By Sarah Tolmie
I’ll get straight to the nitty gritty. In your marriage has the spark gone? Are you growing in parallel silos or unevenly or in different directions? Not talking anymore or only about the kids and home chores? Are you missing the affection, intimacy and thrill? Are you feeling bored, unappreciated or even taken for granted? Are you looking enviously at other relationships? Are you having the same fights and never fully resolving disagreements or disappointments? You don’t want to leave and still love each other, but you are wondering how things might be if you did leave? Are you feeling un-resourced and don’t know where to go for support? Maybe you are at the point of wishing for a miracle?
At the coal face of marriage, beyond the Facebook displays of perfection, I know many marriages are in pain, turmoil, stagnation, blame and crisis. As a celebrant and relationship coach, nothing saddens me more than great lovers losing their way from each other and marriages ending.
And believe me, I know, I’ve been there. There was a time when all of the above described my marriage. It had hit such a low ebb that I thought it would need a miracle to turn things around for the better. I couldn’t see a way through. That was more than a dozen years ago…and a whole lotta growth, learning, responsibility and evolving…and this year we celebrated 19 joyful years of marriage.
Our low ebb, many many years ago, was the turning point for me to find my miracle and it did happen but not in the way I expected. Our financial stress and strain did not miraculously vanish, nor did any of our external circumstances change. Our working conditions remained exactly the same, our children were still small and consistently demanding and exhausting us, my home renovation makeover didn’t miraculously happen and I didn’t drop those 10 kilos overnight (and nor did he!).
My miracle came from within. After a conversation with my wise mumma my miracle was literally the jolt of recognition that if I changed me (not him or our circumstances – because both those pathways seemed impossible and overwhelming), then things would change.
A traditional explanation might say that a miracle is an act of God, or a manifestation of divine power with results that we consider to be impossible under the physical laws. I’d like to consider a broader definition, one that defines a miracle as a shift in perception, or a change in the way we feel and think. In this way, a shift in perception really does lead to a totally different ‘reality’.
In one of my favourite spiritual and life transformational texts, A Course In Miracles, a ‘miracle’ is defined as any expression of love. “Miracles are a kind of exchange. Like all expressions of love, which are always miraculous in the true sense, the exchange reverses the physical laws. They bring more love both to the giver and the receiver.”
As an ‘out-and-proud’ big believer and advocate for marriage as the most amazing and sacred environment for two people to grow, flourish, fully self-express and create something beautiful to contribute to the world, it really is time to allow for the miracle of marriage to be achievable by all.
Once my miracle shift occurred, I saw and experienced things very differently. The lens through which I was looking at things – the lens of blame and victim – was replaced with one of responsibility and empowerment. My orientation to indulge negative emotions such as anger, disappointment and fear, was changed to a motivation to lead with gratitude, forgiveness and love, particularly beginning with self-love.
From there I learned all I could, devouring relationship healing books, audios, psychology lectures…everything…and eventually I became so impassioned with this knowledge, retraining in the coaching and therapies I now share with others, and most importantly, practise myself.
Yes, major shifts can occur with just one person bringing a new intention into a relationship; however the real magic happens when a couple work together. To transform our marriage to where we wanted it to be we had to rapidly ‘upskill’ on love and communication. We made our relationship a literal ‘love laboratory’ for living and practising the tools and techniques and approaches that saved and recreated our marriage.
This kind of ‘marriage miracle’ is natural and available to any of us. We don’t need to be ‘divinely chosen or worthy’, it just asks of us to shift into a state of grace and love from which we can then invite the changes to occur in the direction we desire…in the direction of “What do you want? (not what you don’t want!)”.
A marriage miracle asks of us to break free from behaving in unconscious and unawakened ways and make the decision to choose to consciously co-create the environment of the marriage. After that, couples need to learn how to purposefully, deliberately, consciously, and habitually practice the skills and behaviours of good loving and communication.
Not only can you create a miracle shift in your marriage, but you can create a miracle marriage – a marriage where you co-create a space of love, connection and intimacy. A marriage committed to continual growth, relationship evolution, purposeful living, full expression and deep joy.
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