Sunday, August 8, 2010

Why Marriage Doesn't Scare Me Anymore

The title of this post alone may have you wondering, "Hmmm...what the hell is she talking about?" Well, first off, don't worry. I don't have any news or anything like that but I do have a few thoughts on the topic. Let me start by saying that marriage is all around me in some form or another. Some things are merely presenting themselves as straight up commitment, especially when the going gets tough.

When I was in my early teens, I would go around and make some very big statements about marriage and kids. I was always spouting off, "I am never getting married! I never want kids! Who needs that stuff? You have to give up your life and who wants to do that?" Well, fast forward 12 years and here I am in a happily committed relationship to a man I love more than ice cream, more than the Red Sox, more than lobster. He is the light of my life and he makes my world just a better place to be in. He knows the words I can't say just right and thinks it is cute, he smiles when I take my Chacos off after a day at work and show off the progressive tan lines. He is fascinated at how much I eat. We schedule couples night in our Google Calendars and it has a "Never End" date. This is my man and lately I am starting to see that this is the man I want to spend many years with, happily and not so happily, to travel with, to swim in the ocean with, to walk the dog with, to cook with, and to laugh with.

Granted, marriage is about a lot more than traveling and laughing. It is one of the biggest rites of passage people go through. Now, let me be clear, marriage comes in all shapes and sizes, colors, and traditions. I am not talking about churches, white dresses, and huge cakes. What I am talking about is a deep, intimate, celebration and intention that two people make and declare that they will be there for each other, no matter what the case may be. It's very much like "I got your back if you got mine."

I have the privilege of witnessing some of the most amazing women I know prepare to take this next big leap in life and love and I am so incredibly happy for them. My cousin asked me to be in her wedding which is next April and she is two years my junior. I am so happy for her and her fiancĂ© and I know that their friendship has served a foundation for what will be a magical and blissful marriage.

My colleague just had a bridal shower and she is so blissfully in love, that it makes me tingle on the inside. Her deep understanding and intentionality behind her relationship with her man and her marriage got me really thinking about how I show up for my own man. Her mom made a great analogy about their relationship. She said that her daughter is like white water in a river and her soon to be son-in law is the stable rock right in the middle, does not move, does not erode, just stands stable and strong and supportive. I thought, "Wow, my hope is that all human beings find that. We all need our rock."

Marriage isn't only about people. Sometimes we are faced with a choice of whether to commit or not on whatever we are doing. It can be a spiritual practice, a writing project, a new career step, a fitness goal, a relationship with a family member. We all must commit ourselves to something and whatever it is, passion, trust, and openness must lie at the heart of that commitment.

So I leave with this: Marriage used to scare me, not in the traditional sense, but because I was scared of committing to something. I was still in the space of exploration and openness with ideas and curiosity. In my own personal growth and maturity, I am finding that commitment makes me light up from the inside because I know that when I commit from my heart, I am fired up from the core.

What lights you up and what commitment are you making in your world?

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