“The mystery which unites two beings is great; without it the world would not exist.” -The Gospel of Philip, Analogue 40, as translated by Jean-Yves Leloup
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to get married, to become a “we.” It’s already starting to happen. I am still an “I” and I am also now part of a “we.”
Recently I faced having to make a four-figure repair to my 11-year-old car. Upon hearing the shop’s estimate, I wanted to retreat to my room, shed some financial-worry tears, and figure out – on my own – how I was going to pay for it. But sitting on my couch was the man who loves me, waiting and willing to be there for me. I felt so strongly the urge to turn and leave, to be alone in my fear. Instead, I walked toward him, and he reached out his arms and held me. Then he helped me reason things out so I could make the best decision for me and for us.
I’ve spent many years thinking about “I.” Who am I in a family of five sisters? What’s best for me in my career? How do I take care of myself – mind, body and soul – on a daily basis? There is a tradition in some 12-step programs that reads, “Our common welfare should come first; personal progress for the greatest number depends upon unity.” My understanding is that we all win when we put the “we” first. My fiancé’s 100-year-old grandpa gave us similar advice for our marriage, based on his 68-year experience of shared life with the one he loved. He said that after we say our vows, everything that affects one will also affect the other. I feel myself becoming more careful.
I’m not losing myself or discounting my own needs, rather I’m gratefully discovering what it is like to hold our union as precious. I feel self-full and a little more selfless at the same time. I’ve also decided to add my beloved’s name to mine after we marry. For me, the symbolism is powerful. “I” and “we.”
There is a mysterious connection growing stronger and more fluid between us. We’re growing a “we” and it is a deliberate and beautiful process. I hope this contemplation and practice of “we” in my relationship will also inform how I am in my family, at work, and in the world.