I Me Wed

(excerpted from the revised and expanded edition of
Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia)

Our culture places too narrow a definition on who can reap the benefits of holy matrimony. By any reasonable moral reckoning, two members of the same gender should have exactly the same right to be married as any heterosexual couple.

But why stop there? Let's also legalize the marriage of any three people who want to enjoy wedded bliss in a triangular arrangement. Or four people, for that matter. Or 20. Or 100. Expand the frontiers. Multiply the possibilities. Give love more room to play.

But let's not stop there, either. There's another kind of holy matrimony we should make room for: one that climaxes not with the oath, "With this ring, I thee wed," but rather, "With this ring, I me wed." We need a ritual for getting married to oneself.

Is that something you're interested in? Do you have the nerve to go that far to prove your love? Are you ready to give yourself with throbbing devotion and sinewy commitment and total abandon to the intimate spectacle of loving yourself? If so, I propose that we perform a ceremony in which you get married to yourself right here and right now.

Let's begin by telling a simple truth: You will probably never create a resilient, invigorating bond with the lush accomplice of your dreams until you master the art of loving yourself ingeniously. A wedding ritual that joins you to yourself could catalyze an uncanny shift in your personal mojo that would attract a fresh, hot consort into your life, or else awaken the sleeping potential of a simmering alliance you have now.

If you're feeling brave, try speaking this aloud:

I am no longer looking for the perfect partner.
I am my own perfect partner.

Say it even stronger:

I am no longer looking for the perfect partner
to salve all my wounds
and fix all my mix-ups
and bridge all my chasms.
I am no longer looking for the perfect partner
because I am my own perfect partner.


Speaking that oath provides a good shock to your system; it's a smart place to start. But it doesn't mean you're fully primed. More preparation may be wise. Before you take the plunge, before you initiate this epic shift in your commitment to yourself, you may have to smash an obstacle or two.

I'm guessing that one of the main obstacles is your self-hatred -- your disgust for your foibles and wobbles ... the harsh slurs you inflict on your unripe beauty ... your sneaky tendency to sabotage your exuberance ... the bad excuses you concoct for not treating yourself with crafty kindness all the time.

Realistically, you won't be able to completely purge this bad habit in one masterful swoop. But you can put it on notice. You can launch the crusade that will sooner or later emancipate you from its contamination.
Now say this:

I will never again cast a curse on myself.
I will never again cast a curse on myself.

Did any sensations arise in your body as you said those words. Warmth in your gut? A sob in your throat? A surge in your heart? Whatever somatic revelation arrived, invite it to go further and say more.

Next, visualize an object that signifies your propensity toward self-hatred -- maybe a whip to symbolize the way you scourge yourself with punishing criticism, or handcuffs to represent your yearning for approval from people who don't even respect you or understand you. Picture yourself throwing this object into a vat of molten gold. See it dissolve. Then say or sing these words as many times as you'd like to:

I will never again drop a bomb on my playground.
I will never again smash a mirror on my face.
I will never again try to cut my own heart out.
I will never again cast a curse on myself.
I will never again cast a curse on myself.


There is another confusion to escape before you dive into the heart of your self-marriage. I call it the tribal hex -- the primal shame that your close relations have tried to use to keep you bound to their expectations.

Remember? You came into this world as a radiant bundle of exuberant riddles, as a shimmering burst of spiral hallelujahs, as a lush explosion of ecstatic gratitude -- and yet what your adult relatives most likely wanted was an extension of themselves, a well-behaved kid who followed orders. And so you constructed a false personality, hoping that if you became an ersatz version of yourself you would be loved better.

Close your eyes and imagine that your mother and father are here. It shouldn't be hard, because they probably are gathered with you in spirit right now. So are your siblings, your aunts and uncles, your grandparents and their parents and their parents.

The ghostly presences of your family and forebears, their voices inside your head, tend to rise from a murmur to a clamor whenever you slip outside of the designs you've always stuck to. And many of them are or would be steeped with prejudices about how you should live your life. Many of them would say that getting married to yourself is an unnatural act that you should not attempt.

Maybe there are exceptions -- enlightened relatives who celebrate you for exactly who you are and who would applaud your decision to raise the stakes in your bond with yourself. If so, invite the spirit of their presence to be with you.

But as for the rest, I encourage you to banish their voices from this sacred space. Though you may love them, you can't let their wrong-headed notions about you contaminate your self-wedding ceremony. On the count of three, unleash a sound -- a howl or whisper or command -- that will exorcise them. 1 ... 2 ... 3.


