…“Don’t lose yourself.”
I’m 32 this year, and I got married when I was 23. That’s only 8 years of marriage experience, and plus I am young. So I am fully aware of my age and the naivety that comes with it.
With that awareness in mind, I wrote this blog post down for you.
A good friend of mine visited my house recently to buy a bicycle that I seldom use. I figured it’s better to sell it to someone who will make better use of it than I can.
He came by with his truck, ready to buy the bicycle and take it home. During this, he said to me in a low voice, “Hey man, I’m getting married in November.”
I was like, “Wait, what?! Congrats bro!”
He is a quiet fella. He is not loud like me. So I can understand that he is not the kind of person who would parade around town to announce his marriage. He probably announced it to a few people he wanted to tell, and maybe post one photo later on Facebook just to let the world know. That’s probably it.
I am happy for my friend, because I knew he had been thinking of marriage for quite some time. As we loaded his truck with my bicycle, he shyly asked me for a marriage advice.
I asked him, “What’s your biggest fear?”
He said, “Fear is my biggest fear. I’m afraid of this thing.”
In my head I thought, “Good. That fear can be used for something beneficial if directed properly. A man with the right kind of fear can put his strength and ego in check.”
I gave it some thought, and said, “I’ve been married for only 8 years, and the one wisdom I can pass to you is this: Don’t lose yourself.”
Being married is hard, in that you will be tested like never before. When I was a single man, I thought I had a solid level of patience. But when I got married, my patience is tested to its absolute limit.
It is in those moments that you can easily lose yourself — to your pride, to your ego, to your anger, to your insecurity, and to your obscure idea of manliness.
I told him to never forget the man he wanted to become, when all the challenges in marriage are pulling him away from that ideal. Though he can never reach the ideal, but he should never stop trying and never stop moving towards it.
One of the things I did before I married my wife was I wrote a letter to myself
. I wrote all my ideals on paper. I wrote down the kind of husband I want to be, the kind of father I want to be, and overall the kind of person I want to be.
I have no idea where the inspiration came from that led me to write the letter, but I’m glad I did because that letter has saved me from forgetting my way in many occasions.
That letter helped me not to lose myself in the journey.
It caught me by surprise how easy it is to forget the promises I made to myself. But now that I think of it, it kind of makes sense. Marriage is all about elevating yourself to a higher level, hence the wisdom behind marriage completing half your religion.
Half of your religion isn’t completed automatically. You gotta do the work. In that process, shaytan will definitely not going to stay on the sideline and watch you succeed.
He is going to find every ounce of opportunity to break you and to take you away from your ideals — to make you lose yourself. As long as you can remember to remind yourself when you are about to lose it, and as long as you can remember to always choose what is right and not what is easy, you’ll be okay.
Remember my friend, this journey is long. So don’t lose yourself along the way.
My question to you is this: What are some of the strategies you use to make sure you don’t lose yourself?