Oct 09 2010

ABOUT MARRIAGE: A LETTER TO MY DAUGHTER & HER HUSBAND

Published by at 5:46 am under Life & Relationships,Parenting Advice

My Darlings,

The purpose of marriage is the commitments to love, protect, respect and nurture one another in sickness and health, strength and weakness. It is also by extension, the same commitment to the children of that union. Truth is necessary in order for this union to be real and not a surface imitation. The truth I speak of is not the truth of confessing everything, or commenting on every pimple seen on the other’s nose, but the truth of being wholly yourself: of allowing all your emotions, strengths and vulnerabilities to show, the truth of not hiding (as we have been so carefully trained to do in this society) but of realizing we are all vulnerable and insecure, each fragile each in our own way, each in need of support at different times and sometimes in different ways since we each have different triggers and areas of strength. Communication is essential.

Human beings are not herd animals, nor are we pack animals, nor solitaries, but a combination of all three in differing amounts at different times.  This makes us a flexible species, able to adapt to varying situations. Possibly because our nature evolved as combination of these instincts, the issues around protection and nurture of the group, personal boundaries and individuation, self-reliance and the balance of power, come into play.

Communication is essential, not only with the partner, partners, or tribe, but with one’s own self. Self-honesty, and self-knowledge is the key.

When fear arises: ask yourself,  “What am I afraid of? Am I afraid of loosing love? Am I afraid of being worthless or of loosing respect?  Do I fear being abandoned? Am I afraid of being absorbed?  Am I afraid of relinquishing control, and if so why? Am I afraid of loosing my center, my freedom, and creativity? What do I really want here?  What do I really need?” When you’ve uncovered your underlying fear and desire, you can speak to it, comfort yourself as if you were your own child, or your dear friend, which you are.  In this way, you can reassure yourself.  Also if it helps you can speak the truth of your feelings and needs to others. In short, examine your fear, evolve it, and when necessary share your fears and make your desires known.

Communication is essential.

Conflicts over being right are often a source of suffering in relationships.

When conflicts arise, ask: “What do I really want here?  What do I really need? What am I afraid of?” For example, beneath the need to be right, lies the fear that if one is “wrong” one is worthless or of no value.  It is this fear that makes it so difficult to admit being wrong, in the wrong, or of having wronged another.  In that case, you might speak to your fear and say: “Ah, but by allowing myself to be wrong here, I am more valuable, since I can be trusted to hear another’s truth.  By releasing my need to be right, I can honor their truth even if it differs from my own perspective thus becoming a more enlightened person.”

Finally, always ask yourself: “What is being right worth? What is more important to me, being right or being in relationship? Perhaps the other can’t see my perspective at all.  Does that mean they will never come round?” Perhaps they just need some time to switch their point of view. This can be a call to use your ability to create a hitherto unthought-of solution. Sometimes silliness and laughter or crazy wisdom helps break apart an emotional logjam.

Enlightened means to become lighter.  We become lighter when we relinquish the burden of having to be right, the burden of having to defend ego, trading those burdens for increased wisdom.  In this way your fragile ego can be nurtured at the same time as “rightness” is relinquished.

Communication is essential.

Finally, all these fears revolve around or evolve from the need to feel safe and secure, the need to have your physical and emotional needs met and the need to give and receive love and the need to feel that your gifts are important and your life meaningful.

Remember Life comes with no guarantees.  There is no security.

The only security you can count on is change and changes are easier to flow with if you are flexible and creative. Suffering is inevitable. But joy is available.

All my love, always,

Mom

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