The Marriage of Self
In a recent post I outlined the premise of the book “The Three Marriages – Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship”.
In Whyte’s description of this very private self marriage he talks about some interesting dynamics of this deeply personal relationship. This relationship with self is moving and changing and is just as hard to grasp as the outwardly focused marriages of human relationship and work, and it’s also the marriage that we lose sight of and need the most. This marriage is the foundation for all other marriages, yet in the midst of our daily/annual/decades of life we forget about it.
We can end up completely parched by giving endlessly to work and other human relationship, lacking the place to step from, and end up debilitated all together.
The farther we get from ourselves and the pursuit of this relationship, the harder it is to find our way back to it. We know that we need this connection, but we keep giving outwardly and get so turned around (facing outwardly, if you will) that in time we can’t figure out how to get back to us. We become unable and afraid to be alone. Unable to sit with ourselves because if we do we might realize that the outward energies are being spent in places we don’t actually agree with, where we aren’t really taking the best care. So we keep trudging through the motions, weighted but not knowing how to slow down or stop. Whyte says,
“…it can seem as if this internal marriage is asking for a renunciation of the outer two marriages. Feeling this can come as almost a relief, a way out, for in the name of our many responsibilities and duties, we can use it as the perfect excuse not to look inside at all, feeling as if our outer world will fall apart if we spend any time looking for the person who exists at the intersection of all these outer commitments.”
Marriage to self is intense and intentional. To pursue the relationship takes a lot of time and even more vulnerability. It can change all other relationships, how we see the world and interact with it. It takes practice.
The practice is silence. Listening to our inner most being. Solitude. It can not be forced or willed into relationship. It’s the dirtiest, hardest, most rewarding thing we can do for ourselves.
I am on this journey now and it’s hard, but I truly believe the rest of my life deserves a good foundation of self, influencing all other paths I pursue.
When will you begin?