8 years ago, I got married to an amazing man. I knew when I said 'yes' that he was the one. However, I had no clue what marriage meant. You see, I learned that loving a person is one thing, but marriage - is a whole different story.

Over the past 8 years, I experienced a tremendous number of healing modalities, spiritual growth, self-immersions, challenging self-development practices and 100s of courses. But if you ask me, who was your biggest teacher? I would probably say life itself and marriage as a key aspect of it. 

So, let's get right into it. Here is what marriage has been teaching this spirit of mine:

Recognise the Other Person is You

Probably my favourite sutras and yet every day I can understand a new depth to this statement. 

My husband is a reflection of my own shadows. When we argue, it is a reflection of what bothers ME. He is a mirror that reflects my insecurities, weaknesses and limitations.

When I hate something about him, it reflects what I hate in myself.

When I love him, it is a reflection of what I love in me. 

He holds a mirror to help me see more clearly. This is why many marriages fail. It is hard to face your demons and actually believe that they are outside of you - not in your control.

When you realize that the ugly and the pretty are both a reflection of YOU, you can uplift any situation and learn more about yourself as part of the partnership. 

There is No One Path

I can't even count the amount of times I dragged my poor husband to a yoga class while he forced me to watch football replays. Oh how I wished that he was a yogi and how much he tried explaining what is 'offside' (I still don't get it). 

When I became a spiritual yogi many other yogis would ask me "how do you still get along with your husband?".

I must admit at the beginning it was hard. All I could see is how different we had become. Our lifestyle, our habits, our surroundings and even our dreams. That scared me as I started to feel that we were drifting into two different path.

At some point, I had a beautiful realization. We ARE two!

And for some reason, this sprint of mine, chose his spirit to support its growth and awakening. So my spiritual practice shifted from doing more "out there" (joining a 100 retreats a year to gain an awakening) and towards focusing on what I had right here...marriage as a spiritual channel for growth and enlightenment.

I challenged myself to accept his journey just as it is without expecting him to change.

I challenged myself to let go of some aspects of my own journey, of stiffness and judgements towards myself and to others.

I challenged myself to love unconditionally.

There is no ONE path. We are all on different paths and with support and love, we can move together towards the same direction of learning and growth. Isn't this why we are here anyway?

When We Push Through, We Elevate 

Marriage is hard work.

I am sure some of you reading this will agree. I am not here to share how amazing my marriage has been, because I can tell you there were times when we were both ready to pack our bags and leave. Yet, we never did that. We stayed.

When the person in front of you is a mirror of your inner most darkest truth, a lot of ugly things will come out, like it or not.

That includes hate, anger and resentment. Your partner pokes, provokes and confronts your deepest secrets and insecurities.

The question is, will you stay?

What was the most difficult physical or mental challenge you have ever experienced?

Take a moment to think of that. Maybe it was a very long and annoying meditation, or a fitness class, or hiking up a mountain...along the way somewhere, you must've felt tired, upset, angry, fed up, frustrated, maybe even at times thought of giving up. Yet, when you push through those meditative challenges, something beautiful awaits you on the other side.

A new view, a sense of fulfilment, but most importantly a new understanding.

When we push through, in any challenge and in marriage too, there comes a point where we elevate, we reach a new height and see things with a new eye.

My marriage has allowed me to awaken to new truths about myself. Allowed me to see what limits my potential and how with patience and love, I can elevate, learn and grow.

Marriage as a Teacher 

Yes, marriage is a relationship, commitment, love, family and all of that. 

But also, marriage is a life teacher. Marriage is a meditation, a beautiful challenge and if you keep pushing through you can elevate into a new awakening. Every struggle is a new opportunity to learn something new about yourself. Every argument is an opportunity to see a new truth about your own life. 

Final thoughts

I have a deep feeling that one day I will be working with couples. I hope I do because my marriage is one of the reasons I am who I am today and I strongly believe that it is a tool for transformation and spiritual awakening.

Since I spoke a lot about marriage, I will end this with a special message to my husband who had to be traveling for work on this special Valentine's Day: thank you for being my teacher and thank you for allowing me to be yours. My spirit chose yours as a channel for its awakening and every challenge we go through is a new reminder that we are growing and waking up to see the truth, which is this: we are pure love and that will always prevail. 

Love to all. 

Couple Jana & Omar