28 abril 2013

Rites of Marriage - learnings of a made, a bride a wife (part 1)

Marriage, such an arquetipal thing.
As I've been preparing for my, I've been realizing how much evergy it holds. And that not only have to do with the bride and the groom but with the whole system in which we are inserted. So much that comes about when this word in put on the table. And it being a bi-national wedding makes it even more interesting and intense to be part of...

That is really when many of the difference comes about, the different ways to which cultures, families and each one of us relate to love, commitment and ceremonies.

All we want is to celebrate Love. To celebrate the fact of having found each other in one corner of the world. Having had the guts to say yes, to stay even in the times when we wanted to leave and go back to the constant search for who we are. Having had the courage to be two when it can be so much easier to just be one. Having had the honesty to understand that it is in relationship that I am me.

To celebrate the many lives that we have lived until now and that we are ought to live in the years to come. To being strong to holding eachother and encouraging to move forward towards becoming more of ourselves. Yet the transactions behind the fact, and the fragmented perception of our world makes it sound just to difficult and complicated. Something to be scared of or to take as a given institution that cannot and should not be changed.

In our marriage, I have learned that it takes a lot of courage and conversation to make the common ground where we stand clear and tangible, not to anybody outside of us, but to our own selves. From that place only we can decide and make it be - both in the formalities, as in the everyday life - a true reflection of our commitment. It is an evolving thing. And I am happy we have been taking it process by process.

The process of getting married in Holland was an eye opener to the different ways marriage can be conceived. Whereas in Brazil the first reaction from people is to celebrate, hug and congratulate you for the exciting new step, in The Netherlands my experience was that people reacted through their minds. They would ask us "Why?" "Why do you want to marry?", and then giving us rational reasons why marriage could be a choice that makes life more practical: like buying a house, having kids, sorting out visa issues. In our case, non of that applied! And we were mesmerized by the feeling and the fact that we had to explain we were marrying because we love each other and we wanted to commit, with all the things that it entails, to this choice of loving and building a life together.

I would get offended and feel hurt at every occasion (with friends and family) when this question would come up. it felt like an offense to my "right" to simply love and to feel that this is the man I want to build a life with, because often the questions felt so charged with other unspoken assumptions that have to do with fear, distrust and scarcity. All of those characteristics that are not embraced by love and its pure definition. The questions "why?" felt to me as questions about whether or not I was after his money and inheritance? Whether or not I had a secret plan to marry so I could have a Dutch/EU passport? Whether or not he had had enough time to meet me, my family and to know I/we were trustworthy and wealthy? How much did we really know about each other if we had only been together for so little time? Completely did not take into account the fact that we probably had spent more time together and gone through harder decisions than an average couple does in 3 years of relationship.

(to be continued)...

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