That’s right! I just lied to you. However, I did officiate a wedding for the first time last year – and it was one of the best experiences of my life. In fact, I like to try new things all the time. As Alan Watts would say, “Variety is the spice of life.” And I’d have to agree with him. This is not just about me telling you, though: I’ve had a lot of people ask me about this. I figured, with me speaking lately about sharing yourself with others, it’s time I share the sermon I wrote for the ceremony. Maybe someone else will want to officiate a wedding. Most importantly, the words ring true whether you’re in a relationship or creating stronger friendships. And it all has to do with sharing who you are.
As the days were counting down to this divine event and I was frantically trying to decide on a sermon that would be appropriate for such a special occasion, the days drew closer and I became even more frantic (not a pretty picture). Then, as I read over the passages again and reflected back on the years spent with Michelle and David, I realized that what this whole event is all about was already right in front of me.
A piece titled “Allow us to live together to a happy old age”. I mean, that’s what’s on the couple’s mind up here, right? That’s what’s on everyone’s mind! Not only are you going to grow old together, but will you have a successful marriage? Many say marriage is perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure of human relationships. That no ceremony can create your marriage; only you can do that – through love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening, helping and supporting and believing in each other; through tenderness and laughter; through learning to forgive, learning to appreciate your differences, and by learning to make the important things matter, and to let go of the rest. What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you make to stand together as life-mates and partners. Success does not come from simply a number of years; it comes from the work each individual puts in (in any life). Whether you’re alone or with someone else or working as a team.
As I've grown to know the bride and groom, I realized that there’s something extra special here that I often don’t see with others. I like to refer to it as the Impression Factor. It’s that time in relationships when you’re so focused on impressing someone or worried that they’ll find something strange out about you and runaway, that you have all these walls built around you. So many walls that it takes years to truly see the real person.
I’m not sure how many of you know the bride & groom, but they are both direct and open. Instead of having to spend years to even get a true glimpse of someone, they let you see the friendly exuberant people they are. To be vulnerable and share yourself with someone, saying “this is who I am” is one of the most courageous acts someone can do. Allowing yourselves to understand one another. See that, hey, we really are compatible together. Understand how to work with one another, instead of being left wondering. Sharing yourself and being who you are is the real way to impress someone, it takes away that extra step of having to try and wonder down the road what will happen after someone gets through all your walls. Now, you can focus on having a truly wonderful life together with the person you already know and already love.
I also want to take a moment to recognize everyone gathered here today to witness this moment. The love created and shared between the two of you has brought us together from all around the country to celebrate your special day. Your love has extended each of our families and together we are also joined as one. As we move forward, I decided to choose an insight, quote, poem (just one, but you can call it what you want) on life that I felt the two of you would love and I hope you realize, it is life. And here goes...
'We’re all a little weird. And life is weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutual weirdness and call it love.'
To this, I say let’s begin!
If you’re wondering how the wedding went, it was a success! In an effort to share myself a bit more as I ask all of you to, here’s a glimpse of me at the reception. If you ask me, I’m not too shabby for only dancing on occasion.
In life you need to have fun. After all, why would you want to do anything else?
What’s an experience you’ve had and loved?
PS – Expect to hear more on the TED Talk in the coming weeks!