True to Myself
"What I wish someone had told me before I entered into a relationship and marriage, was to always stay true to myself. I was always on my very best behavior during courtship, and I suppressed my pride and I made sure that it wasn’t very evident.
Once I got married and the initial honeymoon stage of my marriage to Chris passed, it surfaced. It came out at a time where we could have been experiencing abundance in growth and love, and a time where we were bonding and growing closer together. That’s why we joined a married couple’s movement, Teams of Our Lady (TOOL). It was so important to us, because we were surrounded by prayers from our team members and our priest. But I realized that I had definitely brought baggage into our marriage.
The way to make sure that you don’t bring in that baggage into marriage is through accountability. The way to find accountability is through spiritual direction, spiritual friendship and belonging to community. That is the only way that you will see. Through true fellowship, when you surround yourself with people that love you and won’t judge you; when they gently say to you “Why did you do what you did?”, or, “What were you thinking when you decided to go with this option?”. These people will call you to accountability and help you see where you need to grow in certain virtues. You are forced to acknowledge your mistakes and shortcomings. If you lie in that moment of accountability, you will feel it internally and it will surface later on.
When we look at Scripture, it says: “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another.”
We can’t do this alone; we have to meet with others to overcome our vice and internal struggles. It’s like a 12-Step Program or an AA program. Any spiritual movement in the Church has a meeting component within community, even in Mass we all meet and come together as a spiritual community. It is all about accountability and being vulnerable with those that we trust. "
#CatholicsOfToronto Part 2/4 of Monika's Story.