I often listen to audiobooks on my morning commute to work. Most of these selections are considered new age, enlightenment, or even self-help. One book, in particular, The Power of Now, has been resonating with me more now than it did when I first read it, chapter 8 specifically. Eckhart Tolle talks about relationships in a way that not only made my head spin but also made me evaluate my own marriage & how I interact with my husband. Tolle also made me think about past relationships with lovers and even friends and how they panned out.
He talks about Salvation, which is a word I used to tie to Christianity solely. When seeking love or seeking refuge we sometimes believe that another person will be that redemption for us. That way of thinking can make us become obsessive and set expectations that are irrational. We have all been there before, chasing unrequited love in hope for salvation or settling for anyone as a friend or lover just to say we have a “person”.
I had a talk with my husband a few days ago about my real thoughts prior to marriage. We talked about societal pressures and confusion. I expressed how I felt like it was the “thing to do” in order to be whole, he felt the same. We then talked about where we are now, a year later, and how as we both go through the journey alone yet together, we can see that we are whole persons and that we do not “complete” each other. That idea of “completion” puts pressures on someone to be “everything” to one person and that is an unrealistic and irrational task. I realize now that the reasons for our marriage were immature but luckily those reasons have drastically changed.
My healing journey sparked the curiosity in my husband. He knows that I cannot be his salvation and I realize that he cannot be mine.
Salvation is not elsewhere in place or time. It is here and now. - Eckhart Tolle
We are both blossoming in our own ways. I am learning who I am as a woman, who is queer, and married to a man and what it means to be present in salvation. He is learning who he is as a man, with a queer wife, and what it means to be present in salvation. We are learning to continue finding refuge in the present and redemption in ourselves. From that we can bring transformation into our marriage without trying to transform each other based on our own egotistical agendas.
Often times I get asked about marriage, love, relationships and I tell people constantly that your love for yourself reigns supreme. In order to blossom you must nurture yourself. Relationships are nice but how are you as a partner to yourself? That is more important, in my opinion.
How you treat yourself is important. It is one of the most important themes of life. How you love yourself is important. Do you treat yourself with the love and compassion you give others? Are you seeking refuge in things and people?
Shit, I know I have and I know I will again and again but I also know that I will gently remind myself that my refuge is within me. We all deserve to find redemption in ourselves, even if it is a lifelong journey.