I associate my wedding day to the biggest spiritual awakening and most clear understanding of the soul I could ever have. It really had nothing to do with what the man I married said or did to me prior; instead, it had all to do in how I felt just before I walked down the aisle. I dated the man for 5 ½ years prior to the marriage—my first relationship of that length up to that time. We rarely fought and there were only a few seemingly minor things I questioned prior to the marriage. In retrospect, these things were enough to make note of but I didn’t know how to put it all together until shortly after the nuptials took place. Others said I just had the typical cold feet so I didn’t put too much time and energy into figuring out why I felt increasingly uneasy.
However, on the day of the wedding just before I walked down the aisle, I paused with a gut-wrenching feeling invading me from inside. I felt something was wrong but I still felt I was supposed to get married, so I brushed off the feeling and proceeded through the event. The wedding itself was very personal and beautiful, but a few things caught me by surprise. After our vows and photos, we hurried to the reception which was held at a quaint carriage house of a mansion in town. In the rush, my new husband jumped in the car with his brother rather than riding with me. I found this odd, but I hopped in my sister’s car and we just laughed at the situation during the ten minute ride.
A few other odd things happened, including a mix-up with our hotel reservation for the night. We ended up back at my mother’s house eating leftover cookies and watching the video of the wedding. It didn’t seem to be a big deal as we were accustomed to staying at her house, but only in separate beds which turned out to be the case that night as well. Was this irony or another sign from the Universe that something was amiss?
We returned to the state in which we lived, then repacked and left for our honeymoon in St. Thomas of the Virgin Islands. Very quickly, I learned why my gut was telling me to reconsider. My new husband’s behavior changed to verbal and emotional abuse in just a few short days. At one point I literally stood waist deep in the ocean wondering what the hell I had just done.
In the two years I was married, I learned how much he had kept from me and how masterful he was at manipulating my thoughts and emotions. I had just begun my PhD program, which was stressful enough, but trying to figure out what was happening took some time. Three couple’s therapists later and catching him in a direct and deal-breaking lie was enough to make me end that excruciating time in my life.
Interestingly, part of my healing process included the awareness that my gut—my soul—had tried to warn me all along. That wrenching feeling just before I walked down the aisle was its last-ditch effort to make me go a different way. But I realized I needed that very tough detour in order to awaken to my own inner wisdom—I needed to understand the voice of my soul so I could help others understand their spiritual paths as well. Although I do regret not listening to that voice, I don’t regret learning the lesson by getting married—even if it was the hardest way to learn it.
Regret, then, became my biggest gift. Since, I have learned to listen very closely to the voice within and not only did it lead me back to the right path by leaving the marriage, it also lead me to where I am now—understanding so much more about our soul’s evolution and how difficult experiences happen to help us learn and grow. I look at that experience as a different kind of “school”—one could never have been taught during any of my graduate training. Frankly, that experience and many since then have shown me how the soul influences each and every thought, emotion and behavior.