Call it unintended self-illumination or inadvertent enlightenment, the path to marriage has taught me a lot. Now, I realize that getting married isn’t the end-all, be-all pinnacle of success, but for me it’s a bit of an accidental achievement, since I tried for so long, and always seemed to come up short.
While on this marriage quest, I learned a thing or two about love and relationships, and what I did to fuck it all up.
I made mistakes and bad choices. I trusted and got burned. I didn’t know my worth, and I didn’t always honor my highest good. In other words, I got my ass kicked.
But I did get some good insights out of it!
With 50 years of single life under my belt, I feel uniquely qualified to share those insights with you. Some of them might sound familiar, some might feel old, but no matter how you spin it, they work.
1. Have Aspirations, Not Expectations
Nothing will set you up for disappointment faster than having expectations, not meeting them, or having others not meet them. You can aspire to achieving things, you can hope for the best, but make sure you keep your expectations in check.
2. Set Clear Boundaries
Setting boundaries with people is the ultimate act of self-respect and self-preservation. By designating personal limits and healthy parameters with others, you’ll not only save yourself a lot of time and energy, you’ll save your sanity and protect your soul.
3. Heal Your Wounds
Fix what’s damaged and heal what’s broken. Go deep. Do the work. Read, meditate, get therapy. Don’t be afraid to face the hard truths about yourself. It will take you places in yourself and give you incredible clarity.
4. Don’t Pick The Scab
Once your wound has formed a scab, don’t pick at it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a broken heart, a bruised ego, or a wounded psyche – let it heal. Picking the scab undermines your progress, prolongs the pain, and impedes your ability to move forward.
5. Stay On The Path Of Right Action
Staying on the path of right action means making good choices, using your good judgment and being smart. Don’t do things you know are ill-advised and potentially damaging to your self-worth. Everyone makes mistakes, just make sure you get right back on track if you fall off.
6. Have An Attitude Of Gratitude
You’ve heard this a million times, but it’s true: being grateful will take the edge off any resentment, regret, and bitterness you may be harboring. Be thankful for every little thing you have, and any little kindness you get in the world.
7. Breathe Deep And Let Go Of Things
Like I said in my very first blog post, when you let go, when you release and surrender, magical things can happen. So stop worrying, waiting, and wondering– you might actually get what you want. Breathe deep and let life happen.
I’m not sure if I chose this path, or this path chose me, but here I am, about to get married and I couldn’t be happier or more relieved (I’m not going to lie– it took a lot of work to get here). Yes, I have a magnificent fiancé and sparkly engagement ring to show for my efforts, but I also have wisdom – which is just as precious.