Last weekend I had the honor of officiating my niece’s wedding, something I had never done before. What a tremendous experience! In the ceremony, I spoke about the meaning of marriage which I would like to share here.
an opportunity to experience that love is more than just a feeling, love is a verb.
Marriage is an opportunity to co-create the relationship of your dreams.
Marriage is an opportunity to learn to live in loving kindness towards each other each and every day.
Marriage is also an opportunity to learn to love oneself. It turns out that realizing the true love of another person requires a deep understanding and strong sense of compassion and love for oneself.
Life is a journey, of course, and marriage is choosing to live one’s life, to travel one’s journey, in partnership with another.
Sharing your lives together in marriage leads you to create a new identity where you are not only an individual, but also part of a couple. Your task is to hold sacred the essence of your relationship, while at the same time honoring and holding sacred who each of you are as individuals. Each of you will be challenged to expand your capacity; take that challenge. There is no greater fulfillment than that which comes from the belief in love as an opportunity for growth, for healing, for comforting and for opening to life.
It is an intention to be open, to be curious; to learn to listen. To engage in a dialogue involving each other’s entire being. To learn to hold a sacred space in between the two of you; a vessel into which you feel safe to pour your hopes, your dreams, your hurts, your fears, your wishes.
I believe the key in all of this is learning to honor each other’s differences. To recognize and to see this other person for who they are: a gentle being born into this world wanting to love and to be loved. In doing this you will create a relationship of mutuality and reciprocity. Of caring and respect, commitment and responsibility.
It is important to realize that it is not only about choosing the right partner, it is about BEING the right partner in your marriage. Don’t be afraid to be genuine, to be transparent, to meet in the middle. See your partner as you would like to be seen. Be open and curious about this person. Know that your partner represents something new, something that never existed before. ONE OF A KIND!! Celebrate their original and unique way of experiencing the world.
There are no formulas for living. As we live and grow our beliefs grow and change. We must be open to this adventure, to this constant discovery. In the words of Martin Buber, “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
In your lives together, remember to play often.
Remember to find purification in solitude.
Remember to encounter each other as the gift of life that you are.
Remember to find love in the space that lies between you.
Remember that in love there is strength,
In love there is patience,
In love there is joy,
In love there is gratitude;
For it is love that gives meaning to our lives.