There’s a line in our wedding vows that read :
“I promise to respect your individuality and love our oneness.”
I specifically picked that line out of a long list of “I promise…” lines for our vows. It’s very easy to use those “two becoming one” clichés without a further thought of what that means to live it out on a day-to-day basis. You have two individuals…hammered and shaped by their own life experiences…enclosed within their own skin…possessing different ideas and triggers…with minds that will never be completely known by the other…committing their lives to merging together to form one functioning unit. It ain’t easy.
I’m seeing now what our officiating pastor meant when he said “Love is a form of dying.“ It takes a lot of dying to yourself. It takes a lot of, sometimes painful, unraveling of who you once were so you can start weaving two tapestries into one fabric.
I confess there’s been some more-painful-than-expected moments where we found ourself saying to each other, “You have to respect ME for who I am!” But then what? What’s the process for moving from respecting each other’s individuality to loving our togetherness? How do you celebrate stubbornness coming together?? How do you move what seems to be opposing elements so they’re in the same direction?
I know it’s only been a year and a bit of marriage, and I know there’ll be even greater struggles to come, but there has been and we’ll continue to have “frayed at the edges” moments. And the frustrating thing for the Blue/Green personality in me is that there are no checklists or procedures to follow to make this togetherness just happen. We just had to talk, ask questions, get frustrated, cry a little, ask more questions, talk more, sort emotions from fact, clear pride, identify insecurities, ask questions…and repeat. And then we found, as we gained clarity and understanding, that a thread has been woven from me into him…and vice versa.
Yes marriage changes you. But it doesn’t change you into a different person altogether….your individuality is still there…just woven into each other. In a new and richer way. In a gracious and more self-less way. When I see that happening…it’s totally something to love!
Any more tips on how to “respect individuality but love our oneness”?