B12: The Covenant

Hey folks

The most beautiful day of my life happened last month and I wanted to share with you the marriage vows my wife and I wrote for our wedding. We decided to have two separate parts to our vows: 1) Where we told the other why we loved them and why we wanted to marry them, and 2) What we’re committing to and the code we will endeavor to live by.

When we’d only been together for 3 months we wrote down and discussed a list of values (such as honesty, generosity, passion, etc) that we wanted to have as cornerstones for our relationship. Before our wedding we searched through dozens of dusty boxes containing photos, ornaments, love letters and postcards from days gone by and eventually found the original script and used it as the bare bones of the covenant written below.

Special thanks to Tim and Gill who gave me the idea that wedding vows were not just an affirmation, but a code to live by.

The Covenant

Beloved, this marriage with you here today is about more than just love. We’ve both known love, in many forms and have felt it strongly for each other for years now, but that is not why we are here.

This marriage is about more than romance and passion or any notions of being in love. It’s about a decision. A decision, which is a demonstration and an act of love, but also a demonstration and an act of freedom.

You are not a part of me and you do not belong to me.

You are a free man, independent and empowered in who you are.

I would not take from you your autonomy or freedom, but I believe that you and I have learnt lessons enough now from being alone.

As I declare to you and our loved ones gathered here my love for you and my commitment to you, I want them to know, and I want you to know, that I am still committed to the same principles that we wrote in a covenant in the first three months of our relationship.

The following seven vows are the best demonstration of ‘the generosity of spirit’ that I diligently aspire to embody in all of my affairs with you. As I take these vows again now may I integrate them into my being and our relationship in a brand new way where they are embedded deeper and more holistically, that I may better serve you with my love.

We are committed to Honesty:

I will tell you the truth at all times no matter how difficult or scary it feels to do so. I will be transparent with you about my thoughts and feelings whether they paint me in a dark or a radiant light. I will be honest with you at the expense of your good graces and affection, that is when you’d really rather I didn’t.  I will place transparency before my agenda, truth before my ego and honesty before being right.

We are committed to Courage:

I will search inside myself to find the willingness and ability to do the hardest things and the things that I need to do but that that I don’t always want to do. Even when I feel I don’t have it in me, I will extend myself to find the strength to carry on. When it is easier in some social situation to subtly belittle our love or discretely dishonor our connection, I will walk into what’s awkward. Our love is not for sale. Our marriage is not an anecdote. You give me courage and I will be courageous for you.

We are committed to Acceptance:

When I don’t like what you’re doing I will practice tolerance.

When I don’t like what you’re saying I will practice understanding.

When I don’t like what you’re thinking, feeling or being I will practice patience.

When you take any of these further than I think I can stand I will practice forgiveness.

I thank you in advance for your acceptance of me.

I will seek to let my head and heart be peaceful and to create peace in our connection. I will let go of my resistance to ‘what is’ and let my choices and preferences become ideas to discuss, rather than wars to wage.

Let it be that when we compromise we do so in a way where we both get to win!

We are committed to Passion:

I will have fun with you, be alive with you, make love with you, save the world with you,

I will create with you, be silly with you, dream with you, talk all night with you

I will run with you, dance with you, sing with you, swim with you

I will love you with ferocity, intensity, joy and passion.

We are committed to Awareness:

I will listen to you, not just with my ears but my heart as well. I will seek to understand you and your perspective no matter how much that may differ from me and mine. I will listen not just to your words but to your actions and your moods, to your body and your face. I will listen to the life going on around us and be mindful of how that life might be for you. Just as I seek to attune to you, I also aspire to be aware of myself and express all that I am with grace.

We are committed to Compassion:

We are on the same team you and I and if you ever forget it I will try to remind you with compassion. Judgment without love is a clumsy teacher and I wish to teach you with care and support and to be schooled by you with empathy and love.

We are committed to Faith:

I want to build a life with you, a beautiful life. I want to have outrageous hopes and dreams and delight in both their realisation and their disintegration. I want to inspire you and raise your aspirations of life. I want to liberate you from your fear and from your mind and help you to believe in a bigger you and a brighter world.

When we explore realities or issues or darkness I want to explore them together with light and positivity, with love and with trust.

For all these desires and more I have faith in you, I have faith in myself and I have faith in us.

Let this celebration here today motivate and inspire us to stay true and evermore present to these commitments, and let our memories of this day invest our commitment with the support and love of those gathered around us.

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