Here I will give you room to take an inventory. Are there any other obstacles that need smashing? Any further objections that have to be overruled before you'll be ready to pledge your troth to the only human being who is capable of flooding you with unconditional love from now until the end of time and beyond? You decide, then take appropriate ritual action.


As you groom yourself for the catharsis to come, the final step is to enhance and refine your visceral understanding of how gorgeous and mysterious you are. To that end, please revisit "A Spell to Re-Genius Yourself" on page 80 of the book PRONOIA, or online, here, as well as "I'm a Star, You're a Star" on page 287 of the book. When you're through, try chanting this a few times:

I'm the chosen one, just like everyone else.

If uttered with ironic sincerity and blasphemous reverence, those words will drive into your subconscious mind a full-blown understanding of the differences between bad ego trips and good ego trips, namely: During the bad ones, you ooze half-assed overconfidence, self-defeating insensitivity, and idiotic arrogance; in the good ones, you exude self-assured kindness, unpretentious mastery, and forceful grace.

Guess which type of ego trip doesn't create a whole lot of hell to pay later -- and which serves best as the foundation of your marriage to yourself?

Now say this:

I'm the chosen one, just like everyone else.
I'm the chosen one, just like everyone else.


Before we get to the denouement, I'll invite you to spend time in the coming days to carry out devotional acts that will seal the sanctity of this ceremony.

First, create or acquire two wedding gifts for yourself. The first gift will symbolize your promise to lovingly kill off a bad habit or lingering remorse or ignorant glitch that you don't want to bring with you into your new, self-married life. The second gift will embody your intention to mobilize an unripe talent or dormant power that has been dying to come to life within you.

These two gifts can be based on the same theme. For example, you could get a hardy work boot and a fuzzy bunny slipper to symbolize your vow to regularly kick your own ass with lighthearted exuberance as well as tough love.

The other devotion I encourage you to enjoy is to go on a solo honeymoon to a thrilling sanctuary where you can try feats of strength and love that you've always fantasized about doing.


Now hold your own hand. Either speak the following declarations or use them as inspiration to create your own:

I love everything about me.

I love my curious beauty and my amazing pain.
I love my hungry soul and my changeable games.
I love my mysterious gambles and my humbling brags.
I love my blooming darkness and my burning flags.

I love my flaws, my gaps, my catalytic fears.
I love my puzzling insights and my scary frontiers.
I love my wrongs, my rights, and my ambiguous dreams.
I love my courage, my cowardice, and my elaborate schemes.

I love everything about me.
I love everything about me.

Now either make these promises to yourself, or use them to inspire your own versions:

I will never forsake, betray, or deceive myself.
I will always adore, forgive, and believe in myself.
I will never refuse, abandon, or scorn myself.
I will always amuse, delight, and redeem myself.

Beauty and truth and love will always find me.
Chaos and wilderness will always sustain me.
I'm the fire and water and earth and air that are forever fresh from eternity.
I'm a perfect creation and everything alive is naturally in love with me.

Now if it is your will and desire to agree to the following vows, say them:

I vow to treat myself with adroit respect and resourceful compassion and outrageous grace.

I pledge to see my problems as tremendous opportunities and my flaws as imperfect talents.

I promise to shower myself with rowdy blessings and surprising adventures and brave liberations.

As long as I live, I vow to die and be reborn, die and be reborn, die and be reborn, over and over again, forever reinventing myself.

I promise to be stronger than hate, wetter than water, deeper than the abyss, and wilder than the sun.

I pledge to remember that I am not only a sweating, half-asleep, excitable, bumbling jumble of desires, but that I am also an immortal four-dimensional messiah in continuous telepathic touch with all of creation.

I vow to love and honor my highs and my lows my yeses and noes, my give and my take, the life I wish I had and the life I actually have.

I promise to push hard to get better and smarter, grow my devotion to the truth, fuel my commitment to beauty, refine my emotions, hone my dreams, wrestle with my shadow, purge my ignorance, and soften my heart -- even as I always accept myself for exactly who I am, with all of my so-called foibles and wobbles.

I pledge to wake myself up, never hold back, have nothing to lose, go all the way, kiss the stormy sky, be the hero of my own story, ask for everything I need and give everything I have, take myself to the river when it's time to go to the river, and take myself to the mountaintop when it's time to go to the mountaintop.

I vow to love myself unconditionally and unconventionally until the end of time and beyond.

I now pronounce you your own husband and your own wife, married to yourself in the eyes of the Divine Wow or Yo Mama Nature, whichever you prefer, as death and life and death and life bring you together, over and over again, in new and exciting ways each time, forever and ever, until the end of time and beyond.

You may kiss yourself on your own lips.

In the days to come, please brainstorm more vows and inspirations.