Pull up a chair.
Yep. We’re going to talk about it some more.
The marriage issue. I won’t call it the “gay marriage” issue, because I don’t believe in “gay marriage.” In fact, I believe when you say the words “gay marriage,” that is the ONLY time it is acceptable to use air quotes. As soon as you qualify a marriage as “gay” you are implying it is somehow other, and I do not accept that.
I believe in MARRIAGE-the kind where two people promise to show up for each other, day after day, year after year. Where we acknowledge that life is HARD, but it’s a little less hard when there is someone who has your back and holds your hand. When you promise to be a team and make each other a priority. Forever.
You either believe in THAT, or you don’t. And for the record, I know lots of straight married people that don’t.
I also believe in marriage EQUALITY- If *I’M* entitled to the benefits and privileges afforded married folks by society, then so are you.
When I hear people talking about passing laws in defense of marriage and “gay marriage” being a threat to the institution, I am genuinely puzzled. Because I think there are some good people who truly believe that, and I find it mystifying. If your marriage can be imperiled by the relationship status of two people wholly unconnected to you, I have dire news for you- you are walking on marital quicksand with cement Uggs.
It would be like saying Kanye and Kim’s marriage threatened yours. Whatever you think of them, their character, their choices, or whether or not their union is sacred, it has NOTHING to do with you.
Our marriages are threatened by things every day. They are threatened by selfishness, lack of communication, not making one another a priority- none of those are external factors. At the end of the day, even infidelity is an inside job.
I am not going to address the religious objections to homosexuality or “gay marriage” because it has been done by writers I adore, and I cannot fathom a world in which I could do a better job than Glennon or Jessica or Matt. I couldn’t. I know that. When I read their essays I found myself saying YES! and AMEN! out loud- so if you want to know what I think on that front, do yourself a favor and go read their work. It is stunning, and I’m a better writer, heck- a better person, for having read it.
I believe there are some religious people who genuinely believe that homosexuality is wrong based on the Bible- but I see those same people disregarding other parts of the Bible, so that gets tricky for me. I also think a lot of people hide behind scripture, and I wonder why that is.
I wonder, sometimes, if it’s false sense of scarcity. Is THAT it? Do we think there’s only so much happiness to go around? Are we under the impression that our glass is half empty BECAUSE someone else’s is half full? I see so many people who seem perpetually afraid that there’s not ENOUGH. Of what doesn’t really seem to matter. Of everything.
Have we become so mired in fear that we think LOVE is a finite resource?
When we are afraid in that way, we do two things. We covet, and we hoard.
Are we hoarding marriage? Are we hoarding happiness?
I think we might be. And I think we know it’s wrong. Which makes us angry at ourselves. And frequently, anger at ourselves manifests itself as OUTRAGE at OTHERS.
People who move through the world looking to be outraged are successful 100% of the time. It’s true.
There are a lot of jerks out there doing jerky things. Absolutely. And there are people getting away with stuff- that’s a big one for us, isn’t it? We hate when we perceive someone to be working the system, or getting something they don’t deserve. But, why? I mean, unless BUT FOR THAT PERSON that thing would have been yours, why do you care? I mean it- I am truly asking. Why? What’s it to you? What does it take from you? Why are you spending one single second of your short time on this beautiful planet giving over your brain space to it? And feeling angry about it? And lashing out about it?
The healthiest blended families I know are the ones where ex-spouses welcome each other’s new partners into the mix, because they understand that when the village of people that love their kids gets bigger, EVERYBODY WINS. Can you think of one situation that has ever worsened by adding more love? I can’t.
What is this wacky little planet of ours but a great big, messy, blended family? And how do we not ALL benefit if more of us are in happy, healthy, committed, loving relationships? How do we not all benefit by saying, Hey- your relationship might not look exactly like mine, but pull up a chair- join the party. It’s just more people around the table. It’s just more people on the dance floor. More s’mores on the fire, y’all.
I just want more US, and less THEM. More WE, and less THEY. We are all in this thing together, this crazy, hard, wonderful life. We should start acting like it.
Pull up a chair, friends.
After doing this work or the past twelve years and watching scarcity ride roughshod over our families, organizations, and communities, I’d say the one thing we have in common is that we’re sick of feeling afraid. we want to dare greatly. We’re tired of the national conversation centering on “What should we fear” and “Who should we blame?” We all want to be brave.
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