Oma, my grandmother, married my grandfather by proxy and followed him to Colombia from her home in Austria. When she told her friends that she was leaving, one of them advised her to have all her teeth removed, in case she couldn’t get adequate dental care there. That is how remote Colombia was from her world.
A generation later, my mother, after much demurring and postponement, accepted my father’s marriage proposal, which implied a move from Mexico, across the continent on a couple of flights, crossing latitudes and longitudes, to live in Colombia. She did this in spite of the fact that, not too long before, she had decided the six hour drive to Tucson was too great a distance from her family to stay in school there.
I am in awe of the inner resources that empowered either of them to take such a great, courageous leap. I did not have that kind of faith. Regardless of my feelings, for years, I chose to remain a cautious observer in my relationship with Brujo. That way, I didn’t have to invest myself fully, I could keep one foot out, ready to flee, should that be called for.
Until one day it dawned on me that no relationship with a real, living human being (or, for that matter, the single life into old age) could feel perfect for me all of the time. That’s how I found the fortitude to finally decide to gather enough courage to commit fully to the relationship I was already (so happy that I was) in.
Yet even then, I feared losing myself. The evening before our wedding, I held a private commitment ceremony for my Self, vowing always to stay true to it, my Self, above all else.
As it turns out, all these years later, there have been times when I forgot that vow for a moment, and times when I wasn’t quite sure what staying true to my Self looked like. There have certainly been times when it would apparently have been easier to go along to get along.
But today I feel profound gratitude, for that vow has been a seed that helps me (and sometimes forces me) to know my Self more fully, it fuels my growth, and, magically, beautifully, deepens the connection between my Brujo and me.