The Day I Married Myself
It has been two and a half years since I married myself.
There was no reception, no dress, no fanfare. Just a ring. It was a simple ceremony at the jewelry store where I picked out my ring. It is a diamond engagement ring with twelve stones arranged in to a square shape similar to a princess cut. From the moment I first put it on, I knew it was mine. It was a price I could afford, and exactly what I wanted. That day I made an eternal commitment to love, honor, and cherish myself as long as I shall be present in this corporeal form. I promised myself that I would put myself first above anyone else. After all, you cannot help anyone unless you are already taking good care of yourself.
This marriage has been a bit of a rough ride. I have done a lot of taking care of others, neglecting myself. I have taken in boarders… four of them in these two and a half years. I have lost a few thousand dollars caring for a kid that isn’t mine – money I will never see again – I hope I never see the parent on whose behalf I made that sacrifice. I didn’t stop at the first one. It happened again, and again and again. Now I’m in a position of almost complete destitution in every sense of the word: physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially…
Once I stopped looking at how I could help others, I realized how much work I had neglected in myself. Early this year, when my home, my life was pulled out from underneath me, I put my ring back on. I had worn it infrequently for about the past year and a half, but it was calling my name from the jewelry box on my dresser. It slipped right into place on my left ring finger and has stayed there for weeks now. Every time I look at it, I remember that my primary responsibility is to safeguard myself and find opportunities for personal development. I’ve been exercising, trying to eat better, pursuing my dream of becoming a professional dressmaker, and seeking a new community that shares my values, complements my skills, and has resources I need. Part of my problem since leaving my missions post three years ago was that I left my community behind as well, and never cultivated a new one. I didn’t find people who were able and/or willing to live interdependently. I don’t mean just sharing a food or living space. What I want is to coexist as a unit in most, if not all aspects of life. I don’t know where I’ll find it except in a commune, but I’m looking for it.
For better or worse, I’ve got to do something to save myself, and soon. I’m making progress. But I’ve got a long way to go and limited resources. But just like a marriage between two people, my marriage to myself requires hard work. I must resist the allure to care for others when my primary relationship is unstable. Change is coming. I’ve quit my smoking habit, eliminated meat from my diet, taken up therapy sessions, accepted pharmaceutical treatment and even when I slip up, I forgive and make up with myself and try again the next day.
Please, all of you, whoever still reads this… commit to making yourself your #1 priority so that you will be able to continue contributing to society and blessing others. You’re worth it, and so is everyone else.