Let’s begin with the raw truth. After all, I had to get as raw as possible to find my truth. Marriage is not a solution. Marriage is a journey that teaches us how to love more authentically.

A diamond is created from carbon that is intensely pressurized under immense heat at the depths of the Earth. The combining of the carbon atoms is what makes the diamond so incredibly hard and strong. Once it’s fully crystallized into a proper diamond, it endures anything. The diamond (when polished) shines its light with brilliance and sparkles with elegance and love. It is a symbol of purity and perfection, indestructible spiritual power, profound intellectual knowledge, as well as the stone of commitment, faithfulness and promise in love. 

Marriage does not complete anyone. Marriage is a beautiful unity of two individuals who are whole, and together they compliment each other’s lives. It takes two mature human beings who are fully aware of their strengths and shortcomings; of their generosity and boundaries; and of their full potential as a couple to shine together with a common purpose and conviction. Before a healthy union is possible, polishing oneself off is probably a wise idea. The importance of a healthy, stable, non-toxic relationship is often overlooked. At times, for women, the “clock is ticking”, social pressures surround us, and loneliness despairs us leading us to committing to a relationship or marriage for the wrong reasons. As women we must realize that first and foremost, we are our a diamond and we don’t need a diamond to feel unique, accepted and loved.

As women, we are often lead to believe that our life will be “complete” when we meet the person of our dreams and marry. Unfortunately, that is how I was operating in my 20’s. Through the influence of social media, television, Hollywood and social norms I, like most young women, found myself succumbing to the belief that life would magically be beautiful once I married. I was of the belief that I would gain a sense of belonging, being and fulfillment that I couldn’t find elsewhere (within me). A proposal and a diamond ring seemed to be such a huge aspiration back in the day for me. A wedding was always something I dreamed of.

And then, one day, it all happened, it all came true – I married at age 27. I had the diamond ring, I had a very nice man, and a beautiful wedding reception surrounded by friends and family. I was lonelier than I could ever imagine. I lost myself to the agonizing feeling of suffocation – I made a big mistake.

In retrospect, the diamond, the man and the stellar party were exactly NOT the solution to feeling complete. Soon after marrying, I went into panic attack mode and fell into a deep and dark depression. I collapsed and was in need of aligning myself with my truth. I had to listen to my heart which was aching to get out of this confined and restricting situation. This was the beginning of a journey to my feeling comfortable being who I am, without anxiety and pressure. The mistake of getting married and the distorted misconception of what marriage would do for me took me for quite the detour – having to learn the lesson of self-love.

Inevitably, I divorced by age 29 and began my journey to self-love. I broke social norms and shattered family expectations along the way. I freed myself from the chains that were anchoring me down to a life that was not meant for me (back then). I knew there was more to my growth that would encompass international travels, career opportunities and challenges, serving others and becoming comfortable with who I truly am – free of social norms.

I had to learn that leaving this marriage would not be the end of the world, but rather just the beginning to discovering my world. It was an opportunity to stand up for the lifestyle I believe in- the one that is aligned with my values, goals and passions. Divorcing was a challenging transition for me, as it is for anyone. I believe firmly that we are deserving of a beautiful healthy partner, but first we must become that wonderful partner for ourself. It is only by authentically loving oneself that we can love our partner fully.

For me, it was fundamental to realize that I am a diamond and I am allowed to radiate my essence to the world. I’m allowed to live my way and not conform to what others expect of me. I learned to have no timeline, no pressure and no idealization for how marriage will play out again in my life. I am comfortable and complete as I am.

The truth is, life is beautiful with or without marriage. Marriage is not the foundation for creating a magnificent life. Marriage is one more component to an already incredible life you have. You don’t need anyone to give you a diamond – you are a diamond! Sometimes, as women, we just need to crystallize and allow ourselves to shine without permission. Maybe all we need to do is realize that the diamond we seek outside of us already resides brilliantly within each of us.

Shine on and illuminate your beautiful heart to the world – like the diamond you are!