Are Vicarious Vows Good For Your Health

Summertime and wedding celebrations – they seem to go together like….  Hmmm, let’s contemplate the possibilities:

• gorgeous women with custom-designed gowns and 3-hour hairdos – blowing uncontrollably in the squall

• attractive men – standing for hours in sweat-soaked suits

• lost or sun-drooped flower arrangements

• misplaced wedding rings

• arguments about outdoor protocol

• hail storms in the photo garden

• tears, fears, and frustrations

• warm beer and cold beef.

Thank goodness most weddings aren’t like that!

We’ve been to several weddings recently and they were wonderful celebrations.  People gathered from near and far to visit with friends and relatives, meet new friends and relatives, eat, drink, eat, drink, and eat and drink some more.

In the past, I believed there was far too much time, effort, and money invested in these ceremonious events.  I wondered about how these resources could be better utilized to fund the couple’s business, education, housing requirements, or whatever they needed at the time.

My pondering even got to the point where I suggested to my teenage sons that, when they choose to marry, they consider eloping.  They could take their sweetie somewhere romantic (just the two of them), get hitched, have the honeymoon, and use the money allotted for the festivities in better ways.

Yeah, I may have been an overly practical party-pooper!

I’ve drastically changed my mind recently, based upon my perception of the current state of health and wellness of our society.  I now promote weddings as having a much larger purpose than a fun way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon.

I believe we could greatly aid society and stimulate great physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health if we prescribed and self-induced large doses of consciously absorbed vicarious wedding vows – whether we are married or not.  The vicarious vows are super-concentrated with good stuff that can benefit anyone, anywhere, and anytime.

Consider this train of thought.  Marriage is a ceremony which gives two people the legal right to love and honour each other while they are both alive.  It sounds so simple and yet statistics prove that many people aren’t able to keep their promises – even when made in front of a large group of witnesses.

Rather than getting into the accountability factor, let’s look at one simple, easy way to reaffirm our commitments – to ourselves, our partner, and others.

Here’s the challenge for you, should you choose to accept it.  Accept every opportunity to attend, watch, and listen to a wedding ceremony.   Consciously honour the experience momentously by doing the following.

• Listen carefully to the words.  They are about honesty, connection, integrity, commitment, respect, and recognition – all words that describe loving behaviour.  These are qualities and behaviours that are beneficial every day in your interactions with every person you encounter, including yourself.

• Reflect on the scene.  Close your eyes and image (see) yourself in a similar past situation where you were dedicating to long-term commitments to yourself and another person (could be your own wedding ceremony).

• Relive the feelings.  Experience a sense of those feelings evoked through the connection and commitment.  Heighten your awareness of the senses in every cell of your “beingness.” Remember the positive sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and feelings.  Involve every sense to make it real for you.  Expand these senses bigger, brighter, with more colours and sound so that it is a dazzling experience for you – as much happiness and pleasure as you can stand.  Cry with joy, laugh, smile, dance, or whatever feels right for you in the moment.

• Anchor these feelings.  With your sensual experience at its highest point, create an anchor to instantly reconnect with the experience.  Look into the eyes of your partner or spouse, tug gently on your earlobe, put your hand on your heart, or do something appropriate that is easily replicated any time you desire to relive these feelings.

If you have accepted the challenge successfully, fully immersed yourself in the experience, you will be able to relive those feelings anytime you wish, simply by replicating, or setting-off your anchor.

Regularly setting-off this experience is a great way to reaffirm your commitments to yourself.  If you are willing to honour your commitments to yourself, you will find that you are also able to honour your commitments to others.  In reality, they are both the same anyway.

So coming back to where we started, what is the purpose of a wedding?

I believe weddings are an opportunity to remind all who attend what love is about.  We can choose to re-connect (with ourselves and others), re-commit and re-dedicate to our promises (to ourselves and others), and to show re-cognition – to re-think, re-play, and celebrate this fantastic experience of life.  The cool thing about a wedding is that we get to do all of this with reciprocal support of other loving people at the same event.

Life is so good!  I’m committed to share love everyday, wherever I go.

Gandhi said, “Love is the prerogative of the brave.”

What are you going to do to demonstrate your courage?