As a shaman, I believe we are here to evolve ourselves. Life is a school really, a place to discover our souls and experience things both good and bad so we can learn deeper truths. So relationships, they are really one of the best experiences, containers even, of soul exploration. They push you to your limits, they make you question your morals, your character and they push you into deciding who you are and how you are going to live…in alignment with your morals and values or not. It’s easier said than done! Commitment takes commitment.
Let me preface that I’m married….for the second time. Relationships are a challenge to me, mostly because it challenges my ability to trust. Many of my relationships, including my first marriage, ended because they cheated. It made my heart close, it made me believe that all men will fall short in the face of conflict and choose themselves and the easy way out to numb the pain and get a temporary fix of validation from another person. I get it, it’s easier to get the fix – the feel good high of attention from another than to go into the healing tornado where all the old pain and wounds exist. But I want someone who is that brave and evolved enough to know that after the storm is a rainbow. There is something so magical and deep after the tornado that it really takes someone special and committed to their own soul evolution to stay on the relationship trail. And I think I’ve found him. I never planned to get married again, but my husband now has sold me. He is different. He has the loyalty and commitment levels that match mine. He gets it. I couldn’t not marry him, he represented all that I wanted and didn’t think existed.
My issue is this – I’m too independent to the point that I harm myself by not accepting help and love from my partner. I’m out to prove how strong I am on my own, like it’s my shield so nobody can hurt me. “I don’t need anybody” was my mantra for a long time, and it worked to some extent but what it did too was push my partners away. I didn’t lean on them, I didn’t open my heart and be vulnerable so we could build intimacy. I just struggled hard and did things myself and often I became resentful. I didn’t know how to ask for help, I didn’t want to be weak. What I’ve come to learn is this, vulnerability is a strength. Lynn Andrews taught me that nobody can hurt me in my vulnerability; it is our greatest shield. It just leads us down to the raw truth. And truth is truth, point blank.
So as my new hubby and I were engaged I started to freak out a bit. I didn’t know if I really believed in marriage. What did that really mean besides having a wedding and party these days? What is a true marriage? It felt like a choke hold to me, like a promise I was making but wasn’t fully sure I could make. Did I really believe I was meant to be with only one person for the rest of my life? I had already made that promise to someone else and that didn’t pan out. When the push came to shove, the commitment through the bad times was not honored. It’s easy to say, harder to do. I had known that already. Was I really ready to bet the farm on another person when I had been so burned in my past? Could I believe that a man had the ability, depth and soul capacity to take the trek of marriage? And more importantly…did I?
What I had realized through the fall out of my first marriage was that I wasn’t really happy in it. I had settled. I didn’t know what real love could feel like now that I was in this relationship. However, I had made a commitment so I was going to stay in something that wasn’t horrible but wasn’t great. Was that the point of marriage, to honor a commitment and a promise, and that was it? It wasn’t about happiness or growth, just a choice? Was that the point of it all really? I wasn’t interested in that. I wanted something magical, not mediocre. That meant, I needed a partner who would commit to do the same, that wanted the same things and would actively and regularly work and participate in the relationship. I was seeking a man that I had not known before in my relationships. Being married again meant giving up my old way of being super independent. It meant I HAD to be vulnerable and be both independent and interdependent with my husband. It meant learning to exist in a brand new way. I knew it was going to take time. And truthfully, I’m still finding my footing and stance in this place today. I’ve learned that my feelings of resentment is really my inability to ask for help when I’m feeling overwhelmed. It means I’ve put on my old hat that comes with the belief, “ I don’t need anybody else”. Now I’m adopting the “I’m responsible for my own happiness” thought and running with that. It’s up to me to do, express, ask, request, give, take, stop, do and so in order to facilitate my own happiness. So much more work and awareness but I’m responsible for myself.
The truth is my husband has an ability to really piss me off. Haha! And I too share that ability for him. We trigger each other where we are unhealed, a natural progression point in the relationship. I know it’s getting past this hurdle to the rainbow. In the past, I’d given up I’d likely end it or run away from it. I’d assume this person isn’t making me feel good, it’s not easy peasy, lovey, dovey all the time, so I want out. My husband wants to point out my flaws and sore spots where I need healing and I want to do the same to him. That makes for a vicious communication cycle. I can get real mad, real easy and so can he. Aren’t we perfect mirrors for each other!! I get triggered and I assume he will fall short and hurt me. I assume he will choose the easy way out and so I push him there. I really piss him off to see what he will do: leave or stay. This is a dangerous game and I recognize it has to stop. I did make the commitment and choice to marry him because I believe he is a spiritual warrior. I believe he will not take the easy way out when the going gets tough. I believe in him, a real life man for the very first time in my life.
We’ve been going through a rough spot but I know there is purpose and healing within it. We have gone through a lot in our first year of marriage and it’s made me question all the things about marriage I wondered about. At the end of the day it’s about love, not the bills, not the house, not the picture perfect image. It’s about the healing gift of saying I love you and I’ll stand by you even through this rough patch, even through the ugly, fugly parts we are showing each other. It’s about having each others’ back. That’s something I’m going to say to him during our next argument, “I have your back, I’m on your side.”
Love trumps fear, I just have to choose it. And so I leave you with this, my marriage has tested me to see what I’m made of. Will I choose to blame for my shortcomings or will I look and heal? Will I be vulnerable or defend? Will I assume love or assume fault? Marriage is like a portal between love and fear, faith and trust or doubt and fear. In the face of struggle, I ask myself, “What would love say?” and I tend to find my way back to love.
Blessings to all you Spiritual Warriors. Please leave a comment with your thoughts and experiences.