I have been married for eight years, seven months, six days, eight hours and roughly fifteen minutes… but I swear I’m not counting.
I have recently been wrestling with the notion of marriage, love, romance and being a strong, leading lady. We seem to live in a society that basically tells me that I need to choose. I can be the kind of girl who likes romance and wants the boy and all that jazz or I can be the superhero bad-ayyyyy feminist who basically saves the world and looks gorgeous doing it.
But. I can’t be both.
And well… eight years, seven months, six days, eight hours and roughly sixteen minutes in the trenches of marriage, in great times and in tough times, in total joy and what has felt like total devastation…. I freaking beg to differ, society.
Here’s’ the deal guys. We know that marriage takes work. No duh. It’s become like… a motto or something. But, what we don’t always get is that having an abundant marriage demands courage. A whole bucket of it.
Loving someone wholeheartedly and in a deep way takes courage. It really does. Especially when that other person is human… and well, if you’re love is an alien of sorts… I guess, good for you. But seriously. When we love another person, no matter who they are, they are bound to disappoint at some point in the long journey of marriage. It’s part of the rules. It’s part of life; disappointment, friction, some measure of heartache actually caused by another human being. Kudos to our founding parental unit Adam & Eve for that.
So. If disappointment and a measure of heartache is part of life, then moving past that and putting yourself out there demands courage. I’m not talking about “Make it Work-and-grow-in-wisdom-by-hiding-yourself” putting yourself out there. I’m talking about putting yourself out there, without reservation in the same fashion as we did the moment we initially fell in love with our significant other.
Forgiving. That demands courage.
All of it. Each and every element of a successful marriage demands bold courage. It just does. Because “true love” isn’t about the butterflies or the weak knees or the feelings and all that jazz (though, let’s face it, those are nice), it’s about a conscious decision to give of yourself day in and day out to make someone else’s life better. That’s what love is. It’s service, it’s self-sacrifice. There is no self-preservation in true love, and if I’m really honest… I freaking hate that. Eight years, seven months, six days, eight hours and roughly 25 minutes later… I freaking hate it.
I guess what I’m rambling about at 11:30 at night on a random Thursday is that we can be both, we can do both. I really believe that loving someone the right away takes courage, and kind of makes you a bad-ayyyyy. And we need to acknowledge that and encourage that. Because at the end of the day, what good is it to learn to save the world if we do it without love?