“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”- The Buddha
Marriage is about promises: promises to love, cherish and care for the other person, promises to support them in their dreams and help them in their endeavors, promises to pick them up when they fall down and carry them when the waves of life crash too high. We watch as two people speak these promises and bind themselves in the words that will soon become action, asking us to bear witness to the moment that two become one. On Tuesday, September 21 I officially made these promises and found myself married to myself.
Yes, yes, you read that correctly: I married myself (even went out and bought myself a ring!). Marriage, I realize, is an age-old sacrament entered into by two people who love one another and want to show that love. Yeah, I read the story books and I know what perfect is supposed to look like, but perfect and I got into a nasty knife fight during high school and things were never the same between us.
I found myself pondering this idea early on Tuesday morning and acting it out later that afternoon. I knew when I started this (amazing) idea that I would get varied responses to it and well, I sure did: some people thought it was a joke, others believed it was amazing, and still others wondered if I had completely lost my mind or was narcissistic enough to do this. I got phone calls, emails, Facebook comments and Tweets galore. Who knew that an act meant as a serious choice could end up causing such a commotion?
I didn’t do this to receive some sort of curious attention or to entertain others. While this act is probably a very entertaining thought, I did have very committed and well contemplated ideas behind it. I wanted to propose these same promises to myself that others make to one another while draped in white and smiles. I wanted to promise myself that I will love who I am and strive to create a better person within myself, that I will always support my dreams and efforts (even if they seem crazy) and that no matter how hard life gets I will always be determined enough to pull myself out from the sea of insanity and sit silently on the shore. I needed to promise myself that even though others may wander from me that I would stand strong in myself and always believe in my cause.
I have spent too many years trying to control my life and I have learned that the harder you grasp at the sand the faster it slips through your fingers. I tried in vain to lead a life I thought was good enough for others and found myself severely unhappy. I have suffocated under stress that was unnecessary and suffered from the desires of my mind. It is time to take life and find happiness, joy, and spiritual fulfillment for myself; to reach out for my hand and firmly believe that I will find what I seek.
I placed a ring on my finger and silently promised myself that it would not move until I have found that which I seek. I suppose, in a way, this is my Bodhi tree and I am not going to move from it until I find that which I seek. Plus, I might get to have a reception and realistically…what is better than cake and presents?