Have you ever noticed how we feel about ceremonies? The need for ceremonies? Weddings, funerals, birthdays, retirements, new babies, baptisms. Dinner prayer, bedtimes story, Christmas eve dinner. These are all truly a ceremony. Generally to signify the beginning or the end. I never really thought about the significance and importance of the ceremony until recently.
I had a wedding without a ceremony. Just some paperwork at the courthouse, and to be honest, it didn't really feel real, there was a little something missing in it,.a magic seal in a ceremony. "You may kiss the bride" seals the deal. We are truly in love and committed to each other. We understand the contract of marriage and are both willing to uphold it but still, there is just something that feels like we forgot to complete. I have a relative that passed away and requested that there be no funeral. There was nothing, no burial, no wake. There was such a sense of chaos. Nobody felt as if they got to say goodbye or have the closure that is provided in a funeral. I realized we needed the damn ceremony! The ceremony allows a collective to put finality to a life process. It's like "okay so this is over, let's say goodbye, shift gears and move forward in a different way".
It's not the money spent or the people that gather, it's more in the ritual of it all. If every month for your whole life you burned your grievances by the full moon you would feel out of sorts to skip one, almost as if you had to hold onto them. Personally I feel that I need more ceremonies. Not big elaborate parties with a show and gifts, just more deliberate ends and beginnings. It's helpful to the brain, to the spirit to give ourselves this one last time to feel and then pull up our big girl pants and move forward. It's just nice to pause and acknowledge the fact that a life cycle has ended or one has begun. Not just nice, it's necessary.
I visited with the sweetest woman recently who was struggling to get passed a failed relationship. She had so desperately wanted it to work yet she realized that it wasn't "right" but she just couldn't let it go. I just felt that what was necessary was a ceremony. Maybe her writing down the things that she wanted or expected for this relationship that were now not going to happen and lighting some candles, burning some incense, saying a few words of goodbye and burning the paper. Maybe standing at the edge of a cliff and throwing these ideas over the edge. Whatever it is, make it known to yourself that this is the end. This ceremony marks the end and after this I will begin anew.
A ceremony can literally be anything! It can be listening to all of your favorite songs all night long and then letting it go. It can be a fancy dinner with people you love. It can be a trip to the ocean or it can be a night in a bubble bath with lots of candles. Don't forget to celebrate the amazing life changes too! New job? Have a friggin ceremony! Celebrate! Quit a bad habit? Time to have a ceremony. The ceremony is intention setting at it's core. I am Moving forward. They give you time to reflect and look forward. Take some time to honor yourself, your accomplishments and let go of what is past. Today is the day. Have a solemn ceremony and let yourself connect with the divine to see where to go next.
Love and Light