“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
I married myself at the age of 37 in a quiet ceremony of one near a waterfall in Big Sur, California.
I had prepared my “soul vows.” These vows were my deepest commitment to love, cherish, and deeply care for all parts of myself in sickness and in health, until my time on the planet comes to an end.
My soul vows became an ode to honoring my highest self always, and remembering that seeking love outside myself will never bring fulfillment unless I possess radical, unshakable love for myself.
With that knowing, these are some of my Soul Vows:
I vow to comfort myself during times of hopelessness, despair, depression, disillusionment, or any difficulty that arises.
I vow to be my Beloved always and in all ways.
I vow to never settle or abandon myself in romantic partnerships again.
I vow to live in the faith my life unfolds in mysterious divine perfection.
I vow to honor my spiritual path and create an amazing life whether I am ever legally married or not.
I vow to honor my calling and live my life as a work of art.
Some vows were tender and some fierce—some private, and some to be shared with the world.
All vows were an expression of my soul’s calling and a deep desire to love myself and care for myself at the deepest possible level in all areas of my life.
These vows were the gateway into a life that was deeper, richer, and more connected to my soul’s guidance.
Nearly nine months later, I have a birthed a new life. Many of the visions I had for a decade are starting to come true.
These visions include attracting a loving partner, spending time in my beloved Bali, and feeling a deeper sense of purpose and passion for my work.
I believe that this had everything to do with saying “I do” to giving myself the love and affection that I desired from a beloved.
The life that I now have is beyond my wildest dreams.
Here are four ways to say “I do” to you.
1. Write your soul vows.
You have a deeply cherished vision for your life, and your soul vows are a way to get it out of your soul and on paper. Mine were simple, but you could express them in any way that works for you. You could create a video, write a poem, use fancy writing, or maybe create a sacred altar for your words. Throw yourself a party. Register for gifts! Why not?
2. Create a vision board.
The soul speaks in images. Your soul vows may be magnificently revealed in a vision for your life. Carve out some time to craft a vision board from images that resonate with you. Allow yourself to be intuitively drawn to these images and don’t rely on your rational mind.
3. Sacred jewelry.
Procure a piece of jewelry that has heart and meaning for you. My object of art was literally a silver heart necklace inscribed: “You make the world a better place.”
My best friend actually created a sacred jewelry business after marrying herself. She’s finally found her path after years of meandering. That’s what is possible when you choose to marry yourself. I have also known men who marked this commitment with a sacred ring.
4. Be witnessed in your sacred vows.
I had a solo ceremony at a retreat center in Big Sur, but it was immediately followed by wine with friends. However, I’d recommend taking it to the next level—perhaps a ceremony with a few close friends? Find a way to have others acknowledge this transformation.
After my self-commitment ceremony, I realized that the real work was to start to love all the places that I had not fully loved myself. I needed to befriend the parts of me that were needy, scared, ashamed, or simply in need of my care instead of my criticism.
And while the marrying myself was a lovely starting place, it was really just the beginning. In the wise words of Rumi, “Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
Photo by robwest