We celebrated 26 years of marriage yesterday. I can’t quite get my head around that figure. It doesn’t mean anything to me…it is merely a number.
Rather when I think about all we have been through, it is then that it makes sense and I can relate.
Valentine’s Day - to us it is a Day of Love rather than the commercialisation seen. It is a yearly celebration of the day when we declared our love for each other as witnessed by others.
I have no idea why we settled on this day as the day of the exchange of vows. The numerology of that date equates to a 5 (the party number and one of change - oh my, how much changing and partying we have been through and done), although at the time I did not know anything about all of this metaphysical stuff.
We've never gone out on the night because the commercialism does not sit well with us. We either go out before or after the day. We’ve done our best to make sure that this Day of Love permeates the whole year, rather than be focused on one day.
It also seemed strange to have so many celebrating on the same day. It may be argued that everyone is saluting love…but I disagree as it is a ‘celebration’ that puts many under pressure, creating stress and frustration as they try to be something they are not, express something they don’t feel for another or experience something they are unable to on that specific day.
We made an exception last night...and thoroughly enjoyed our night out. We were unperturbed by everything around us - had an amazing meal, good wine, fab company and excellent music.
Our marriage has not been one of bliss - I don't know of any that are. We have been to hell and back, again and again. Each time we came out stronger than before. In all honesty, there is no-one that can say that haven't been to hell and back...whether in a relationship or not. It was my choice to get to know myself through my relationship. I could have chosen to do it differently...
Like intrepid explorers, we battled our way through the leech infested jungle that sapped us of our energy, losing each other in the eerie spine-chilling mists of anger, hatred and dislike; plunged into the putrid stagnant waters of disgust, hair-raising fear and guilt; the sinking sands of worry, resentment, despair and blame; or scaled the steep cliffs of a large mountain of issues, at times dangling from an overhang, hoping that we would be fine.
Reaching the edge of the jungle, stagnant waters, sinking sands and top of the mountain was an amazing feeling of ‘we’ve made it’…until the next time. It was great when we had these periods of brightness and happiness, feeling the sun on our skin, whilst swimming in the clearest of streams, laughing and enjoying each other…and loving to the best of our ability.
There are many memories that would, in the past, make me cringe. Looking back I can see how we bounced off each other, creating explosions throughout our marriage that reverberated for years stretching from the past into the future.
One thing I can say for sure is that it wasn’t, and still isn’t a stagnant or mundane relationship by any means. We grow daily, constantly exploring new frontiers.
Whether we are in a relationship or not - one of the questions being asked by me of me (and by you of you) throughout my life was, and still is, ‘How do you react?’ Initially I reacted in a negative way or ignored it in the hope that it would go away...but ultimately these states merely fed the situation. Until I got the message and understood that I was in charge of my emotions and therefore my reality, I kept having the same thing happen over and over again.
And yes of course, hubby has his own issues. That goes without saying. But my reaction to his reaction is all under my control...or rather - it should be. Like most people I have a ‘default’ setting. In other words, I react in a way that my inner tumultuous negative emotions dictate I should. Over the years I worked and processed at clearing those typical reactions until I reached a much calmer and peaceful state that filtered out into my world. Now I can choose whether to react or not, either way it is from a much better place.
I suppose I could have given up, thrown my hands in the air and walked away. But I didn’t. I always had this underlying faith and understanding that I needed to persevere. And persevere I did. My marriage has been a great teaching tool for which I am deeply grateful. It has helped me to become more of a master than I was. I’m not a complete master…yet. I still have a way to go.
But what holds true for me isn’t necessarily true for anyone else. It depends what our life path is. Our world is populated with so many diverse star nations. Some will go through multiple relationships, have none at all or stay in one that is stagnant. I don’t believe that there is anything that is right or wrong. Are we supposed to stay with one person or have many persons in our life? Is polygamy or monogamy the way to go? I have no idea…although the law might have something to say about polygamy :-).
We may look at others and believe that they have a better and luckier time than we do. Hmm…nothing could be further from the truth. Outwardly it may seem so…
I can safely say that today our marriage is filled with trust, love, happiness and forgiveness. These are emotions that come from within me. I trust, love and forgive myself for everything I have or haven’t done and this makes me happy. Well…mostly I am :-) – certainly more than I used to be.
Would I change anything? No, I would not. I have an amazing man in my life who still makes me weak at the knees...although there may be times when I will want to deck him with one punch-
Would I do it all over again? Never…unless of course for some reason I had to…
From this day forward may the love with-in spill out into our world with-out, building communities of love where everyone, without exception, has love in their life.
With a great deal of love from our heart to yours.