Exchanging Vows and Other Life Lessons
It has been 9 months since my own nuptials – with a lot of reflecting since. The topic of “to have a wedding” or “to not have a wedding” is becoming more and more prevalent. It is being fiercely debated with many of the usual checklists in favour of or against. Instead of the typical, “reason 1, reason 2, reason 3, etc” I’m here to add my personal story. I’m hoping to help those of you currently: stuck in a tough situation, counting the days to your own wedding, in the planning stages and deciding which road to take (wedding or no wedding), playing a role in an upcoming wedding, and also for myself – to answer our collective soul purpose; to heal.
Despite my opinion towards big weddings I want to be clear – in no way does it reflect or negate how grateful I am to the guests and participants of my own wedding. Especially those who traveled far and wide and made our wedding a fantastic event. The fact is that I would be lying if I added more to this “live, love, grow” section and glossed over real life/soul lessons that have caused great personal growth. It is time to get unstuck.
Russell and I had been together for 5 years, and best friends for 12 years, when he proposed. Nobody in his family was unknown to me, in fact I knew them all quite well and likewise for Russell and my family. We had already bought our home together, we had our little furbaby Quesadilla, and we were quite content as common law spouses. But of course the questions always came, “when are you getting married?” The questions never stop coming, by the way, if you’re single it’s “when are you going to get a boyfriend/girlfriend?” progressing to, “when are you going to get married?” to, “when are you going to have kids?” Anyway, I digress. So, Russell, being the generous guy that he is, saved up his hard earned pennies and purchased a beautiful diamond ring.
As an aside – when I was younger I was never the girl who fantasized about her wedding day. It wasn’t something I dreamed about – even a little bit. If I was happy in my relationship and built a life with someone on mutual respect and love, then I was alllll good.
So, here we were “finally” engaged. We set a date; a long engagement as we both worked full-time and didn’t want to be rushing or stressed out to plan the wedding. This piece of lateral time coincided with my first “life” blog post when I took the leap of faith to quit my job halfway through our engagement. Without making this a novel, let’s get back to the point. I spent hours researching “weddings” with a fine tooth-comb. I finally came up with a rough vision, with the assistance of my maid of honour, and I would modify the big details with Russell. Russell and I visited a few venues but didn’t quite fall in love with any of them. We knew we wanted a big open space that we could do anything we wanted in. One night we were at Russell’s sisters house and we were throwing around ideas. Russell’s brother in law said, “too bad you don’t know anyone with a barn.” This peaked our interest. We knew we didn’t want a rustic theme wedding but we played around with the concept and thought, “what about an air hangar?” And so, the ball was rolling. My dad used to be in the aviation cargo business so I sent off a quick email, “do you know anyone with an air hangar?” Just like I was asking to borrow the car – haha. His answer, surprisingly, “yes.”
Fast forward and the air hangar became our venue (pretty crazy, I know). Synchronicity at it’s best. Our whole story was built on travel and we’ve built a life exploring many parts of the globe together. We both love to travel so the final vision came together effortlessly. We had all the plans together now – and like any vision, it was time to put in the work to make it a reality. This is where things got a little hairy. We were now off to share our vision with others and ask various people if they would like to participate in said vision. This was instead of running away and carrying out this vision of what we think embodies our love – just the two of us.
Our parents were all fantastic, incredibly supportive and loving every step of the way always doing what we asked with a smile on their faces. Even my parents, x4. Mom and dad divorced when I was very young and my childhood might indicate that my wedding would bring complications with my parents coordinating. But the situation was the exact opposite! My parents, x4, showed me their love and support together and never ever made anything about them or their insecurities. There are also many weddings chronicling the dreaded “monster in law”, mother of the groom, but again this was just the opposite for me. My mother in law was such a wonderful help and always respected our vision.
So what happened? Up until this moment I was on my soul’s path. I was learning and growing within – reflecting peacefully on myself and following guidance on just what my “purpose” in this world is. I had come to a place where I was an observer of behavior instead of participating in drama and/or judging it. Until this point I meditated every morning and found my centre over the course of 2 years. But all of this slowly started slipping away. Instead of remaining centred in my soul and valuing (and loving) others despite their difference in personality, and what makes them unique, I began visiting the side of my ego far more often. Instead of not entering the drama I became entrenched in it. I stopped meditating, journaling, reflecting, etc and began obsessing, judging, and all other things ego driven. My beautiful equilibrium had been spoiled and my ego was stomping on the remains.
When difficult situations came up, my ego self took over, because I was no longer guided by my true self. I didn’t take the time to honour my soul; but I could not see this objectively at the time. As wedding planning heated up I could not rise above drama and I forgot how to be accepting of others traits and quirks. Therefore, I continued to spiral. I counted the days until it was over instead of counting the moments to be thankful for. I was also no longer modeling my soulful behaviour for others either; which, made matters worse as well. I enabled myself to return to my own ego state of being hurt, feeling betrayed, and allowing somebody else’s behaviour affect how I see the world.
On the surface, I began treating those close to me, the ones who would do anything for me – especially my parents, as transactional. I focused on what I expected instead of what I was grateful for. I taxed my best friend/maid of honour, because she was my only safe haven, I asked her to help me with absolutely everything and never turned to others for help in order to avoid conflict. I was scared to open up to anyone else. My relationship with Russell was on thin ice; which is the irony in any wedding! The two people who the event is supposed to be celebrating end up stressing the most.
Luckily we made it through and I know better now. Like all discord in our lives – it is put on our path to teach us something. My wise aunt put this all into perspective for me… after talking it out many times. It is to show you a few things – maybe to bring awareness to how easily you can lose sight of your soul’s purpose and balance or perhaps to force out that last negative energy you may be harbouring. Our true nature cannot be hurt by the thoughts and actions of others. Either way, the key is to stay in your beautiful equilibrium, learn, and Let. It. Go.
So, before you make your plans – and think you have chosen the path of least resistance, you may be faced with a situation you never expected. Make life’s celebrations in the moment, personal, and private if you must. Above all, find a way to keep your routine from slipping away and losing sight of what is most important. Practice forgiveness always; even if you weren’t asked for it, do it for yourself. And, let your true self be open to the present moment awareness.