Today marks twenty-seven years of wedded life to my Shamanic Mensch of a Husband. It's a victory, really, given our astrological train wreck of a lovematch (critical Virgo meets carefree Gemini... hilarity and pathos ensue). I don't doubt we've been on some form of this go-round several lifetimes before... and this lifetime, by golly, this lifetime is The One! The one where we're healthfully rooted in love and compassion, forgiveness and restoration; the one where there's no fear of our shadows anymore, because when one heart dims the other is there shining a beam of love to light the way; and it's the one where we've truly entered a divinely co-creative Sacred Union, that golden ring of coupling. We know now to our marrow that no matter what occurs, no matter how lousy or turbulent life gets around us or within us, we're committed ~ deep "down" at the souls' level ~ to respect and just be decent (if not excellent!) to each other.
Unquestionably, it's been a challenging and thrilling roller coaster of a ride on our personal LoveTrain, something for which I'm ever more grateful with each passing season and year.
Recently, an about-to-be-married young man asked me: "What's the secret of your success?" I immediately thought of and relayed to him my husband's Cousin Evie's Three Rules for a Great Marriage, which she hand-wrote for me just prior to our 1984 nuptials (and which I'm sure I've got around here somewhere....). In honor of this special day, I'd like to present Evie's Rules from memory, acknowledging that they are, no doubt, colored by the tremendously textured experiences in loving relationship that have threaded and woven through my married life over these past twenty-seven years.
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1. God, in God's ultimate grace and wisdom, made Man and Woman differently. Thank the Heavens! Learn to appreciate and to respect those differences, which can enrich and balance our lives in untold measure.
2. The things we say in frustration, confusion and anger... we can never take them back, even if that's what we would truly do if we had a time machine. Know when to hold your tongue. Squeeze it really, really tight if you have to (it might create a bit of laugh to actually do it). When conscious of "those" feelings, take a few breaths before speaking aloud.
3. Those totally cute old couples you see holding hands as they walk, or dancing like they were made for each other on the party floor... you can be sure they didn't just start doing that. It's a practice, one that's oh-too-easy to forget when Life "gets in the way," and one that's never too late to start again when Love is on the proverbial line.
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Whether you're married or not, dear reader, I hope and pray that in whatever way ~ small or large ~ Evie's Rules might inspire you to consider the quality of relationship in your own life, even (and perhaps especially) with your own self. The notions of respecting the balance of the Divine Feminine and Divine Male within ourselves, of controlling the quality of our outer and inner speech, and of practicing the gentle art of kind and compassionate human connection... such things are Important and Needed in our World.
And to Cousin Evie, you beautiful force of nature, wherever the heck you are now (and making a note to find you and your original letter) ~> THANK YOU. You helped to nurture and sustain this particular union more than perhaps you could know, certainly more than I could say... and your presence in that hand-written letter of wisdom has proven perhaps the most treasured gift of all those we were fortunate to receive 'lo those twenty-seven years ago.
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