I went to a wedding a few weeks ago. It was one of those truly wonderful, magical evenings – so relaxed, so genuinely fun – that it made all the girls want to get married, and all the boys a wee bit worried (!!).
In fact, it made me want a wedding. Super independent, don’t-want-to-buy-a-concert-ticket-for-my-favourite-band-because-I-don’t-know-where-I’ll-be-in-six-months me suddenly wanted a wedding. To be clear, it didn’t make me want to be *married*, it made me want a wedding. I suppose one could call this the Kim Kardashian effect – the seemingly urgent and fervent desire to be the centre of attention for a day, to wear a beautiful white dress and have everyone tell you how STUNNING and GLOWING and RADIANT you look, and to make a big, massive deal about your awesome partner and your awesome relationship and how generally awesome you both are in front of all your loved ones. Consequences be damned!
I also found myself feeling so *behind* my friends. My boyfriend and I don’t even live together yet, and here I have friends getting engaged and married and germinating their own spawn. My boy and I have only been together for a little over 18 months, so to desire a wedding is a leeetle bit premature (wonderful as he is). Yet that is what I wanted, despite the fact that I had thought I was smart enough to know that I should be living my life by my own speed signs, and not feeling like I need to race to keep up with those around me.
What is it about a wedding that can bring out that insane banshee creature inside our heads, who insists on screeching loudly about ‘milestones’ and ‘keeping up’ and ‘missing out’? Is it the ‘Disney princess’ thing – does it stem back to our childhoods growing up being told that our lives aren’t truly complete until a handsome horse-riding prince sweeps us off our tootsies? Is it as simple (and misguided) as keeping up with the Joneses? Is it a pre-cursor to the ticking of the proverbial biological clock?
When I truly think about it and examine the situation, I don’t want a wedding or marriage or anything like that just yet. It is not what I truly want for me, right now, in my life. The screeching banshee voice of my ego is mistaken, or misguided, or misappropriating her energies into the wrong pursuit. Yet there she is.
But how to fix it? Simply, it turns out. Eckhart Tolle writes of the ego, and says that merely being aware of it is the first step. In fact, merely being aware of it is enough. Simple acknowledgment of this strange-and-sudden-and-oddly-fervent desire, simple acceptance of what you are feeling, and simply allowing it to be what it is. That’s enough. For ego cannot exist when we are truthful with ourselves, and ego cannot exist when we recognise it for what it truly is.
The first step – the only step – is to recognise that it is your ego talking to you. It is your (my) ego insisting on a princess-cut diamond, a Monique Lhullier gown and an army of attendants to fulfill you (me). Awareness of that fact will lead you through it and back to your truth. So for me, after joking with my very-understanding boyfriend and then spending my first day back at work internet-perving on flowy white dresses, I recognised that my *wanting* was based on ‘something other than truth’ (for want of a better phrase). And I can leave the white-wedding-envy behind, because it is not really me, it is just my ego. As Gabrielle Bernstein says, just laugh at the tiny, mad ideas of your ego and you will take away their power.
Post script: I have told my boyfriend that if he can organise once every year or so for me to be at a party, wearing a beautiful dress, and everyone (totally spontaneously!) telling me how gorgeous/glowing/radiant/luminous I look, then my inner wedding diva will be satisfied!!! … Jokes!