[This entry is part four of a three-part series. Read part one.]
When I was a kid, you used to be able to buy little charms of a heart broken in two. The idea was that you’d keep half and whoever your girlfriend was that week would keep the other half. They still sell those, right? It’s been a while since I’ve been to one of those mall-stores where you can get your ears pierced and buy a lot of crappy sterling silver jewelry and hair scrunchies.
Anyway, I think that’s the general idea we have about romantic love, right? The sentiment “you complete me” comes to mind. That there’s these two halves that come together to make a whole. And I pretty much think that’s a bunch of crap. It seems to me that if you’re half a person and someone comes along as your other half, then you’ve got two half-people entering into a codependent relationship.
A better model would be to have two complete people joining as partners. Or, to put it another way, acknowledge that you’re incomplete because we’re all incomplete, we’re none of us perfect but are working your way along the path and make the conscious and mindful decision to find yourself a traveling partner. Someone who also acknowledges their humanity and is also working along the path. And you decide to work the path together, as coconspirators.
In this relationship, working with someone in this intimate and deeply personal way, you can then come to see that your relationship is a model of all relationships, romantic and otherwise. That none of us is alone. We’re all somehow interrelated to one another. And how you treat those who are closest to you is how you should treat strangers. And this relationship is not only a teaching tool for yourself, but for others as well.
This is why I want to get married. Well, that’s half the reason. The other half is that Dana knocks my socks off. I wake up in the morning thinking to myself how lucky I am that she’s lying next to me, and I don’t even believe in luck. But this little rant is all about how marriage fits in with my position as a Buddhist in light of that long Buddhist rant from last week and the fact that I’m getting married in five days. (Five days!)
And the truth of the matter is that Buddhism is not something you go and do. It’s not something you experience in a monastery or at a retreat or while sitting in meditation. Buddhism is. And it’s happening in my life right now. Right here while I’m writing this. And it’ll be happening when I get home tonight. We’re always doing Buddhism and I’m looking forward to doing Buddhism in this marriage, too. Of being mindful and compassionate and sincere toward this woman and having her be my partner on my path.
Like I’ve said before, we live Buddhism, in our lives, everyday.
And this week, that life is all about marriage.
[As a post script, the family starts arriving Wednesday, then it’s event after event after event through Sunday, then it’s honeymoon through the first week of August. And I’ve decided not to take the laptop. So I’ll be unplugged for a while. You’re just gonna have to read someone else’s blog in my stead.]