Marriage is not just hard work but more so heart work. I have been married twice and for someone who has gone through the process, I thought I got this whole marriage up in my sleeves but boy, I was so wrong. No matter how elaborate I go through the whole process of getting to know each other to dating. From proposal until I walk down the aisle, Marriage is not marriage without heart. I have high regards on marriage. Like most, I have this ideal, expectations on what marriage should look like. I was influenced in a concept of marriage I see in movies, read in books, even witness from my parents. I grew up in a home where my elders told me the reason why God elect to put the brain in the head and is considered the main organ, because it should supersede the heart. With all due respect to my elders, they are maybe right, and I would like to modify it to suit our ever-evolving world. I have realized I was living in an old programming paradigm my elders passed on to me and I have the ability to reprogram my beliefs. It was solely based on what society dictates what marriage should look like, it was governed by how my religion defined marriage. So, when my first marriage faltered, I see myself as a failure. I see myself as not enough. I blamed myself for every little thing that I could have done but did not and for everything my marriage lack because it doesn’t fit the norms, I grew up believing. Not knowing that I have the same beliefs I carried on when I remarried. Unconsciously, I was walking the same path I thought was the right path. I am reliving the same pattern again and I see myself falling in a pit of expectations, blame game and self-shaming. It took me months of self-reflection and extensive inner work to realize the habits and pattern I am doing came from unresolved trauma I have not healed from. Through the self-help exercises I mastered, I finally acknowledge and validated my own participation in this endless loop of shame game and victimization and slowly released myself from it and owning up to my abilities as a self-mastered adult. 

Now, I define marriage as following what my heart wants first and let my intellect enforce what I need next. Marriage is more than just a union of souls. It should start in a relationship which gradually builds up momentum and allow each other to build a strong spiritual foundation. One that is tested that even distance, ego, trauma or even the old paradigm can break apart. I have clear definition of what marriage should look and feel like. Marriage is free from expectations I get from movie scenes and romantic books I read. I believe Marriage is union of two imperfect individuals who choose to make a perfect relationship. It is free of control and manipulation but allowing each other to flourish and grow within themselves separately, detached from the other partner. It is allowing each other to make mistakes in a judgement free environment.

As I look at my own journey, I don’t have any regrets even knowing my first marriage didn’t work out because I know I needed to go through that fir my spiritual evolution. I needed to transform to the person I am right now. I am still navigation the ups and downs of marriage. I am riding through the waves of emotions, striding to learn to coexist with each other’s less than perfect behavior. I heard in a podcast that marriage reflects my relationship with myself. As what the great Ram Dass said I can do nothing for you but to work on myself and you can do nothing for me but to work on yourself. I must work on myself first and completely and unconditionally love and accept myself before I can be emotionally intimate with another.

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