After a miserable divorce and years of feeling inadequate as a woman and a mother, I was thrilled when my sister found somebody who makes her smile, laugh and feel loved.
They announced their engagement and sent “save the date”cards months in advance. Since it was a second marriage for both, I anticipated an intimate celebration followed by a small dinner with close friends and family.
When she mentioned I needed to buy a dress for the ceremony and her guest list was more than 200 people -- I gasped. A full-blown dinner, dance and reception didn’t register in my mind as a second-wedding option.
As her big day approached and the grandiose plans emerged, I found myself questioning the sanity of my sister. Like many parents, my weekends were filled with sports, kids and volunteer commitments. Why would she schedule her big day on a weekend when it would be challenging for me to attend. I thought her and her soon-to-be second husband had learned that creating a life together was about the commitment, not the ceremony.
Then I arrived at the rehearsal.
The youngest members of her tribe were the flower girls and ring-bearers. Our father and her son were “giving her away” and her 18-year-old daughter was her maid of honor. Her soon-to-be father in law was the best man and her siblings (including me) were part of a surprise flash mob prank she was playing on her intended. Her dearest friends helped with decorations and details and there was an air of love, laughter and celebration – the qualities that best describe my younger sister.
The next day as I helped my sister slip into her gorgeous white lace gown, I saw she was glowing with love and happiness. And I mean literally glowing. Beyond the obvious, I asked what made her so happy. Her eyes twinkled and her mouth held a permanent smile and she told me that this ceremony and those involved were everything she had ever dreamed of. She was marrying the man of her dreams surrounded by the people she loved.
She felt beautiful and adored – the way every woman should feel on her wedding day (neh, every day!)
Even though she had celebrated her first marriage, the same story was not true 20 years ago. She recalled the event with a heavy heart. Not with a sense of regret, but as if she had settled for something less and allowed her childhood dream to slip away.
Years of content were followed by a storm of upheaval. She faced her worst fears and learned she was stronger than she thought. She learned to be courageous and to take care of herself. Her most valuable lesson was the awareness that being alone is entirely different than feeling lonely. You can feel alone in a room full of people - which she said she did with her ex. Inside of those times, she accepted herself and found something she didn’t know existed – a sense of worthiness. And she was never going to settle again.
The wedding and reception was the most fun a person could have. The flash mob went off without a hitch and the minister matched my sister’s wit and charm. The couple clearly knew the life they were about to build together didn’t involve regret.
From the glow of my sister that day, I learned that it’s never too late to have what you want. Equally important, it’s never too late to suspend your judgment, accept others choices and help them celebrate.
Grace is about allowing those you love to choose their own path, regardless of whether you agree or disagree.
Powerful Perspectives help us recognize that it is NEVER TOO LATE.
Is there something in your life that you're postponing until the perfect opportunity presents itself?
What is the story you're telling yourself about that perfect day/time/event?
What would happen if you took action today?
Gratitude and Forgiveness are Powerful Perspectives -- qualities that begin with awareness and move upward toward love.
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