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7 Spiritual Lessons From 25 Years Of Marriage – Part 4

Written by: Christina Marlett, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Christina Marlett

Ah, marriage… so much opportunity to learn about yourself in relation to another. In fact, relationships are the most expedient way to grow spiritually because anytime something comes up that bothers you, it’s an opportunity to make a shift inside yourself. This series explores a variety of lessons learned from a long-lasting, happy marriage.

bride and groom surrounded by plants

Welcome once again. We’re carrying on with the seven most powerful spiritual lessons learned over 25 years of marriage. Last week we looked at Cultivating and Embodying Your Personal Power. This week, we’ll delve into the many faces of love by way of Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine energy.


The fourth spiritual lesson


The many faces of love

If you were asked what makes a lasting marriage successful, love might be one of the first things that would come to mind. Of course, it’s one of the primary reasons people get married in the first place, because they love each other. Over the last quarter century, I’ve learned that love is bigger, greater and more multi-faceted than I ever could have imagined. That one tiny word contains the vast infinite. I’m not going to attempt to dissect the infinite here, but I would like to offer a perspective on love that has made a world of difference in my personal growth and, thereby, in my marriage.


Love through the lens of the divine feminine and divine masculine

The Universe is made of love. It’s the driving force of all. One facet of that love is the combination of the two energies known as the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine. Everything in the Universe is made up of a combination of these two energies. Masculine energy is the form and Feminine energy is the flow within that form. From another perspective, masculine energy has the quality of giving while feminine energy is about receiving. Within a human frame of reference, masculine energy can be thought of as hunter energy. It’s goal-oriented, laser-focused, structured, organized, strong and powerful. Feminine energy is gatherer energy in this context. It has a broad capacity, a wide focus, wisdom, creativity, strength, flexibility, power and a healthy dose of wildness. Take a flower, for example. The petals, stem, roots and all the other physical parts you can see and touch are the masculine energy, the form. The feminine energy is the life force that flows through the plant, the creative energy that causes it to grow from a seed to a flower, the exchange of nutrients and all the other invisible processes that happen within the physical structure.


Everything in nature has both masculine and feminine energy. We humans are part of nature so we all have both masculine and feminine energies at play within us, regardless of gender. One is not better than the other; we need both energies to thrive. Too much of either energy causes issues physically, mentally and emotionally. When both the masculine and feminine energies are in harmony inside one human being, that person is whole and complete and doesn’t need to look to anyone else to fill up any energetic crevasses. Two whole and complete people in a relationship can do the elevated work of creating something that neither one of them as individuals could generate. Life becomes magical when the forces of masculine and feminine in two whole and complete human beings work together in congruency and alignment.


Upgrading the capacity to receive

There have been so many lessons that I’ve learned by looking at the world (and my marriage) through the lens of masculine and feminine energies, especially as growth opportunities. When Paul and I first met in University and for many years afterwards, I was very much in my masculine side. I was all about accomplishing, achieving, proving, fixing problems (and people) being hyper-productive and over-giving. When Zoe, our daughter, didn’t follow the sleep schedule I tried to impose on her in her first two years of life, my solution was to read every book available and then make colourful graphs and charts to try to figure out a pattern so that I could make sense of her erratic sleep habits. (It didn’t work but my charts were very pretty.) I knew nothing about feminine energy so life was more challenging than it needed to be. I certainly had a tendency to take on too much, put forth huge amounts of energy, accomplish what I set out to do and have giant emotional outbursts along the way. (Bless my amazing, patient husband for hanging in there.) Eventually, I learned about feminine energy and a brand-new idea (for me) called receiving. I had no inkling that there were so many ways to receive (and so many ways that I was blocking that very thing).


Receiving lesson No.1: Receive even when it’s hard

My first lesson in receiving was to soften the internal walls I had built around my heart that led me to believe I had to do everything myself. There was a persistent myth circulating in my subconscious about being a strong independent woman with something/everything to prove. As I learned to let that myth go and improve my capacity to receive, our marriage become increasingly connected. It was a great day when I learned to let Paul take care of me. (It


probably wasn’t one day specifically but rather a series of events over time but to tie it in a nice literary bow, let’s say it was a day and let’s say it happened during the following story.) Before we had kids, Paul and I cycled in France for 5 blissful and adventurous weeks. One night, we stayed in an ancient farmhouse in a room with carpeted walls (which will become relevant in a moment). That summer, there was an extreme heatwave in la belle France with temperatures often soaring above 45 degrees Celsius and some days even above 50. We were hot a lot of the time. On the night of the carpeted walls, we could see through our tiny window that a storm was brewing in the distance. We encouraged the weather to produce something dramatic so that we would get some reprieve from the heat (as the carpet room had no air conditioning or even a fan). It took a very long time for the storm to percolate so we left our observation perch at the window and went to bed. As soon as the lights were out, the carpeted walls revealed something they had been hiding hordes of mosquitoes. The pending storm seemed to make them very active and boy, were they hungry. (It had probably been ages since someone had stayed in that special space.) To avoid getting 800,000bites, we tried hiding under the covers, but it was way too hot for that. We took our pillows out of our pillowcases and used just the pillowcases to cover our heads.

