The Wedding Effect: An Important Life Lesson
There are moments of truth in life when we just can’t help but be moved by a moment. I experienced one of those moments recently. Last weekend I was at a wedding and the couple had to scramble last minute as the rain outside made it impossible for them to get married in the breathtaking outdoor setting that they had set their hearts on. After a last-minute plan B was concocted and set in place an indoor ceremony was created and we all took our seats. First came the groom with his parents and when he was in place with all the parents, groomsmen and bridesmaids, the bride appeared and there was the moment.
As the gaze of the groom and bride met I couldn’t help but notice a welling up of emotion in my heart and felt the tears come to my eyes filled with joy and hope. There was something just so beautiful about that moment and the moments that unfolded. I could sense by their smiles and the look in their eyes that the bride and groom were enshrouded in the present moment, deeply in touch with the meaning that was there (especially with the contrast of all that had just gone through).
What is it about the moment a bride and groom catch each other’s gaze that wells up those feelings in us? As I reflect on this what first comes to mind is a sense of hope, possibility and promise for the future and there’s something beautiful about that alone.
But that doesn’t seem to hit the core of it. As I inquire deeper, I can’t help but think that there is something deep inside each one of us that wants to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance and that moment is the ultimate fruition of that longing.
As this is occurring, there seems to be a deep sense of belonging and acceptance that goes deeper than just an intellectual understanding, but seems to be felt on a soul level. A commitment is being symbolically made that says I accept you and you accept me for the entirety of this life. We are partners in this life together.
In the Jewish tradition there is a saying that in this case, the bride recited as she looked into her soon-to-be husband’s eyes:
“Dodi li, va’ani lo (My beloved is mine and I am his…)”
This speaks to the core of acceptance and belonging. All the love that had been felt in the relationship up to this point is peaking in that moment as the gaze locks and the ceremony unfolds.
This longing is so primal in each of us that that moment pulls on our heartstrings as a loving resonance occurs of what is so beautiful before our eyes.
Of course this reaction is going to vary from wedding to wedding and from person to person (with some seeming to go in the opposite direction), but there is enough of a common reaction to these moments that seems to make it a shared truth among many people for a longing for love, belonging and acceptance.
Now, if we can get the couple to share with us how they dealt with their stress management leading up to the wedding, that’s fuel for another post.
In the end, this is a truth we want to remind ourselves of as the marriage continues and children start becoming part of the picture. We can all take a lesson from these big moments.
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and question below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.
Goldstein, E. (2010). The Wedding Effect: An Important Life Lesson. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 8, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2010/07/the-wedding-effect-an-important-life-lesson/