‘Til death do us part and other fun contracts.
Vows, especially marital ones, are not intended to be broken. I mean, many of us make those vows in front of a lot of people and in a very expensive way. Surely that's an investment you’re going to protect.
I don't know if it’s still a popular vow for people today, but when I got married at 24 years of age, it was a ‘thing’. If you said it, you truly meant it.
Many marriages end in divorce. So what about that vow?
Societal expectation seems to be that you will get married and stay married. Why is that? How can you know that the person you are getting married to is indeed who they hold themselves out to be? Did they fill in an application? Did it contain warranties? This is, after all, a contract.
I was married for 28 and a half years, thinking that it would be for life. But it wasn’t.
Whilst to the audience of my life, and those holding societal expectations, my marriage may have looked perfect on the surface; yet it held ancestral stories my ex-husband and I carried with us from tender ages. Those stories played out in the most testing of ways.
Given it was within this contract that I found my authenticity, I believe mine was a love story – one of finding my way back to self-love. I cannot speak for my ex-husband, however, as I am not him.
The truth is you can never truly know another person. It's not your purpose to do so. You can only attempt to know yourself. Whilst it is indeed within the realms of possibility, a ‘lifetime’ is a long time for two expanding individuals to hold steady the same dreams and future visions.
Your view of the world as a child not only shifts in stature but
in perspective as you mature.
Some of us are fortunate to learn that rules we created for ourselves in our lives as small children were there to serve our own highest good for the shortest of periods. Others were not afforded, or did not avail themselves of, such luxuries.
As children, your parents, teachers and the significant others in your life indoctrinate you into the ways of the ‘tribe’. They impose compliance of their rules as a precondition to their love.
For instance, you are sent to boarding school and told not to cry as they leave you there alone at seven years of age. You oblige, despite wanting to express your emotionally valid response (lots of tears) and you soon learn not to trust your responses. You begin to feel invalidated and unworthy. You have given away your power to choose how you respond to your environment to those in authority. You create your laws of what a ‘good’ and ‘just’ life should look like based upon the ideals of others. In this case, I should not be sad, that way I will be loved.
You leave the tribe as an adult, complete with the laws you created that you now
trust will keep you safe out in the world.
Then you meet another interesting soul who resembles the love ‘feel’ you are seeking. You think they are the answer to why you feel discontent. They ‘complete’ you. You want them to validate you. What in fact is happening is, you see the ‘love’ power that the person holds in fact resembles the power you lost in childhood. And you want it back.
What I thought was true love was really just an attraction based on what was in it for me. Sounds sinister, but it’s not really. This was going on at an unconscious level. What my ex-husband had was a piece of my power, and I was attracted to getting it back. He showed me that I need not be a victim any longer. He was a mirror for my own internal conflict. He showed me the anger and the hatred I so needed to express. As a child I hated my life and I was angry.
But I wasn’t allowed to express these emotions. This was why I was discontent. This discontentment manifested in internal conflict and represented a part of my lost power. Our relationship taught me many things including how to assert myself, and how hatred has a valuable role to play in our suite of emotions. I am grateful for it.
A true vow is an arrangement where the highest good for all is sought.
So what’s the answer? We may not want to go through this life thinking that we all have agendas, but we do. It’s unavoidable. Yet if we are conscious of this, we can move back to the place to reconnect to our own power, the place in time before we started creating our laws of unworthiness. We do that by revisiting the place in time that we lost the love for ourselves.
In a small shift in our perspective, we validate ourselves and our childhood responses. We can then start to see life from our place of worthiness and personal power. This is what self-love is and is for us individually to choose. This means, there’s no blaming others for how we feel. It’s called self-responsibility and it’s all about how you respond to your life. Sorry, legal system … you may just miss out.
Ideally, when you meet someone, you will be already standing in your power. You would have reviewed the rules you created in childhood to see if they are still valid for you. It’s all in how you feel. If you are feeling ‘bad’ then your intuition is whispering that the choices you’re making are not in line with your truest self.
You have the power to make choices for you. To be IN your power of love, at a core level you will feel content and have no real need for completion in any form. You therefore have no need to look externally, or to take power from another; you simply don’t have an agenda.
This works for all relationships, both business and personal,
where there is a common intention to journey into the future together.
No-one has any idea of the future. You only have now. You only know what is in your best interests, right in this moment. If we let our intuition be our trusted guide, we would each move forward from a place where we’re concerned with what is in the highest good of all. If we could manage this level of self-love, then there would be no need for vows or contracts, just mutual arrangements based in authenticity and the desire to achieve most elevated of outcomes for all.
Instead of being a party to a contract, let’s make each ‘contract’ a party - an arrangement where when the fun is done, we all move on.
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