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The Bookends of Marriage

 

All marriages end. Whether by death, divorce or old-fashioned neglect, the rose-hued dreams we had for Happily Ever After become eroded in the passage of time. To love is to risk. Who here hasn’t gambled on love? And if we knew that someday it all would end, would we have taken even a single step in the direction of our dreams?

 

We’re just walking through life, minding our own business (although, increasingly, people are actively searching for love online), when slap bang onto our path walks someone who turns our head. Kapow! Gotcha! Whatever direction it was we thought we were walking in, suddenly changes. Our worlds collide, and in time we’re setting up home or having babies or travelling the world together. One thing’s for sure: when ‘the one’ comes along, most of us will tilt our world sideways to ensure longevity. Compromise after compromise after compromise. Afterall, why wouldn’t we want that wonderful feeling of love to last forever? (well, whatever ‘forever’ actually means in mortal terms)

 

The wedding industry is huge. As a wedding celebrant, my focus is purely on the ceremony and what I can bring to help a couple set the scene for their vows, promises and pledges. I bring my whole heart to this role, and in that wholeheartedness my deepest wish is that their intentions come to fruition.

 

 

But what of those at the other end of marriage? Where is the ‘industry’ (apart from greedy lawyers and divorce courts) or support systems to cushion those who find themselves walking out the other end of marriage – alone – their dreams crushed into the dust? Where are all the well wishers then? Why isn’t there a support team to help you move along with the next chapter/s of your life? Because it’s not pretty, that’s why!

 

When someone is widowed, sure, there’s the funeral, but what of the support for the person who is now living without the daily companionship of their beloved? The bottom line is that there is no one to fill that void. The loss of that vitality and life force that their loved one brought into their lives is akin to an earthquake. The landscape is forever changed. There are support groups for widows and widowers, but it seems to me that, as a culture, we simply don’t have the cushioning needed for this bookend.

And then there are people like myself who, for whatever reason, come to the end of what may well have been a long and happy marriage, and then find themselves separating. Not only does a marital separation of the couple ‘least likely to split’ terrify your friends and have them running in the opposite direction in case it somehow illuminates the fault lines in their own marriage, it also leads to people assuming the one who did the leaving is ‘ok’. The one who is ‘left behind’ is to be pitied and rallied around. It’s not surprising, really, given the litigious culture we live in. We’re virtually raised on the blame game from the get go.

I can hand on heart say, from my own experience, that grieving for a person who is still alive is even more painful that grieving for someone who is dead.

 

 

As a woman, wife, mother and celebrant, I have done enormous soul searching over the past 20 or so months since that first moment I became aware of the inner turmoil looming within me. It’s torn my heart in half over and over. If my husband had been a bad person, or had done something wrong, maybe this path I’ve walked might have been easier. I don’t know. All I know is that I’d irrevocably changed following my dearest friend’s suicide on Christmas Day 2016.

To those who ‘gossip’ that I’m okay and looking good, here’s the truth: I’m not! I just have an ability to know what my needs are and how to tend to my wounds in silence. Solitude is my healer. It always has been.

 

As a celebrant, I’ve offered divorce ceremonies right from the outset. People used to laugh and think I did it for ‘repeat’ business. That one day my wedding clients would come to me to be undone. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am a hopeless romantic (the unpublished romance novels on my laptop are proof enough of that), and do still dream of happily ever after, if not for me, then for every other person walking this earth with that longing. I’m also realistic and know that humans are deeply complex. My own evolution is also teaching me constantly, and as a result my work has to evolve alongside my personal life. In the past, I’ve always felt strongly that a divorce ceremony should involve both parties. I now see that a Parting of the Ways ritual shouldn’t be denied to someone because their ex-spouse isn’t willing to take part or has blanked them.

 

Forgiveness doesn’t require the other person’s permission. To forgive is to free ourselves.

I am so grateful for the 23 years of stability, kindness, love, laughter and care (and the awesome daughters we raised together) that I enjoyed in my relationship. At no level of my being do I see our parting as a failure, though that doesn’t stop the pain of separation. Honouring the change of nature in our relationship is something, that to my mind, doesn’t require a piece of paper from the government.

Into the depths of the woods I shall enter, and true to my nature as a solitary practitioner of healing, I will allow the wisdom and wonder of Mother Nature to be the altar upon which I heal this bone-deep loss. I trust in her to allow my ‘ceremony for one’ to bring both of us a soothing balm that will echo through time and space and love. And maybe, just maybe, my intentions for peace, love, harmony and forgiveness will heal others, too.

“When words are inadequate, have a ritual.”

 

Life Purpose

One of the biggest influences on my ability to find my life purpose, and walk my path with joy, has been understanding the astrological blueprint of the moment I was born.

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Astrology can help you understand yourself, your relationships, your learning style (and your child’s), as well as help identify the best type of home, love, and work/career for you. It allows healing to take place when you can name and identify core wounds, too.

Astrology is beneficial for issues around health, intimacy, sexuality, finance, studying, marriage, spirituality, and more. ~ Veronika xx

 

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A new script for marriage

“All marriages have difficulties.” “All couples fight.” “The make-up sex is fantastic.” So, what’s your story about marriage? Was it something you learnt from your parents or did you choose a different way to love?

