1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 43: Maintaining A Happy Marriage.

Marriage can be something really special, if approached properly. The unification of two people as one, the commitment to make things work, to keep on moving through life’s hurdles together – these things are what create a truly unbreakable bond between two people. Before I got married, I did have some doubts about whether I would be making the right decision. I was only twenty-two, and many older people told me I was way too young, that I probably wasn’t seeing things in the proper light. I did take these comments into consideration, if only briefly, yet I didn’t let them faze me or cloud my judgment. I had to make this great decision on my own, I had an amazing girlfriend who was fully committed to me, who was down to earth and down to be there for me through thick and thin. I knew that it was time for me to return back home, and she didn’t have a visa to go with me. I knew that she was a decent girl in every sense, that her family would only really accept and respect me if we were married. Otherwise, there was no chance of her travelling anywhere with me. What could I do? I could appreciate this blessing and make things official after a period of working and saving u p some money, then returning to my birth country, or I could continue my life of partying and chasing thrills and girls in Vancouver, looking for wilder and wilder experiences, finding no true connection beyond the superficial. There was no doubt that we loved each other, just as we still do, whether married or not. The idea for the wedding so early in our relationship was really so that Maria could move back to Canada with me. We’re currently waiting on the paperwork to be processed, so in a couple more months, God willing, we should be catching a plane back to Vancouver. We aren’t intimidated by the changes that may come, even if my wife has never lived in cold weather. Honduras is known for its heat, so we will probably be getting her a lot of sweaters as soon as we arrive. I say that we aren’t intimidated by the changes that may come later in life since we are committed to each other and to always pushing through no matter what life may throw at us. In life, one always has a decision to make. Everything has a deeper dimension to it, every though, every idea, every connection, relationship, love. Everything can be approached in a superficial way, analyzed from a distance, from behind our twisted ways of perceiving all that we encounter, or it can be approached with respect, with a sincere attempt to fully understand, to become one with it, to really live each experience, and to fully live life as a whole. I knew that this was the time, I knew that she was the one. I knew that if I threw this away, then I would be throwing out something priceless, someone’s true love and affection, true commitment and connection, for random possibilities, for alcoholic hookups at clubs and house parties, for lonely nights surrounded by lots of shallow and empty-headed people. I knew that I had to make my life meaningful, that I had to honor the meaningful connection which had touched both our hearts and so greatly impacted both our lives during the time we spent together in Honduras. I can see now that U made the right decision, as following what we know is truly meaningful and worth pursuing can never steer us in the wrong direction. There’s less than a month left now until we celebrate our two year anniversary, so I know I have to think of something really special, not because of any obligation, but in order to show Maria how much I appreciate everything she means to me, everything she does as she keeps her part of the deal in this marriage game. Marriage is great for spiritual work as well, a firsthand experience of merging one’s life with someone else’s. The only way it can work is if each person sacrifices some things, sometimes, in order to be in agreement with the other. Each person should learn from one another, we should learn from our wife or husband’s strengths and weaknesses, just as we should learn from our own, and we should try to gently help each other out, so that we may cut some of the suffering of life from each other’s experience, as we share every tear and every laugh together, making tragedy more bearable, making love even more glorious. Random acts of kindness, always finding an opportunity to help, always telling each other how much you mean to each other, these are things that are needed to keep love flowing. Even after marriage, one should never become lazy and suddenly stop the old habits one previously had, habits which made both of you fall in love in the first place. If the love is true then even these issues can be worked out, yet much suffering is bound to arise in a marriage if either party is unable to properly show appreciation to other, to properly communicate his or her love and affection. Marriage provides an opportunity for us to become less selfish, to see another as my self, to learn what it means to care for another human being, to sacrifice our own petty pleasures at times, in order to satisfy someone else, to make them happy, to see them smile. These things create humility, they create more love where it already exists, they create a warm atmosphere where honest communication can take place. Marriage allows two people to learn how to fully accept another person, and also how to help them change for the better, if they want to change, without forcing any beliefs or any of our own values upon them, but rather trying to understand and to create connections, through compassion and through love and understanding, through acceptance and patience, through unconditional respect and support.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 44.

~ Rebel Spirit

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