Why ‘I do’ is bigger than you

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Did you ever wonder what happened to Cinderella’s stepsisters after she married the prince and left to live happily ever after in the castle?

Yeah me either.

Love stories tend to focus only on the people inside them. Which makes sense…it’s a love story, not the Proud Family.

However, to say that relationships don’t affect people outside of them is just not true. This is especially important when it comes to marriage. The idea that marriage is supposed to last forever isn’t a silly fairy tale or a random rule an uptight monk decided would be a good idea; it’s the foundation for family life.

Love is meant to be eternal…not just to last as long as it feels good. The family unit depends on this. The security that comes from a couple that stays together provides their children with the opportunity to learn what it means to love and be loved. Love entails permanency; anything less is insufficient and breaks the most essential player in loving relationships: trust.

This isn’t just my opinion: we know that parental divorce leads to lower trust in future relationships of the children.

In other words, something that is already difficult (entrusting yourself completely to someone else) is made exponentially more challenging.

Trust is everything. Self-gift necessitates a surrender of control that can’t happen without faith in the other person.

When trust is broken in a vital relationship – the one that sets the example for all the relationships to come – we are left impaired for life. This may seem like an exaggeration, I thought so too until I experienced the ramifications in my own relationship.

Facing my trust issues has been one of the biggest hurdles I’ve faced thus far and not one I would wish on my worst enemy. The pain, confusion and helplessness that arises when you feel you can’t trust someone you care deeply about is overwhelming and has often threatened what I know to be a really good thing. When there is betrayal in a formative relationship (as what happens in divorce), our outlook on intimacy and relationships becomes skewed…unnatural.

Despite the normalcy of divorce, I know I’m not the only person suffering it’s severe consequences. The marriage rate in the U.S. is at an all time low. An important reason given for this is the fact  that millennials’ ‘don’t think it’s likely to last.’ (Deseret News, 2015). We are also getting married a lot later in life (at the age of 27 for women and 29 for men compared to the ages of 20 and 23 in 1960, according to Bentley.edu). We are experiencing a ‘cultural retreat’ from marriage…and it is no bueno.

What we’ve resorted to is cohabiting – or living together outside of marriage. We think that this kind of relationship is preferable to making a vow and then breaking it later. While understandable, this idea couldn’t be further from the truth. This type of relationship is dramatically less stable and has a much lower rate of success than those of married couples (Deseret News, 2015). But, we think we’re smart so…here we are.

We also take part in what’s being called ‘serial dating’; where we go on multiple dates with multiple different people over a short span of time. Apps like Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge, Happn and others are all out there to help us find dates quickly. The convenience of it makes us more detached from the outcome: ‘hey if it doesn’t work out with this person, there are 1,569 other matches I can reach out to.’

There’s nothing wrong with meeting someone over the internet; the problem arises when we treat dating like we’re flipping through TV channels as opposed to what it should be: a genuine effort to discover another person and find out if you can see yourself marrying them.

Marriage and family have been pushed aside in the name of practicality and as a result we’re becoming even more self-centered. The thing is, it’s not just about us. Love is necessarily other focused: the person we marry and the children we have have everything to gain from our unconditional love. We can’t afford to just look out for ourselves; there’s too much at stake.

It’s not glamorous or exciting to think about Cinderella and prince Charming’s children or how their relationship affected their community, but that’s really everything. After all, we can tell a tree by it’s fruit!

What we do in life matters, but nothing matters more than the close relationships we have with the people we love. Love (like trust) is learned and it can’t be learned if we’re focused on just our own needs and desires…it’s bigger than that.

We may say ‘I do’ at the altar, but really it is so much more than just about us; if we take this seriously we can love others fully and allow them to then do the same…and isn’t that quite the privilege?

 

 

 

Monday 5: Trustful surrender & other things to be excited about this week

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Happy Monday! Today came a little too soon this week but I know writing about the things I’m excited about or looking forward to helps me muster up a little more enthusiasm about the new week.

This weekend I was able to get in my share of social time. I caught up with friends over dinner, at birthday celebrations and during bonfires! Probably my favorite part of the weekend, though, was going out to walk on the beach with my mom. We got some #carelessfreetime in and it was lovely (and a little rebellious).

I hope your weekend was enjoyable and that your Monday isn’t too painful. Here is this week’s five, in case you need a little bit of inspiration today (or just something to distract you from work for five minutes).

All This Time by One Republic

I love this song and have recently been listening to it more frequently. I’ve really enjoyed music from One Republic for several years now and this song by them is probably one of my favorites. The lyrics and tune are so sweet and the message offers a nice alternative to the more cynical songs we hear a lot of today.

 

March!!!

I am so excited that March is starting this week. I absolutely love Spring and it is one of the best times of year to be here in Charleston. Typically the tourists don’t come until early summer but the weather is just beautiful…so we really get the best of both worlds for a little bit. I’m also excited that the time change is this month and the days will really start to get longer! There are so many opportunities to spend time outdoors around here, I’m excited that the weather will be even more conducive to that in the upcoming weeks, #yayspring.