I don’t resonate with any of the quotes above. To me, it’s like saying “birth is painful and dangerous”. Maybe that’s your experience, but that doesn’t mean it is the same for every woman on the planet. And just as more and more women are discovering that birth can be joyous, pleasurable, painless and ecstatic, so too will people discover that by bringing conscious awareness to the path of marriage, and recognising both ‘self’ and ‘other’, their script doesn’t need to mimic other people’s less than pleasant (and often destructive) experiences.

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What do you bring to marriage? What is your fundamental belief about being in a long-term commitment? Does it fill you with fear or delight? Does it speak of entrapment? Or freedom? Do you feel comfortable being vulnerable and honest?

While each of us is our own person, and has our own beliefs, when we are in a relationship, a third entity is created. That ‘sacred being’ needs feeding and nourishment in order to grow and thrive, and that living entity then, like an invisible feed-back loop, ensures the individuals become the best version of themselves. And isn’t that what we truly want for the other? If not, then why stay in that relationship?

 

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Someone said to me a while ago, “how can you stand spending time with your husband all the time?” (We both work from home.) The short and long answers: “I love it. I never tire of his company.”

For a marriage to blossom, it requires the individuals really know themselves. When we do that, then we fully own everything we bring to the relationship. When we don’t, pretty much everything is the other person’s fault. So marriage falls somewhere between an adversarial dead-end street or a vibrant freeway to heaven!

One of my daughters once commented that her father and I set the bar so high in terms of marriage. Truth is, I wouldn’t waste a day of my life in anything less than what we’ve created. If that’s the message my children see, then I’m delighted! Why spend your life consuming cheap and nasty ice cream when you can sup on the deluxe, gourmet, high-quality ice cream?

 

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Mandy and Graham Bingham, one of the most gorgeous couples I know.

The more conscious we become, the more we also come to understand that our marriage is a mirror of our own self-worth and self-love. If your relationship isn’t anywhere near what you’d like it to be, then you have to go back to you. That is where the real loving has to begin and end. Love, Value, Respect. Prioritise your self-care and self-love, and watch your relationship change. Invest in your emotional and creative well-being. Life’s too short for anything less.

Perhaps you could use the energies of this upcoming Full Moon to really get a sense of relationship. https://veronikarobinson.com//full-moon-in-libra-mirror-mirror-on-the-wall/

Veronika Robinson has been officiating ceremonies since 1995. She has a deep love of the sacred, and derives great joy from creating, writing and officiating ceremonies for people. She specialises in handfastings, but is equally at home conducting more formal weddings in five-star venues, as well as namings, home blessings, blessingways, vow renewals and funerals. Veronika officiates sacred and inspirational ceremonies throughout Cumbria, northern Lancashire and Southern Scotland, and is particularly fond of outdoor ceremonies. www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant

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Conscious Uncoupling

Cover photo by Sabine Scherer Photography.

Cover photo by Sabine Scherer Photography.

Have you signed up to Starflower Living magazine yet? Issue 4 is out in two weeks. Lots of interesting articles along the theme of relationships and beauty. I hope you enjoy. ~ Veronika xx http://www.starflowerpress.com/living/index.shtml

Living a courageous life

 

 

Invitation for Submissions, 2014

Starflower Living (digital magazine) is now seeking submissions for issue 2, publishing July 26th. Due date for articles, photographs or art, July 10th. Please send to: office (at) starflowerpress (dot) com or veronika (no space) robinson (at) hotmail (dot) com

 

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Themes sought for our New Moon in Leo issue include: the heart, courage, pride, fierce determination, fire, passion, love and romance, playfulness, creativity and celebration. (Health-related topics: back and spine, heart, exhaustion, inflammations.)

We seek articles that are original, and haven’t been published (or submitted) elsewhere in print or digitally. Please ensure the work is your own, and is of a professional standard. If submitting art or photographs, please make sure you have written permission from the owner.

Issue 3 themes for the New Moon in Virgo (due date August 8th): healing, healers, helpfulness, service, mentoring, diet/exercise, perfectionism, discrimination, efficiency, weight management, mind/body/soul, alternative health care. Health: solar plexus, bowels and intestines, digestion.

Issue 4 themes for the New Moon in Libra (due date, September 6th): Love, partnership, marriage, kindness, balance, fairness, co-dependency, harmony, beauty, counselling, peace, décor, diplomacy, companionship, grace, luxury and elegance. Health: kidneys, adrenals, sugar imbalance.

Issue 5 themes for the New Moon in Scorpio (due date, October 4th): soul mates, sexuality, transformation, empowerment, letting go, old baggage, psychology, secrets, depth of character, compulsions, deep emotional connections, debt, inheritance, jealousy, abandonment. Health: sexual organs, organs of elimination, menstrual cycle, sexual diseases.

Issue 6 themes for the New Moon in Sagittarius (due date, November 2nd): optimism, faith, adventure, freedom, truth, travel, publishing, horses, expansion, higher learning, Nature, conscience, friendliness, universities, philosophy. Health: thighs, sciatica, liver, hips.

Issue 7 themes for the New Moon in Capricorn (due date, December 1st): self-discipline, commitment, public image, aging, success, reaching goals, financial security, ambition, respect, fathers, and tradition. Health: knees, skin, bones, joints, gall bladder/stones, arthritis.

Starflower is also known as borage. Borage comes from the Celtic word borrach which means courage. Starflower Living is a publication dedicated to holistic and courageous living. www.starflowerpress.com