As a long time ordained minister, I have often been blessed to officiate in at least one wedding/Holy union during the month of June. It has been for many years the most often selected month for this type of sacrament. Even as I breathe into this awareness on this beautiful June day, I find myself reflecting on the ways the formal institution of marriage has and continues to change. Divorce rates remain at an all-time high, even while peoples who have previously been denied the legal right to marry are rising up in record numbers to claim their equal rights. I personally believe that marriage as it has been defined is in great need of transformation, and that the apparent disintegration is in perfect order. It has never been steeped in equality of the genders, and so the inequity in terms of gay/lesbian unions is just a continuation of a long-standing challenge in need of righting.
Several years ago, while I was still leading a full time spiritual community, I devoted one Sunday service in June as a wedding day to self. As silly as it may sound on the surface, it was for me and many others a profound exercise in looking within to the places where we are not accepting, integrated, and congruent in our own self-love. People around the world seek romantic partners to aid in a sense of completeness and embracement, when in fact, until we are able to give those qualities to ourselves, we will never experience the unconditional love of our Source. I asked the community to write vows to them selves prior to the Sunday observance, and while five or more years have passed since this unusual ceremony, I still review my own vows with some frequency. I have found in a most felt-sense way that the more I deepen into an inner atmosphere of all-embracing loving kindness for my human person, the more I am then able to extend that compassionate caring to others. I have been striving for most of my life to connect within and live aware of the Divine Essence of myself, inadvertently rejecting the human aspects of who I am on earth. I have really dedicated my attention in the years since the self-wedding to merge the mystical and human parts of my self, allowing the Soul to embrace and encompass the personality that often struggles and strains in the earthly sense of separation. A true experience of inner intimacy must always precede any authentic union with another being. When we are not receiving the nurturing of self-love from our own higher selves, we will always seek to get that from another. This is always a recipe for consternation. Trying to get anything from another will always result in turmoil. We are here on earth to give first. Any receiving is simply the return dynamic swing of our own circular givingness. I have counseled many couples who did not understand this, and didn’t truly want to unite with the partner for what they could contribute. Coming from a sense of lack, the relationship was permeated with that energy. The result was an inevitable breakdown when expectations and demands that couldn’t be met, were not met. We also often want to unite with versions of people as we would like for them to be, not as they are. It is reflective of our pension for fixing what we perceive to be wrong with ourselves, rather than simply loving ourselves exactly the way we are. Unconditional love is the only atmosphere for transformation, acceptance the only vision that provides transcendence.
So in this month of Holy matrimony, I invite you to live in an awareness of how unconditional is your loving of the whole of your self. I encourage you to consider writing vows that you then court and keep. I beseech you to challenge the ways that your mind-programming diminishes the personality you. I implore you to deepen into the sense of merging and inclusion between the sacred and the human, and to realize fully that you will never be able to give more love to others than the love you give your self. Accepting, allowing, and embracing the whole of who we are is what true wedded bliss is all about. When we have achieved that internal state, we will recognize that everyone we meet is truly Soul mate, and that our purpose here on earth is to live within and give to all the Love we are in Truth.
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