Saturday, November 3, 2018

Incredibly Blessed

Friday morning, I officiated Jasmine and Colin’s wedding ceremony, at Event 1013, in Plano, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

I’m an existentialist. No, I’m not a philosophy major. I can’t say that I’ve read enough philosophical works to write an academic paper on the subject. All the same, that’s what I am. So, whenever I run into a fellow existentialist, I pay attention. And Colin told me he is existentialist. Jasmine didn’t tell me, at least not as explicitly, but I think she is too.

The essence of existentialism is that if you have a why, you can deal with any what. No, really; that’s it. Oh, and nobody tells you what the why is. Not because they don’t want to; because they can’t. Only you can figure out what it is. It is not external to you; it is internal.

Existentialists are nihilists, but not in the colloquial sense. Nihilists believe that nothing has inherent meaning. Negative nihilists, which is the colloquial meaning of the word, believe that, therefore, nothing matters. Positive nihilists, which is what existentialists are, believe the opposite. Things matter, because you have infused them with meaning. Your what now has a why. That is why finding the why, finding meaning, is so important. And, it’s why it’s so sad that most people don’t take the time to do this, at an early enough age. I know I didn’t.

Jasmine and Colin did. When you really pay attention to how they have lived their lives, as individuals, you can see this. Each of them had an independent streak that showed up, while they were still in high school. They had been offered different answers to the question of why. There was nothing inherently wrong with those answers. They just weren’t theirs.

Each of them took their time, studying and working, working and studying. They explored their identities, and built their relationships with the world. They took their time, they didn’t hurry, they lived a little. They thought, and they read.

And then they met each other. They were a little older than their friends had been when they met that special person. Then again, they were a little older than their friends had been, reaching most adult milestones. They were better for it. They truly knew themselves.

That, I believe, explains what you are about to hear. Listen to Jasmine: “It was the best first date I had ever had. We talked and joked for hours! After dinner we didn’t really want the night to end so we hopped on over to the pub. It was the night of a world series game so it wasn’t the quietest place for a date but it didn’t matter, we still had an amazing time.”

That amazing time continues to this very day, and effortlessly. Just listen to Colin: “Life with Jasmine feels very natural and easy. From my perspective we didn’t have a honeymoon period, things have always been very even keeled and smooth... Interacting with her is as simple as breathing, which for an introvert like me is incredible.”

And, why again was this? Because they had taken the time to get to know themselves; they had taken the time to figure out their why, and so a shared why came more naturally. As Jasmine says, “Colin really let me open up, and be who I truly am. I had no reservations around him, and I always felt so good. That’s when I knew I couldn’t let him go.”

When two existentialists find that someone who mutually answers their shared why, an incredible thing can happen. It can help them deepen and enrich their individual whys too. That is why Colin says, “In our short time together we have contributed to the other’s personal growth by quite a bit, but mine especially. I can’t imagine life without her beside me and I’m often sad I hadn’t found her sooner.”

Jasmine sums up this idea and this journey of discovery and meaning beautifully: “He is everything I’ve ever wanted and needed in a man... I slowed down and thought it through... I waited for my partner and soulmate... I have found him!”

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