A Note from Sandy and Kirk: Two people submitted questions that were quite similar. They both addressed the subject of marriage, and a desire to remain single. One was from a woman who is forty-eight and loves being single. She is content to not marry or have children, but she feels she is judged by people who have a hard time accepting her lifestyle. She feels some people think that women who choose not to marry and bear children are selfish.
The other question was from a man in his twenties who is in a relationship now, but also equally loves being alone. He has a hard time imagining himself with the same person his entire life. He also fears that if he doesn't get married, he may never want to marry. He is comfortable in his current relationship, yet doesn't want to lead his significant other on. He wonders if he should break up with her now, for fear of hurting her later and wasting her time since marriage is what she really wants in life.
The following is a dialogue between Kirk and Alana on the subject of marriage, children, and surviving as a single.
Kirk: Alana, what would you like to share with people who have a desire to remain single and not marry?
Alana: Each individual's life path will be different. One's life path is reflective of what they have come here to learn, how they wish to grow, and what their intention is for the development of their soul.
In regards to commitments and marriage, let me give you a couple examples of how this may express in a person's life. One person may marry multiple times and have many different relationships. Their intention this life could be to clear up a lot of old karma. They may be creating experiences to learn how to be in a healthy relationship with themselves while they are in a relationship with another.
There are also those who have come into this life as custodians to humanity. Often these individuals will remain single. If they find a mate, it will be an individual who shares a similar conscious expression. These two individuals can maintain their independence while having respect, commitment, and connection with each other. You see, there are as many expressions for relating as there are individuals. So a person may choose to remain single in their life, which may be the perfect path for them to accomplish their life's purpose. We cannot generalize that what is right for one person is right for everyone.
Kirk: In our culture commitment is highly valued. Usually commitment takes the form of marriage. Could you talk a bit about the differences between commitment and marriage?
Alana: Marriage is a sacred relationship that has been sanctioned through religious, cultural, or governmental structures. Commitment within a relationship is a sacred intent to share life with one another. There is often an overlap between these two expressions. Marriage embraces commitment, but an individual can still experience commitment without necessarily having to step into the vibration of marriage.
We also must mention that some individuals have had many lives where the whole vibration of commitment had become very confused. Perhaps they did not do well with commitment. Often this stems from difficulties in being honest with one's self or having conflicting inner values. Perhaps they sacrificed or suppressed some aspect of themselves in that life. If they did not have a clear understanding of how to make a commitment to themselves, how could they extend the energy of commitment to another? With this kind of challenging collective soul history, this individual could find commitment to be quite difficult.
On the other hand, you may find an individual who has enjoyed fulfilling commitments in prior lives, times where they had high levels of awareness in the relationship context. Because of their rewarding collective soul history, they may come into this life wishing to experience relationships in even deeper ways. They now have an opportunity to share of themselves in ever-expanding ways. As you can see, Alana's answer points back to each individual's soul direction. What did they come here to experience? Where does their soul want to take them?
Kirk: What would you say to people who feel shamed because their cultures say that they are not a whole and complete person unless they marry, have children, and raise a family?
Alana: I would say that each individual must check into his or her own heart. Only they know if they are whole, and only they know what is perfect for them. We forget that there are many individuals who are incarnated at this time who are "humanitarian parents." They aren't necessarily here to have children in the traditional sense, but are more here to guide, share, and care for humanity. Rules have their limitations, and each individual must check into their nature and find what is right for them.
Kirk: I enjoyed your comments regarding "humanitarian parents," as Sandy and I feel that is our path. Both of us knew very early in our lives that we wouldn't be having children. It wasn't any kind of mental decision for either of us, just a calm, inner knowing. This shared realization was also never about not loving kids, which we do. We cherish the opportunities we've had to touch the lives of other people's children, and to be touched by them.
Okay, next question. What advice would you give to someone who feels ambivalent about whether to enter a committed relationship or enjoy a more solitary life living alone? Especially those people who feel quite fulfilled and happy by themselves.
Alana: These types of feelings can stem from lacking a conscious awareness of who they fully are, like when a person is young, learning and growing, and discovering his or her own authenticity. At times it is very difficult to move into a committed relationship. They do not fully know who they are. I would recommend to them self-discovery, and coming to a place of wholeness, before he or she made a decision to cohabitate, marry, or move into a relationship.
