Getting dismantled and recreated: Reflections on getting married

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Getting Dismantled and Recreated: Reflections on Getting Married

In a few days’ time, Aaron and I will be speaking our marriage vows in front of family and community. When we first announced that we are getting married, people asked me to please share my learnings in the process as it unfolds. So here, my reflections to you. Since in the public imagination, wedding is a once-upon-a-time kind of thing, let’s start that way.


Once upon a time… the journey leading up to here


Once upon a time, there was a young teenage girl who grew up in a conservative culture as a natural born feminist. Although she was a very good girl, she soon formed an opinion about one thing: It seemed that the men around her expected women to be less intelligent than them and to be pretty decorations by their side. And her opinion about this was clear: Over her dead body was she going to give in to such nonsense.


And besides, she was in love with God. At age 12, she had a mystical and yet highly individual meeting with the divine which started to set the tone of her life. She was in love with This One – and nothing less than This union would do.


Fast forward many years later: The good girl has spent some time in the wilderness and has undergone a radical transformation into a Tantrika. She is adamant that her sexuality belongs to God and that she shares it as such. She is even more adamant that all forms of ‘possessiveness’ in love and sex are a movement in the wrong direction, and she tracks such gestures with a fine eye. Here of course marriage presents itself to her as suspect nr 1.


But at some point, the Tantrika becomes suspicious of her own theory that “relationship” (as opposed to what Osho calls relating) is likely to be an obstacle to, rather than a support in, the quest to realize our true identity as one with God. She mocks her own internal demi-gods by writing a request to Existence to bring along a man with whom she can go deeper in the journey into God.


A month later, he shows up. In an unlikely place (California), in an unlikely shape (of blonde Nordic descent) and with a most unlikely name (Aaron, the name of the prophet in the Old Testament). But his love of God seduces her. And layer by layer, she begins to surrender her resistance and open to this.


Three years later, the man who carries the name of the prophet asks this woman, who by now is 46, to marry him. And her answer to him: Yes beloved. We have always been married. Like Rumi says:


Lovers don’t finally meet

They are in each other all along.


This is no fairy tale


So here I switch to present tense, to humbly offer my reflections on what happened after I spoke that fatal “Yes”. The undoing of whoever I thought I was of course did not start at this point, but it took on unique flavours that I’ll aim to honestly share here. First, I’ll share what I found in the descent downward, and then how I found my way to integration.


Ancestral grumblings


First off, the ancient reptilian conditioning of my ancestors came out protesting against the union on a large scale. I come from the tribe of Afrikaners – a motley crew of Europeans who ventured out into darkest Africa to make their home there. In the 20th century, after being dominated and humiliated by the British for some time, the Afrikaner decided that they wanted to be seen as European – (read: sophisticated, cultured, advanced) and not African (read: wild, uncultured, uneducated).


I had no idea that this latter movement in the collective unconscious of my tribe was alive in my own unconscious wells – until I said yes to marriage. That yes was like pressing “Play” on the collective unconscious programming that was sitting there deep inside me. The voices inside me were loud and vehement, proclaiming things like: “This is not a good match – you have a Ph.D. and he didn’t finish school. You are betraying your lineage and your hard-won genetic evolution.” Of course, in the imagination of this sophisticated beast, the fact that I was actually marrying a second-generation European didn’t mean a thing.


Money speaks


I have over the years developed a relationship with money that has felt infused with light and joy. But in saying yes to this union, I opened up Pandora’s box – and I got sucked right into the steel-like foundational belief systems about money, fairness and trade in our culture. The setup is such: At the same time as we stepped into this union, it became clear that Aaron was to let go of his business and that I would support the two of us while he listened and found his way into a new expression. I thought I could handle that just fine. But that was not the case.


Pretty soon, I discovered – with great reluctance – the enormous amount of control and manipulation I exert over life through my relationship with money and trade. Whenever I became tired or weak, the money-monster would stick out its face and whisper in my ear: “You are earning all the money and he isn’t doing a thing. He isn’t even washing the dishes! This is not fair. You are not respecting the rules of money and you will lose it all.” I would find myself getting passive aggressive and causing endless drama.


Being the bride


On a totally different note: As soon as I said yes to marriage, the pressure of all the collective unconscious fairytales about marriage started to descent on me. First of all, I felt that I had to be the princess on this special day. I had to be the perfect object of people’s happily-ever-after projections. The force of this demand in my system almost blew me out the water – to the extent that I found myself quite frozen about doing anything at all about arranging this marriage.


