By Tanisha Bailey-Roka

It is one of the most mysterious, profound, and healing of any emotion as human beings we are able to express. It is infinite,  and yet in the context of a marriage, spectacularly singular. It is the boiling away of all of our
humanness– our fears, our  insecurities, or inhibitions. The underbelly of who we are sits quietly next to the super- humanness of who we aspire to be. And it is all wrapped in the gilded, ringed, ceremony of promises to be forever kept.

A friend once said to me, “The wedding is for your memory and your family, the marriage is only for the both of you.” Enjoy the memory of a day that will literally demonstrate you, as a couple, at your happiest most hopeful selves. You will never be as filled with visions of possibility and sheer blissful joy as the day you stand before each other, your community of friends and family, and whatever, if ever, deity, before whom you speak your vows.

Just remember, that this moment is intended to remind you in times when you forget to be kind to each other; in times when you doubt the possibility of continuing this life’s journey with each other; in times when life throws you unbelievably unkind sorrows. Remember that these experiences are also part of that lovingness that you are committing yourselves on your wedding day. Remember that the work of marriage begins in the vision of those kinder versions of yourself that you promised wholeheartedly on this day.

My husband and I have been married for seven years this November. And in that time we have gone through so many changes in our ever-evolving understanding of who we are as a couple; who we are to our individual selves; and who we are as members of our greater community. That is also part of the face of love and the business of loving. It is those redefinitions that work to set yourself and each other into a breathtaking image of your better self.

The ultimate work of love—love as healing. Love as improving. Love as creating. That to me is the best definition of what happens in that type of commitment to that kind love. It is the best fashioning of how that kind of love infuses itself into two separate and intertwined lives. And how those lovers can ultimately find themselves the better for the hard work that is loving.

Photo: Beautiful wedding couple Takisha and Orman Clouden enjoying a moment at Christiansted Bandstand near Fort Christiansvaern. Photo courtesy of Denise Bennerson.

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