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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Love Is The Answer

In the midst of a very late night conversation with my son, this thought kept running through my mind. It’s nothing new and yet, as much as I talk about, teach about, counsel about and write about love, there are moments when spiritual amnesia kicks and my experience of love feels as if it is in ‘another galaxy far, far away’. (I’m a bit of a Star Wars geek:)

What brought this to the surface is that he points out that more than 14 years after the death of my husband (his father), there are still messy, threadbare edges to clean up; places where I have held on to resentments and regrets, anger and ‘shoulda-woulda-coulda’, ‘what-if-and-if-only’ dynamics. He would like to see me forgive what I could not change.  He would be right about that and yet, even with all of my years of experience as a therapist, I feel at a loss as to how to heal the wounds that I have been carrying, ways of putting down the boulder of unforgiving thoughts. Every relationship is comprised of two perfectly imperfect beings; the sum total of their genetic and experientially gathered makeup and the choices they have made based on those factors. When they come together, they attempt to merge, for the purpose of creating a greater sense of wholeness, companionship, children, an alignment with the Divine, great sex, whatever…. there is also bumping up against each other’s rough edges, either polishing them or tearing them. In my own nearly 12 year marriage that turned to widowhood when my husband Michael died at 48 of Hepatitis C, while awaiting a liver transplant, there were elements of both dichotomies. I’m grateful for what we shared, knowing that love is never wasted. If not for this relationship, I would not be writing this column, since my journalistic career began in 1988 when we co-founded Visions Magazine. I would not have become an interfaith minister, since Michael was in seminary when he died and I enrolled and took his place in the class and became ordained.

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Now, nearly a decade and a half later, I still ponder the mysteries of relationship. Having remained single with short term relationships and wonderful lovers since then, I know that it is easier and safer to be a ‘relationship expert’ with the information to impart, than to actually be in a relationship. Far less messy, far less emotional upheaval, surface intimacy, which is an oxymoron if ever there was one. Since 1999, I have, as an interfaith minister, married hundreds of couples at all stages of their lives; some as young as 21 and others in their 70’s. Each relationship had a different flavor, since each couple was unique and I have been privileged to be an outside observer, blessing their unions, while beaming beatifically. Then I go home to my own life, that is full and rich in many ways, but ultimately solitary. I come and go as I please, have a wealth of friends and juicy experiences….and yet, there is a wistfulness; a wondering about my ability after all these years, to engage in full union with another. I have also witnessed the messy, conflicted, dramatic and traumatic relationships of clients over the years and shudder at the thought that I could find myself in that situation again.

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At a wedding I officiated  last weekend, these words were shared. I borrowed them from the ceremony of my friends Patti and Michael and I use them as a reality check for how I would like to be in my next relationship. It is part of a hand-fasting ritual in which we used a long piece of lace, wrapped around their joined hands in an infinity symbol.

 

I bid you look into each other’s eyes.

Will you cause her pain?

I May

Is that your intent?

No

Will you cause him pain?

I may

Is that your intent?

No

*To Both*

Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?

Yes

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And so the binding is made. Join your hands

Will you share his laughter?

Yes

Will you share her laughter?

Yes

*To Both*

Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive

in each other?

Yes

Will you burden him?

I may

Is that your intent?

No

Will you burden her?

I may

Is that your intent?

No

*To Both*

Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?

Yes

Will you share his dreams?

Yes

Will you share her dreams?

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Yes

*To Both*

Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes?

Yes

 Will you cause her anger?

I may

Is that your intent?

No

Will you cause him anger?

I may

Is that your intent?

No

*To Both*

Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?

We will.

And so the binding is made.

Will you honor him?

I will

Will you honor her?

I will

*To Both*

Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor?

We shall never do so.

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The knots of this binding are not formed by these cords but instead by your vows. Either of you may drop the cords, for as always, you hold in your own hands the making or breaking of this union.

 

I ask that my heart remain open and available to a love that spans the abyss of anger and regret and takes me safely home.

http://youtu.be/u37z8W5w8Do Love Is The Answer-Todd Rundgren

 

 

 

  • http://www.ceciliastking.com Cecilia St. King

    Hello Edie,

    Found my way to your blog from The New Seminary as I am interested in furthering my calling in becoming an Interfaith Minister. This particular blog caught my attention as I have been traveling the country for the past three years as a Peace Troubadour. One of my most requested songs is, “LOVE IS THE ANSWER.”
    Wanted to connect with you to talk about TNS, but when I saw your posting, wanted to also send you a link to my website where you can hear the song in it’s entirety.
    With Love, In Peace,
    Cecilia

  • http://www.liveinjoy.org Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW

    Thank you, Cecilia for being in touch. My time with TNS was deeply healing and profound. I would encourage you to consider it. Being a minister is a rewarding part of my career. Feel free to email me at bydivindesign@comcast.net and we can set up time to talk. I look forward to hearing your song <3

  • http://www.liveinjoy.org Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW

    Listening to your beautiful song. I would love to interview you for the Bliss Blog. <3
    bydivinedesign@comcast.net I had mis-spelled it in the previous message.

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