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Unity Candles and Individuality  

It seems my writing in these columns recently has been impacted a great deal by conversations with my clients.  This month is no exception. 

Recently I was meeting with a couple for the first time when one of them brought up something they disliked which has also been a pet peeve of mine – the unity candle ritual that happens at many weddings.

I suppose I should clarify.  I actually love the ritual and what it means.  Two lives joining together and creating something new is a wonderful metaphor for marriage.  My pet peeve has to do with what happens to the original candles.

Often, those candles get snuffed out and only the new candle is left burning.  Unfortunately, I think many people in relationships take that symbolism to heart and make their individual identity less important than the relationship.  This can lead to feelings of not being appreciated and build resentment in a relationship.

Why can’t individual identity burn on while a strong relationship is created?  I think it can.  It isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but lets be honest.  The most valuable things in the world usually aren’t easy. 

The effort is worth it and when it works the “candles” can feed off of each other.  Vibrant individuals make a relationship burn brighter.  A healthy, strong relationship makes individuals shine more.  Why not strive for the best as both an individual and in your relationships.

I like it when the unity candle ritual at a wedding leaves the original candles lit.  And when couples live that out in their relationships. Let me know what you think.