The shadow of marriage


As time came closer, I also became aware that something in my unconscious felt obliged to carry the negative projections onto marriage that I had myself, and that people around me were sitting with. They carried statements such as: When you get married, you stop growing. You sit on the couch and vegetate. You spend your time in passive aggressive distance from each other. You stop telling the truth. You lose yourself in the other. Love becomes habitual and mediocre. You’ll become his mother and someone else will become his mistress.


Terrifying stuff. And time after time, I found myself biting the line. Time after time, I found myself being pulled right to the bottom of the ocean, into the depths of despair. This was no fairy tale. It was my worst nightmare. The ghosts were out, and they were parading. And at times, they successfully initiated a terrifying war between us. It felt like it was someone else doing it to me – Aaron, the collective unconscious, anyone else, just not me. But it was me all along – me discovering more of myself, and bringing more of me home. Saying yes to marriage was the undoing of so many fairy tales in me – and an invitation to discover the deeper meaning in these words:


Lovers don’t finally meet

They are in each other all along.



Walking over the edge


In the midst of all the storms kicked up by subconscious beliefs surfacing, I found my way into whole new ways of being. I’d like to share some of my learnings here.


Catching the critic: One of my biggest pieces of work was to catch the voice of my inner critic that would throw all the above negative beliefs at me. I was a helpless victim to it – until I learnt to dis-identify from this voice. I don’t think that would have happened if it wasn’t for a full-on commitment to love, honour and appreciate myself at all times.


Choosing from knowing, not from feeling: The moment came when I felt myself really in the depths of despair. I could sink no lower. And suddenly, the voice of my soul spoke from within, with clear authority: “Know what is true. And give yourself to that.” With an act of tremendous will, I turned this Titanic around, and it triumphantly bounced back onto the surface of the oceans. Was that a miracle – or simply a choice to stop indulging these other voices?


Giving myself to the love: At times when both of our fears would open the war between us, I could feel myself dialling into a loud radio station which insisted that I defend myself. But I also knew in my being another channel I could dial into. It is called love. It is quieter and less insistent. It only speaks when freely given to. But every time I find myself choosing this channel (despite the loud objections of my logic) a whole other level of wisdom and knowing opens up. My willingness to just love falls on us like rain on a desert landscape. And life begins to miraculously blossom into entirely new forms.


Sovereign being: Whenever one of us gets triggered, it seems to activate the other. I have learnt to at such times return into my inner sanctuary, find the still point there, and then return to the conversation. When I allow this spaciousness, it gives my soul the opportunity to feel what is coming up and to dial back in to the frequency of love. War, I have discovered, does not resolve itself while we are identified with being in the battle field.


Seeing the One, knowing the abundance: In the shamanic world, one learns the art of seeing beyond what catches our attention in ordinary reality. It’s funny how I can teach that to people, and then find it almost impossible to do at times in my own life. Until I drop the stubbornness and the self-hatred. And then I see clearly what was there all along: Aaron and I were never two. We were in each other all along. The quality of his being opens me to entirely new dimensions. The immensity of his love – and the love that reverberates between us – turns the fibres of my being into substance far more valuable than gold. What was that again then, that belief that relationship should be financially fair and balanced? What was that but an indoctrination from the controlling forces in this world that are successfully convincing us that we are merely economic players in someone else’s game? What has money got to do with any of this, except as our own symbol to express what we wish to create? And can we see the real abundance of what is already here, for us to feast upon?


Community creating new reality together: In a few days’ time, a few handfuls of friends and family are gathering to witness us in what we are creating through this marriage. The ceremony seems to have a familiar format, but the meaning that we bring to it, is a gift from our souls rather than our past and conditioning. I can feel how the holding of the community supports the manifestation of this intention. I see all of you, beloveds, as part of this community of conscious intent, giving ourselves to the highest possibility of what is possible in sexual partnership.


Gratitude: Gratitude is a fuel under my ass in this intimate relating. I feel so awesomely blessed in every way – by the presence of this extraordinary man with whom I can journey into the beyond, by the wise guidance of my teachers, and in particular Bernie Prior, Aisha Salem and Judith Blackstone. And I feel blessed to be part of a world community awakening to the truth of who we are, whilst in relating.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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