If a person is older and wishes to continue being single, then perhaps they want to experience what life is like while fully unencumbered. Here again, we must keep in mind that life gives us many creative opportunities to express, and we as a people are learning to be conscious beings while in a body.
Kirk: One of our questioners this week mentioned that he is in a relationship dilemma. He is with someone with whom he feels compatible, but he's not sure that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. At the same time, the person he is with wants to spend her life with him. Part of his dilemma is that he wants to make sure that he doesn't lead his partner on for two or three years, only to discover that she isn't the one that he wants to be with. Part of his logic says maybe he should break up with her now, rather than hurt her by leading her on. But another part within him says that he loves her, is enjoying the relationship, and wants to continue. He is confused and isn't sure what to do.
Alana: In that situation I feel the most ideal action would be to be fully honest with her, as honest as he is with himself. They should share their values so they better understand each other. If he does not value or currently desire traditional marriage, he should let her know. He should explain that his reasons are not necessarily about her, but are really about himself. He may be someone who needs a lot of private time. Perhaps she is very nurturing. This dynamic could be descriptive of different temperaments and values. So they must get to know each other better. By doing so, they both will create greater levels of understanding so they can then discern what they want individually and as a couple.
People often forget to communicate from their hearts, and "hold other's as able" to hear their truths. There are a couple of things that could happen after they share more deeply each other's values. He may find that she really wants marriage and the implied security that marriage provides. Even though it isn't marriage that creates the commitment, it is only a proclamation of commitment. Or, she may still want to be in relationship with him and let the future take care of itself.
Sometimes people also learn through contrast. They don't know what they want until it is removed from their lives. If this is the case, and she left him, his feelings could let him know he wanted to be with her. That is, as long as he didn't measure the distance he was feeling primarily from his ego attachments, but more from his soul longing.
Kirk: There is a conventional wisdom that exists in some cultures that people should wait a while before getting married. Earlier in western history there was pressure when someone was in his or her teens or early twenties to get married. It seems like now, after having witnessed the high divorce rates, we are now seeing people wait until they are in their thirties or even forties to get married. With marriages that occur later in life, concerns about women being able to have children arise. So when you look at the whole subject of timing for marriage, or being in a committed relationship, is there any wisdom you can share?
Alana: You are describing a shift in consciousness and how it is affecting humanity. In the past when marriage was expected and encouraged at a very young age, family lines wished to continue the family name. For example, in the lower classes the family wanted to create community and new workers to share in daily responsibilities. With modernization and the awakening from the hierarchical structure ensconced in many societies, things are no longer quite the same. The functionality of marriage and the development of one's authenticity have mixed up the patterned roles within the collective. Modern societies are learning more and more about response-ability. Mankind is developing a new type of consciousness in relationship to what response-ability is, relative to the times we are in. Humanity is beginning to realize that the only way to have a truly fulfilling relationship and cohabitate together is to first develop a sense of self-love. Relationships built upon this premise are more apt to be very rich and meaningful, and will also be built upon conscious relating.
This is really kind of a circular question. It brings us back to where we started. The subject of marriage and commitment is a path of discovery for each individual. Communicating what is in our hearts will help us understand what is right for each of us. From there it is important to find ways to support each other's path while trusting this process.
Kirk: Excellent. Is there anything else you would like say to complete today's conversation regarding, relationships, marriage, commitment, raising a family, and being alone?
Alana: Just that it is important to follow your own heart and to be honest with yourself, so that you can be honest with others. Be a leader. Be someone who takes care of his or her self by practicing self-love. Demonstrate self-love in the world. You cannot love another any more than you love yourself. Another cannot love you anymore than they love themselves. Awareness, honesty, and self-love are the foundations for all relating.
There are some people who are incredible caretakers. Not in a negative way, but in a way that they get the greatest fulfillment through teaching love. Then there are others who are leaders that reveal new pathways. They can give people examples of how to be greatly empowered in one's life. There are many purposes, values, and paths.
My suggestion is to really pay attention to what you sense and feel. Never fear being honest, and hold others able to hear your honesty. As we do this collectively, it will become a beautiful, synchronous kind of dance where all individuals will fall into the perfect place. The soul mates that are meant to find each other will do so. Those who are meant to be the caretakers for humanity will have the opportunity to shine brightly.
Kirk: Thank you Alana. Today's session has been a pleasure.
Alana: Thank you, Kirk. Alana-Heart's wish for all who seek love is to first find it within themselves so that they may then find their true path.