 

Lent

Lent is a period of forty days before Easter when many Christians make a sacrifice as a way of preparing for the upcoming celebration. The idea is that giving something up that may not help you spiritually/emotionally/physically is a good chance for personal growth. I actually really love Lent because it gives me the opportunity to really focus in on something that I may need to work on but haven’t had the time/motivation to before. I’ve always found this time to be a great practice of discipline that continues to be fruitful way after Lent is over.

 

Tennis shoes

So I realize tennis shoes have been back in for a while. But as someone who tends to be a little stuck in my ways, it’s only been more recently that I’ve started wearing them. I now love my white Keds and think it is so fun to pair them with a sundress or skirt! I love that they add a fun, childlike aspect to an outfit without being tacky or inappropriate. So cute!

 

Trustful surrender

Anxiety is a word we hear thrown around a lot and I certainly understand the battle. What I’m slowly (think glacier pace) starting to understand is that anxiety is a result of a lack of trust…a need to control. The  fact is that while we have the gift of free will, there is little else we can control outside the realm of our own actions. At some point we have to come to terms with this and realize we have two options: stress or submit. Certainly there are a million ways things can go wrong and a million more we can get hurt, but anticipating them doesn’t do much other than cause distress prematurely. I have found that a lot of the things I worried would happen…didn’t. And often acting from fear that something will happen, actually causes it to take place, #selffulfillingprophecy. The antidote to this is a letting go, what is called a ‘trustful surrender’ to whatever outcome occurs, hoping for the best and doing what we can to make it happen. I think a lot more good comes from acting from place of trust than doubt. This has been a hard-earned lesson for me and one I continue to struggle with, but I’m excited for the opportunity to grow in trust.

Here’s to another exciting week!

xo

Miranda

Monday 5: This blouse by Zara & other things to be excited about this week

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Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a restful weekend. I finally have been feeling better and even socialized some this weekend! Very exciting.

I did watch the Superbowl. Well, I was in a house in which the game was playing. And I occasionally looked at the screen… the food was in a different room so that didn’t really help. As much as I struggle to understand the game itself, I do appreciate that football brings people together.

Last week I got in a quick photo shoot with my talented photographer Lizzy. It was a beautiful day and the neighborhood we went to provided some truly beautiful backdrops! That is where the picture above come sfrom, you’ll see more of those in the near future.

All that being said, here is this week’s Monday 5, I hope it helps to add some pep to the beginning of your work week!

This shirt by Zara

When I was in Houston over the holidays I got to go to Zara, one of my favorite clothing shops. This was even more exciting because we don’t have one where I live so rarely get the opportunity to shop there. One of the two things I got was this blouse, I love it. It is so soft and kind of a retro chic that I think is starting to become more and more popular.

Scrubs

It’s hard for me to get into TV shows, especially comedies because they rarely come close to my favorite, The Office. However this week I ventured into Scrubs and was really pleased. I know most people have already seen Scrubs, it’s not exactly new, and now I understand why people like it so much! I love the goofy humor combined with some more serious themes and life lessons. I especially appreciate the insights into the protagonist JD’s head – they are so easy to relate to and clever! While I have a lot to catch up on and won’t be watching too much Netflix in the near future, I look forward to making my way through JD’s experience at Sacred Heart.

La La Land soundtrack

One of the outings this weekend was to finally see La La Land, which other than being nominated for a million awards has also been recommended to me by multiple people. I thought it was well done and appreciated that it varied from most of the movies we see today. Probably one of my favorite parts was the soundtrack. The music was fun and upbeat without being cliché – a balance I imagine is hard to strike. In any case I’m looking forward to having a new album to listen to!

Towel folding: new practice

Ok I’ll admit this one sounds pretty lame… it probably is. But I honestly am really excited about it. I used to always just either hang my towels on the rack or fold them and then hang them. But this weekend I mastered a new way of doing so that looks so much prettier. First you fold it so that the monogram is centered (everyone has monogrammed towels… right?) and then you drape it over the rack instead of hanging it. It’s kind of hard to explain in writing but it looks so much better and every time I walk into the bathroom I can’t help but smile…it’s the little things, okay?

Trust

Patience and hope have been brought up in the past two week’s Monday 5’s. I’m starting to realize that our ability to be patient and have hope is directly related to our trust that things will work out. There’s often a lot of uncertainty in life; as much as we plan there are few guarantees. This could beg the question, why plan at all? Fair point. But I think planning is kind of an action-oriented way of hoping. After all, the plans we make are things we hope will happen. The things we want (career, home, family, travel) aren’t to be disregarded; I think our desires speak really deep truths about who we are. Planning, in a way, expresses trust that what you want is important and is possible… otherwise why work toward it or hope for it at all? This requires some trust. We don’t know what is actually going to take place, whether or not the thing we hope for or work toward will come to pass… but we trust that it will. If we didn’t trust it would be really hard to hope for something, much less have patience while we wait. So as much as I am not a fan of the unknown, I’m excited to develop a deeper trust that things will work out for the best. Why wouldn’t they?

I hope (and trust) that everyone will have wonderful Monday and productive work week.

xo

Miranda