I LOVE helping men and women who are currently “flying solo” to create their own unique self-marriage ceremony in which they commit to loving and honoring themselves before any other person, with close friends and/or family as witnesses who will support them in this commitment.
You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy. -Author Unknown
Why have a self-marriage ceremony? Isn’t this a bit narcissistic?
In 2007, I had been flying solo since coming apart with my last boyfriend of three years, 10 months prior. In going through the grieving process over the loss of not only the relationship, but hopes I had for its future, I came to some realizations. Among them, was the realization that in this relationship, I’d often lost my own sense of self, and wasn’t always being true to myself, because I wanted to keep harmony in the relationship. This was my own choice – thought not always a conscious one. By saying this I’m by no means saying that one shouldn’t compromise when in relationship. Compromise and giving are essential and necessary in relationships, these days more than ever I believe, when it’s too easy to “walk” and to expect the other person to do all the heavy lifting.
However with the realization that I’d frequently lost touch with my sense of self, and along with it, some of the joy and aliveness I felt when I was truly connected to self, I knew I did not want to enter into my next relationship in the same way. Instead, I wanted to first be clear what my commitments were to myself, and commit to loving myself first and foremost – not a narcissistic love, but true self-love which is healthy. Then I knew I could be a great partner in my next relationship, because I’d have a lot to give if I was filling up myself first, and not expecting another to do it – a job that’s impossible for anyone but ourselves to do anyway.
So I thought about what I knew I wanted in my life -to feel unbounded joy and aliveness as much of the time as possible, and to really take good care of myself and live healthily – in mind, body and spirit. I looked at the areas where I felt challenged and wrote specific commitments to move through those areas, to tell a different story for my future. I enlisted the help of my good friend Elizabeth Barbour to lead the ceremony, and invited a few close friends. I even bought myself a ring!
Finally on June 23, 2007, with a short white dress, sunglasses, sandwiches and sodas from the local health food store, Elizabeth, myself and four other friends ascended to a gorgeous lookout point at Craggy Gardens in Western North Carolina. I wrote the whole ceremony, including what I wanted friends to affirm for me, which they did, in unison, and I spoke the vows I was making to myself. At the end, each friend gifted me with a prayer, blessing or wish they had for me going forward as a self-committed, yet open-to-love single person. It was a very empowering experience and also healing. Creating and saying these vows and commitments in the presence of friends who served as witnesses has held me accountable and helped to keep me on track over the years. Not that I don’t forget! But in large part it was a turning point in my journey.
Together, let’s create your Self-Marriage Ceremony!
If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself. – Barbara DeAngelis
I celebrate myself, and sing myself. – Walt Whitman