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  • Writer's pictureHannah McQuilkan

Wedding, rebirth and liberation

People often say that marriage is 'just a piece of paper', I believed this, I was wrong.

Is that why I have been so resistant to the idea of marriage, because deep down I knew it did count for something? Or maybe the wedding dream was tarnished by my own parents difficult marriage. My free spirit just couldn't imagine being 'tied down' to anyone.....

A combination of all of the above were the main contributors to make me simultaneously desperate for a deep and loving relationship but on the fence about ever actually tying the knot.

Hunter and I met on April 4th 2020, he proposed on April 4th 2022. We both understood there wouldn't be a legal wedding, a commitment ceremony maybe, a love ceremony of sorts but something legal, I don't think so, its just a piece of paper after all right? This not legal something ceremony was due to happen on April the 4th 2024.

So on Valentines Day 2024, a mere 6 weeks from the looming date of April 4th I was at a loss, what did I want to do? I knew something needed to happen, something that signified a commitment to the man of my dreams, something meaningful, sacred, special but I was completely stuck, no idea I'd had during the previous 2 years felt right, it all felt wrong, weird and off somehow.

I felt so blocked, frustrated and then life in its infinite wisdom came to the rescue.

'What are we going to do' I lamented to Hunter, unhelpfully happy to go along with whatever I wanted.

Let's watch this, he starts playing a TED talk about artificial happiness, I'd never heard of that. Here it is, maybe it will change your life too!!

It turns out that artificial happiness is that surprising kind of happiness that you get when life doesn't go the way you want but you make the best of it and in the end you wouldn't change it. Natural happiness is when you want something and you get that thing. Artificial happiness is longer lasting and more profound.

Suddenly the path to clarity seemed easy. If it's the same either way - or actually even better if when you get lemons and make lemonade, then we needed to find a way to force ourselves into a position of artificial happiness! How so? A coin toss - a coin toss with no going back, the results are final, forever final.

So, we flip a coin - Heads, a legal wedding, tails a non legal love ceremony.

Are you in? We look at each other, YES!

We flip the coin......knowing this decision is irreversible and in that moment before the coin hits the floor I feel myself wishing- 'I hope its a legal wedding'!

Heads! Legal Wedding, I'm all in. It still amazes me how I could go from ambivalent and totally indecisive to fully invested in getting legally married in about 10 seconds.

Ok - next question - who should be there? No one or everyone, small or big?

Heads - everyone, Tails - just us.

Flip coin.


Argh.....kind of wanted some people there I say. Well maybe we can ask the coin if we can have a party after.

Heads: Party after. Tails: No party.


We followed our coin of destiny to the letter and got a magical, best ever, couldn't have figured out better if I tried two days of utter joy and a lifetime of memories.

We try so hard in life, to figure it all out, to get it right. According to Dan Gilbert and The Science of Happiness, it's a futile pursuit. All that energy we spend trying to get what we want when actually not getting want we want but something else could actually make us happier. Thats a pretty powerful argument for total surrender to each moment we have breath. To let go of the controls and see what life would like to give and trust it.

How can we ever actually know the future? We want what we think we want

because we imagine a certain result but if that result hasn't actually happened yet then it's an imaginary outcome. How many times have you imagined something and then its turned out quite differently? Myself, often! So why do we continue to want what we want and continue to be inflexible toward other unexpected outcomes?

I suppose we believe our imaginary outcomes are real - well folks - I can tell you unequivocally they are not. Question what your mind is telling you as often as you can, make a habit of breaking down your assumptions and stay open when life doesn't appear to go your way because maybe, just maybe its heading in the perfect direction but you just haven't reached the end of the story yet.

I thought marriage was 'just a piece of paper' that wouldn't change anything - well again I can't trust my mind because so far its been so much more than that. Something has fundamentally changed, like my whole soul has breathed a sigh of relief that I managed to move through my resistance and actually get married! Who would have thought!

I love calling Hunter my husband, its oddly thrilling, like I've made it into a secret club that I never wanted to be part of but now I am part of feels strangely soothing, grounding and joyous.

Perhaps the biggest gift has been to not assume I know myself all that well, what other things that I don't think I want but I would actually love are out there to be discovered? How am I denying myself what I truly want? Where am I resisting the love that wants to find me? Openness to life and bravely stepping into unknown futures, surrender to a higher wisdom, letting love and joy find me in unexpected ways.

With blessings on your sacred journey,


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