages suffered by family and friends.
If we haven’t been through it in the first person, we all can relate to having seen others go through this tragedy, maybe even being directly affected by our proximity to the failed relationship.
But, if you have witnessed a failed marriage or relationship that ended poorly, does that mean you should not try.
Having been divorced, I often feared that my children might struggle with the idea of going the chapel and tying the knot, but, thankfully, they all were able to grasp the idea and they are all happily married. This endears my heart, because I am the hopeless romantic.
I believe in love. I believe it to be the most powerful force in the world. Yes, I believe love conquers all, if you only allow it to grow freely, uninhibited by what I think I might know.
Those who know me well, know that I have a propensity to study a particular topic with a scientific veracity that is more than one might expect from the guy next door (unless you’re living next door to a quantum physicist). So, it will be no surprise to you that prior to my marrying someone, I might expend a great deal of time in research, inner work, and meditation in an effort to ensure the most positive result.
Hey, I’m not the only one. I have a couple of friends who do the same thing, and all of us make the same face when our perspective mate tells us that he or she doesn’t have the same level of compulsion to investigate and study this idea of getting married, what it means, and what it might take to have a successful (hopefully lifelong) marriage. And in that moment, we all wonder if the other person is taking this whole thing seriously? Nonetheless, we do the best we can and move forward in the relationship.
What’s the answer? Many books have been written about love, romance and marriage and you can find them being written from every possible perspective.
But if you ask me, my response would go something, like this:
Love yourself first. Love everything about who you are and find comfort in your own company. Then, if someone appears on your horizon that loves his/her self and is comfortable in his/her skin and you achieve a certain vibrational harmony. Take a chance, and let your love overflow out of you, allowing it to spill over onto him/her. If he/she can return their love overflow in kind, then this is relationship bliss.
Will it mean that everything goes smoothly? Probably not – because life is complicated – it is impossible to be prepared for anything that might present itself while the two of you forge forward hand in hand.
Can relationships survive the marriage event? Yes. Many do survive. Though I wouldn’t go rushing to them for advice, because I believe in a higher degree of possibility and love than the stories the people who have managed to stay together after marriage can tell.
If they are honest, they relate stories, in many cases, that describe a sacrificial state that is anything short of martyrdom. I believe there is a higher plane of marital existence that is possible to attain.
Have I done it? Not yet. But still I believe.
Is it a fanciful fairy tale image that I hold dear? In some ways, yes – in some ways, no – I believe that if I wait for someone who is travelling on their own similar life path, headed in the same direction, which has a healthy degree of self-love, has integrity and a desire to see what the future holds with all its possibilities for growth and expansion, then maybe.
In any case, nothing makes me happier than seeing two people take the plunge, disregarding all the horror stories that prevail in our society and throw the dice, come what may. This is a courageous leap of faith and love which is by far, the best anyone could hope for.
I am blessed, having friends who believe, and wish for them all the best this life has to offer as the let their love light shine. And shine, it does.
Love, love, love. Love is all there is.