Weddings are powerful symbolic rituals of unity. They bring together the
opposites of masculine and feminine. But they can also bring together opposing
forces. Wedding celebrations can combine family and guests under one roof who
may love the couple, but hate each other. What can be done?
There’s no better time or place to practice spiritual precepts like “love
others” and “practice compassion” than in these potentially trying situations.
While the bride and groom will have plenty to attend to on wedding day and
during the events leading up to it, families and participants conscious of
creating a sacred space for the coming union will make special efforts to keep
a helpful frame of mind and consider the couple’s happiness above all.
Here are some tips on how to make a way through the gauntlet with ease:
1) Share Thoughts of Goodness: So you have to sit
next to your ex’s new spouse while your daughter ties the knot? Surround
yourself with love and light and keep your thoughts focused on goodness that
spreads to encompass everyone in the chapel and at the reception. While this
may not be easy, give it a try and watch your mind become elevated. It’s
better than making relatives cringe or the new bride cry.
2) Set an ideal and make harmony your priority. Harmony is
a key for a good marriage and participants can contribute to setting the
example. Contribute to creating a joyous, memorable wedding by being
harmonious in interactions. If you have to interact with some participants who
you have difficulty with, make an effort to see the good/God in them. If you
still have trouble, then be courteous and move away to a place where you can
practice deep breathing and pray. A centering prayer, a prayer that repeats a
single word or name of the divine over and over, can lend support and courage
in trying times.
3) Remember to think of others first and keep a handle on
your ego. Getting married can be stressful enough without having to manage
divorced and separated parents with their new mates, step families and spouses
and battling best friends. Let the bride and groom shine in the harmonious
environment you help to create.
4) All situations can offer opportunities to learn and grow.
Determine in advance how you wish to contribute to the goodness of the celebrations.
Visualize this and see yourself, and the places you plan to be, filled with
light. During the events, keep an attitude of unity and remember why you’re at
the wedding — to celebrate a beautiful and extraordinary event in a couple’s
and a community’s life and to recognize the importance of unity. The real
judge of whether you are successful or not will come from you own inner
Bio: Debra Moffitt-Leslie’s book,"108 Spiritual Practices for
Challenging Times" will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in 2011. Her
essays and articles appear in publications around the world and focus on
drawing attention to the spiritual in a mostly material-minded world. She’s on
the faculty for The Sophia Institute and gives workshops in the U.S.and Europe.
Her fiction was broadcast by BBC World Services and published in numerous
literary magazines. Read more at http://www.debramoffitt.com