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Susan’s Story:

Marrying myself was easy. Staying married is a daily affair.

Upon reading A Dress, A Ring, Promises to Self, a clarity came over me that somehow this was already a part of my journey. It organized the thoughts, experiences, and feelings I’d had around making promises to myself. This was the part where making a commitment became very real. Beginning each day by renewing promises to myself is like maintenance of a machine that has to have care in order to run well.

Even as a child I sensed that it was up to me to protect myself. All around me messages were present that I was not enough as a girl, or on my own, that my dreams were silly, and anything I produced was inferior to that of others. Humming beneath all that was the song of myself. Music has always been an important part of my journey. My songs and poems, as well as those of others that supported a belief in myself, created a colorful weave with threads so strong it might well support a suspension bridge.  

For four days and three nights the Dress, Ring, Promises book and I created a long ceremony where there would be no witnesses other than the birds and other creatures already present at Penuel Ridge, a place in Tennessee for spiritual retreats. Each day I let myself do whatever seemed right in that time.  It was as much a birthing as a wedding.  Walks around Lake Joyce and through the labyrinth, sitting in The Well, sleeping and reading off and on when it rained, watching birds I’d not see in my city life; all these things were a part of the preparation in making very intentional promises to myself. And I would renew them every day forward.

One day I was in a shop with the wares of local artists. "I'm marrying myself and I'm looking for a ring." The first one I saw was it. A leaf wrapped the top. My favorite season is autumn when leaves go through a colorful change and make room for new possibilities. Nothing else I saw came close to this ring.

That is the story of my marriage to myself. The love that is born in me cannot survive under house arrest. Each day love grows and reaches a point that it has to be passed on.