Abiola’s Love Class! How to Get Married… To Yourself?
Welcome to Love School. Class is in session! Abiola’s Love School is a weekly empowered Love Lesson, inspirational class and juicy conversation about love, relationships, dating, sex, commitment and self worth. Each assignment will include homework, resources and actionable steps. Let’s move beyond the surface to experience the true love and intimacy we deserve. Are you in?
“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” ~Rita Mae Brown
A few years ago, the diamond industry made a splash by declaring that women should buy a “right-hand ring” for themselves. The campaigns were in the spirit of “girl power,” declaring one’s freedom and showing independence by making such a decadent purchase for oneself. I don’t know many people who jumped on to this trend, but I’m sure it may have been in response to declining numbers of marriages and engagements, blood diamonds casting a red light on the entire industry and the fact that women have more disposable income than ever before. Marketing ploys aside, there is value in declaring your self-love, to yourself and your immediate community. As a self-love coach and love columnist, I certainly don’t think that you need to spend thousands of dollars to do so but if you want to, go for it.
A wedding ceremony generally consists of a couple taking vows of love, honor and commitment (as they see it) to one another. The family and loved ones of the couple bear witness to the vows overseen by the holy person of choice. This ritual signifies the joining of hearts, families and goals. We give gifts, not to pay for our presence at the wedding or to subsidize their new lives, but to celebrate the joy we feel at the union.
Whether it’s a wedding, a new baby, the big birthday party or the joy of a new job, saying “yes and yippee” has value. Too often we amble through life without reveling in our joyful moments. This is part of the reason why I advocate for women doing a commitment ceremony for themselves. I used to call this a self-marriage but because we bring so many associations with m-word, some women are more receptive to calling it “a commitment ceremony.”
But Abiola, you may be thinking, I am already committed to myself! Really?
That’s great but it’s more often that we seem divorced from ourselves. We all want to be committed to ourselves. We aim to be own our own sides. We declare it when New Year’s resolutions roll around, proclaim it after every self-help book and then chide ourselves when we fall short.
Yes, in our fantasies or in the rah-rah sister we lead with, we are fully committed to ourselves. The face you lead with at work, the character you portray on social media is in full love and support of herself. However, the women you show me privately are exactly the opposite. I see your tears and hear your sorrows when you feel that you were not there for you. As a human being, I too am very familiar with self-betrayal.
I am honored as a coach to provide a safe space for us to voice our fears and challenges. I hold a sacred space for every woman reading this column right now to rise up and become the fullest realization of herself.
So why do we need to marry ourselves?
You don’t need to call it marriage, but you do need to make a loving commitment to yourself. Put your hand over your heart and ask, “How have I betrayed you?” Oh, let me count the ways.
We betray ourselves when we say we will start to work out tomorrow and then tomorrow never comes. We betray ourselves when we sell our bodies for the grown-up equivalent of a Happy Meal. We commit personal treason when we give our time and our hearts where are are not valued. We are unfaithful to ourselves when make someone our priority who only considers us an option at best. Looking in the mirror and hating what you see in any way, shape or form is nothing short of treachery. You are wanting the people in your life to love, honor and cherish you when you have not done so for yourself. You are hungry for a buffet and settling for crumbs.
So why a self-marriage?
A ritual announces to yourself, those in your life and the very cells in your body that something matters to you. If you include other people in your personal commitment ceremony, you also have a circle of accountability. It hasn’t fully worked out this way in modern times but this is the main reason guests are present at a wedding.
The same energy and brain that created a condition will not solve it. If you are looking to move on to the next stage of your fab life, whatever that means to you, this is a great way to proclaim it. This is an act of healing and an act of self-love.