Check-in: I’m feeling a bit depressed now. My beloved is currently planning to come visit me and also planning to not visit me. She has apparently learned some universe surfing methods from me and I’m feeling both the excitement of anticipation of her coming and the sadness of her not coming and us not being together for the holidays and perhaps for an indefinite period. What feelings are alive for you right now? …
Forgive me if I repeat myself, both now and in the future. I experience time as flowing both ways. I sometimes notice that the thoughts and feelings I have seem to be affected by events that occur both in the past and in the future. From events in the past and future, these thoughts of three love ceremonies arise.
The first love ceremony is all about love of one’s self. In this ceremony, you invite all of your friends and family to be witness to your professions of love for your self. This ceremony will likely include elements of “coming out” – showing your true self to those you love. Everything about the ceremony and celebration is tailored to your own personality and truths. You share everything you have learned about yourself. You share both traits that you love about yourself and those that you might hate or at least have negative judgements about. You share your thoughts, feelings, emotions, desires, and fantasies. You share any current plans and goals. By the end of the ceremony, you have created a shared reality between you and your friends and family around who you are. This ceremony is one of knowing yourself, loving yourself, and being yourself in the presence of those you love.
The second love ceremony is a double ceremony that involves two people repeating the first love ceremony (which must be done first, of course 🙂 in the presence of the friends and family of both people. In this ceremony, instead of sharing everything you have learned about yourself, you share everything you have learned about another person. You share both traits you love about them and traits that you have some judgement around. You own your judgements and share how you are sometimes triggered by the other person. This ceremony can easily last twice as long as the first one since both people will be sharing. While one person is sharing, the other person is mainly listening. Depending on the two people, what is shared may be prepared and read, or may be completely in the moment. By the end of the ceremony, a shared reality among the loved ones of both people will have been created. This ceremony is about knowing another, loving another, and being yourself in the presence of another and another’s loved ones. Part of this ceremony includes a profession to explore partnership together.
The third love ceremony is also a double ceremony like the second, with friends and family of both people invited. In this ceremony, it is not so important to share things you love about the other person, as this was done in the second ceremony. Instead, the purpose of this ceremony is to share about the relationship between the two people that is being created. Both people share what they love about the relationship that they have created. They also share the challenges of the relationship. Some personal traits can be shared as reminders to help better explain the relationship. In this ceremony, both people can share simultaneously, more or less, or take turns. By the end of the ceremony, everyone has a shared reality of the relationship that has been created between the two people. This ceremony is about knowing the relationship between two people, loving this relationship, and living this relationship in the presence of others.
The first love ceremony is one that can be held at anytime after someone feels they have learned enough about themselves and feels ready to love and be one’s self in the presence of others. The second and third love ceremonies can be between any two people. It is not just reserved for those who might otherwise hold a marriage ceremony. These ceremonies can be held between two friends or two family members. They can be simple or extravagant. For the third ceremony, it is not assumed that the relationship being celebrated is “life long”. This could be the intention of both people, but it could also be the intention of both people that it not be life long.
How do you feel when thinking about these three ceremonies? What emotions arise? Do you feel like you know yourself well enough to have the first love ceremony? Do you feel ready to share who you are with those who love you? Who would you invite?