That solution turned out to be pretty suffocating, so the idea was abandoned. The incessant whining right by our ears was incredibly frustrating so we tied our bandanas around our heads to block out the sound. No sleep was to be had. We lay sweating under the sheets, billowing them around us occasionally to throw off the constant barrage of biting bugs. For a few hours, we told each other jokes and laughed so hard that we cried. Eventually, though, I grew weary and just wanted to go to sleep. At this point, my hero, Paul, offered to sacrifice himself so that I could get some rest. He said he would lay with his upper body and arms exposed, available to any hungry mosquito so that I could slumber peacefully without fear of being bitten. He’s an angel, right?!? It was a big leap for me to receive such a gift. I felt guilty, weak, inadequate and other synonyms but I softened enough to say yes. As a result, I did actually sleep, and Paul felt like the hero he is by getting to take care of his beloved. We both won! Back home, in regular everyday life, I started consciously receiving more often. I let Paul open doors for me, received his compliments more graciously (rather than shirking them off with uncomfortable laughter), let him carry heavy items and even take over tasks completely that I had been trying to control.


I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Just because you can do something (everything) doesn’t mean you have to. It feels so, so good to expand your capacity to receive. Many years later, I continue to notice new opportunities to surrender and accept. I have a feeling it’s a lifelong journey.


Receiving lesson No.2: On the dancefloor

Since Paul and I met in a dance class (see Part 1 for more adorable details), dance has always been a powerful teacher for us. Early on in our marriage, we took all sorts of dance lessons, Ballroom, Latin and even West African. Since then, we’ve taught a lot of dances and noticed something really valuable. One of our roles was to teach ballroom dance to couples preparing for the first dance at their weddings. There were two kinds of couples: those who struggled and those who glided gracefully across the floor. You might think that the reason for the struggle was their dancing ability or a sense of rhythm but that wasn’t it. The couples who experienced challenges dancing together had two things in common: the men were hesitant to take the lead and the women tried to control everything. In other words, the men weren’t accessing their Divine Masculine energy of being courageous and confident in themselves. The women weren’t benefitting from their Divine Feminine energy of receiving, trusting in their partner and allowing themselves to be guided. Obviously, I’m not saying that men should overpower women and women should be doormats. Both masculine and feminine energies have strength and power. We just want to learn how to channel that power and strength in ways that support each other and help us grow into the next best version of ourselves. When Paul and I dance, I’ve learned to surrender and let him lead. I’ve learned to trust that he will have good ideas for moves and that I will have fun. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be in control. We also use the motto: there are no mistakes, only new moves. I tend to want to be at the forefront of our family, leading and making decisions. Thanks to the lessons of receiving on the dancefloor, I’ve learned to invite Paul into the decisions so that we’re making them together. That way he feels like the important person he is and I don’t bulldoze over everything. Sometimes, he even takes over some aspects of family life completely and, as a result, I have experienced incredible relief and stress reduction. Thank you, dancing! (For more unparalleled lessons you can learn from dance, check out my book: How Ugly Awkard Dancing Changes Everything.)


Receiving lesson No. 3: Letting him in

Although I’m a writer and love sharing stories and insights, I tend to be a fairly private person (hello fellow Scorpios!). I often keep a lot of things to myself and work through challenges on my own. Paul has persistently and generously asked me to let him in and share what I’m going through. The receiving growth edge for me is to accept his support. One night, Paul sensed that I was feeling angry. He asked me to tell him what was making me feel that way. All sorts of things flew through my mind but I didn’t want to hurt any feelings so I stayed quiet. He could tell that there were many thoughts being left unsaid so he offered me a gift. He said that he was going to ask again why I was feeling angry and he would just listen to my answers with no judgement, advice or solutions. Oh, it was so hard to turn my thoughts into words for fear of offending or misspeaking. He guided me along by asking questions like, “Why are you angry at this person? Why are you angry at that person? Why are you angry at yourself? Why are you angry at me?” Sharing why I was angry at him was super tough. Again, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings but he urged me to share so that he could stop unknowingly doing things that were bothering me. His logic was sound. It was much better to let him know so that he could make changes when possible. It was so challenging to receive Paul’s incredible gift and speak my truth. I cried through the whole thing. Afterwards, I felt amazing because I had done something really courageous. Plus, my love for Paul expanded even more. He felt empowered by connecting with the Divine Masculine and giving me the beautiful gift of feeling heard. I felt empowered by expanding my capacity to receive in a new and uncomfortable way. As you can see, there are a multitude of ways to receive and we’ve just scratched the surface. My main point here is that it’s worthwhile to get curious about your capacity to receive, especially if you tend to overgive. You’ll find so much of what you’re seeking as you take inspired action on receiving whenever the opportunity presents itself. And just a note: it doesn’t matter if you’re male/female/other. We can all struggle with overgiving, under-receiving and being out of balance with either masculine or feminine energies. So many growth opportunities! Masculine and feminine energies are dynamic and malleable. Sometimes more form is the solution. Other times, it’s valuable to connect with flow. There’s definitely not a one size fits all approach with these energies; it’s more about having an awareness of them and tuning into what each situation is calling forth. Love is waiting to pour through you and to you by way of Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine energies. Are you ready? As you step out into this next week, you’re invited to put on the lens of witnessing yourself and the world through form and flow, through the masculine and feminine divine. Notice what presents itself and if anything feels especially challenging, there’s probably a growth edge waiting to happen. May you expand your capacity to receive in ways that you didn’t even know were possible. By experiencing Divine Masculine and Feminine energies, you’ll be experiencing the many faces of love in an amplified and deeply satisfying way.


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Christina Marlett Brainz Magazine
 

Christina Marlett, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine As the creator of Courageous Self-Care, Christina is passionate about helping stressed out high achievers learn to lead their communities, families and themselves from a place of wholeness, overflowing energy and deep self-respect. She excels at helping overwhelmed leaders revitalize their energy from the inside out so that they can be productive and peaceful at the same time. Christina is a certified Embodiment Coach, Body Awake Yoga teacher, Happy for No Reason Trainer, Energy Codes Facilitator and BEST Practitioner who helps you take inspired action so that you have epic relationships, vibrant health and so much energy that people will ask you what you’ve been doing differently.

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