So not too long ago, I watched a TED talk about how you can find the person you really need to marry.
TV writer of Mad Men and United States of Tara, TEDx presents: Tracy McMillan.
She starts her TED Talk with an interesting hook, that held my attention throughout the TED Talk, then again, Tracy is a TV writer. So this lady knows a thing or two about a thing or two, based on the experiences that she has had in her life.
She starts off by talking about the common song that we have heard (during our childhood) from our friends whenever we were in the presence of someone we liked:
“Tracy and so-and-so sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage!”
I mean I feel like all of us have heard this at some point or another. At a young age, you think that those are definitely the keys (brings in the Godfather of keys: DJ Khaled) to life. To fall in love, get married, and to have children. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out like that. It’s complete with its twists, turns, and not to mention, downfalls. In my eyes, that’s what makes it interesting.
Anyway, so McMillan puts up on the big screen how her life really panned out. She was married 3 times and out of the three marriages with men, she had a child with one of them. Divorced three times. Falls in love much later. Etc Etc. The one thing I found very interesting about this TEDx Talk, in particular, was how openly candid and positive McMillan was about her experiences in life. To me, it shows how far she has come since that time. It’s like saying, “yeah it was shit, but I wouldn’t change the outcome of these events.” Amazing.
Time and time again, I always hear people say, ‘oh I regret all the time I spent with such-and-such person’ or something like ‘so-and-so has been an awful person throughout our whole relationship, I hope he catches an STI and dies’. That is no way to live. The events in our lives happen for a reason. Turn a negative situation, into a positive one.
After she has a third divorce in 2005, she realized she had been marrying everyone in sight, except for the one person she needed to marry. Herself. After her many, many errors in her love life, she finally found the one thing that would change her life in a positive way. This idea became known as: Marrying Yourself. How??? As with any relationship you start off with anyone, you apply that same concept to yourself. You build a relationship with yourself and basically put a ring on it. You commit to yourself and realize that no one, nothing will come between the relationship you have with yourself. As with any kind of relationship, you make it work, you work at this relationship until you feel whole. Until you feel that you can take the next step in the relationship, taking vows for yourself.
McMillan then says that “the places where you have the biggest challenges in your life, become the places where you have the most to give.” She opens up about her life. Her parents weren’t around as much (I don’t want to go into too much detail, as I will post the link to the video at the end of this post) and she was put into the foster care system.
By the time she got out of the foster care system, she had one goal in mind and that was to never be left alone. A way she would accomplish said goal was to get married. She got married at 19 and was thrilled that she found a man who was successful and was a part of his family. 5 years later she leaves him. 10 years later she finds a new man and she gets married. She had a child with him and to this day she still has a great relationship with her now ex-husband. She makes a point about how in the process of learning to love yourself, you have to do be painfully honest to yourself. 8 years later, she gets married a third time. She then breaks it down further. Mind you, she didn’t have the best upbringing, so no one showed her what a healthy relationship between two people looks like or felt like. So when she got married the third time she says that it felt right. What felt right was the idea that she held about being in a relationship, being married. To her, being in a relationship with someone, it meant that she would be secure, that she wouldn’t have to be alone, because she had a companion to share it with.
This is where a lot of people are wrong. I learned not too long ago, that a relationship should be the overflow of your already full cup of tea. If you expect someone to fill your cup, i.e to be your one source of happiness, then you are placing a higher expectation on this particular person. When they leave, you’re still going to be left with you. Left with just an empty cup. Work on making yourself happy and then look for a man.
What McMillan is saying is that when you marry yourself, you’re not just going to date yourself and see where it ends up. You’re going to make sure you keep your promises. Yep, that’s right! Vows. For richer or for poorer, you are going to love yourself from right. Where. You. Are. Think about it this way, you wouldn’t say to yourself: “when you make it big in Hollywood, then I’ll marry you”. The same thing goes for changing your appearance, you wouldn’t say to yourself: “Once you drop those 15 pounds, then I’ll love you”. NO! You become your own boyfriend/girlfriend. You respect yourself. You shouldn’t be a bitch to yourself. When you marry yourself, you walk yourself down the aisle, exactly where you are. For better or for worse. It’s so easy to love yourself in the times that you feel good about yourself. Some examples are (but are not limited to):
- new hair cuts/ good hair days
- Getting a job that aligns with your career
- losing weight/ gaining muscle
That list could go on… But the worst, is the part we should be focusing on. Sometimes, in life, stuff never goes how you expect it will go. You could plan and schedule down to the exact minute and shit still wouldn’t go as well as you would think it would ( for more on this concept check out What Happens When We Act on Our Expectations? ). The worst is what we fear, but what we have to take into account is that, it is a part of life. Shit happens. Sometimes a relationship doesn’t work out. You didn’t get the dream home you hoped to get. Maybe you didn’t graduate from college. Maybe you have a falling out with your family. Maybe you spend too much of your time being angry and less of your time working through that anger. Whatever it is, Just know that this is all temporary. You agree to marry yourself at all costs.
Life doesn’t give you what you ask for, it gives you people, places, situations and things for you to develop the skills you asked for.
In sickness and in health: You need to get to a point where you can sit by your own bedside, nurse your own broken heart and realize that the only person who has you, is you, to have and to hold. To love yourself the way you want someone to love you.
When you make the decision to marry yourself, you are then able to love someone from where they are, for who they are. The same way you love yourself.
When you go out on dates, you shouldn’t be thinking about how you are coming off to the person, instead, think about how you feel in their presence. Do they make you feel good? Does a calming effect take place the moment you lay eyes on them? Be so committed to yourself, that you become more interested in how you feel about you, rather than how he/she feels about you.
Check out the video below!