Lately, I’ve been thinking about the fluke of me (what? huh? me??!!) living in Stockholm for these four months. Most often, I’ve been awestruck, amazed, overwhelmed with gratitude that my husband, soul mate and now Fulbright Scholar has given me the gift of this — the biggest overseas experience we’ve had yet. Life is an experience, and this is one that I will remember forever. But on a few other occasions, the harder times, times when I’ve yearned for the comforts and friends of home, times wondering what I will do with my days, weeks, months… I’ve felt cast adrift, a boat bobbing along on the sea, tethered to and reluctantly tugged forward by my partner’s professional goals and their fulfilment.
On those occasions, I have squarely, honestly asked myself: are these your dreams, too? Are you happy? And searching my soul for the answer I am catapulted into the awareness that when we commit to another person, as in marriage, we commit to everything they are – their dreams, ambitions, their past and their imagined future. I once wrote about this in A Love Alchemist’s Notebook:
When we move toward soulful relationship we’re embracing their ambitions, talents, and beauty and also their personal history, addictions and baggage. We must make room for their dreams, too, which may or may not match our own. Are we willing to support their dreams, even though they’re different from our own?
John has big dreams, and he manifests them. I felt his power to do so the moment we first met. It both terrified and thrilled me because it mirrored me deeply. I know he could be King of the World if he wanted to be. I’m not making this up. I also know I could be Queen. We are both leaders, but it took our joining together to awaken this awareness in me.
Yet, we are different people. You’ve never met two people more different; where he is pragmatic scientist, I am the sensitive intuitive. Where he places his love for logic above all else, I place my love for faith and belief. I am far too serious for my own good, he is playful and a joker. We are often motivated by entirely different things: me, by healing, imagination and inspiration, he by worldly experience, domination and influence. But each of us also holds the others weak spot; he needs my empathy, I need his pragmatism, and in daily life we plug one another’s holes so brilliantly all the time that I swear I can sometimes hear the Goddess laughing.
When we married, I took on my partner’s dreams, goals. Onto the shelf of relationship I placed them at the same equal level of importance as my own needs, wants and desires. But as a person, as a separate Self, I have a separate shelf with my needs, wants and desires, and I always place these first. When the fulfilment of one of his dreams or goals will impact me, I inventory how that will affect my needs, wants and desires. As we’ve consistently checked off dreams on his list, I’ve also checked off dreams on my list. My career as astrologer, writer, author and now health coach – all have been made possible by this partnership. Through a relationship with this man, my best partner and friend, I’ve manifested more than I could have on my own. I’m not keeping score card here, or maybe I am, but at the end of the day we all reconcile debits to credits, and this is how we stay in balance.
Some days his dreams require more sacrifice from others, including me. Other days, the fulfilment of my dreams and mission require sacrifices from him. But there is no room for self-compromise in compromise. When I had some needs that required me coming back to the US for a few weeks, we hashed it out. I’ve learned from experience; when you compromise the Self, nothing is left for me, or the relationship. This has been a long, hard-earned lesson and to be honest I’m still learning it.
As a counterpart to the Libra Sun, the sign associated with relatedness, equality, justice and committed partnership, this Aries Full Moon Lunar Eclipse asks us whether we are being faithful, honouring and loving toward our Self. When we take a vow of marriage we vow to honour the other, but we cannot do that fully if we are not honouring our Self. If you need the courage to stand up for your needs and desires, Aries Moon supplies the fire and the opportunity to stand up for YOU. If there are whimsies to cultivate at this full moon, they involve a spirit of courage, risk-taking and adventure. Risk doesn’t always involve bungee jumping, but risk always involves fear facing. For many, our deepest fear is not being met, with love. Dare to honour your needs, wants, desires. Ask for the love you need by loving your Self enough to dare to express what it is you most need, want and desire.
Before we got married, John and I participated in Rob Brezsny’s I Me Wed ceremony, led by Rob, in Grace Cathedral in SF. It was a potent reminder to be true to one’s Self, first. We laughed as Rob implored us to not wait for someone to kick our own a**, but to kick our own (he demonstrated). Grace Cathedral is also a site of a healing labyrinth. John and I were married in a labyrinth. Just this past Sunday, on our 7-year anniversary, we “happened upon” the oldest prehistoric labyrinth in Sweden. Basking in mystery and synchronicity we also happened to enjoy taking each other’s picture, separately, in the center of the labyrinth. Reflecting later, I see what a self-honouring act that was; I see this beautiful marriage in 360. And I am so damn grateful there is an I in We.
Make Full Moon Magic: Use these, or use them to inspire your own vows. From I Me Wed.
I will never forsake, betray, or deceive myself.
I will always adore, forgive, and believe in myself.
I will never refuse, abandon, or scorn myself.
I will always amuse, delight, and redeem myself.