The Resilient Power of Weddings

Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA
Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA

We attended the wedding of a good friend’s son and their new daughter-in-law this past weekend. It was a great time.

It had all the beautiful elements of a celebration of love, from the wedding vows written by the bride and groom to their first dance together (including an incredible dip.)  Old friendships were rekindled, and new ones were hatched. Everyone was smiling, laughing, and enjoying the meaning and joy of the day.

I find weddings to be a great way to strengthen my resilience. An essential aspect of the Resilience Advantage is maintaining a storehouse of energy and “hardiness” that helps us address difficult situations in the future, and love, for sure, has to be the most powerful tool in our lives.

After the weekend’s events, I feel my tank has been refilled. Here’s why:

  1. Love: A wedding is about the personification of love, and I saw that all weekend. We didn’t know the couple that well, but their welcoming of us on Friday was filled with a genuine appreciation for our presence. All weekend, I saw the hugs, tears of joy, and quiet and loud conversations with family and friends, experiencing the best of each other.
  2. New Connections: Before heading out of town, I met a guy at the golf course and mentioned we were going out of town for a wedding. He asked me whose wedding, and when I told him, he shared that his folks would be there and we should connect. When we got to the Friday night welcome party, they were looking for us, and we were looking for them—great folks and now, new friends.
  3. The Messages: The officiant was the groom’s brother, and he did an amazing job of sharing stories, bringing in traditions from the bride and groom’s cultural backgrounds, and asking us all to consider how creating joy in a marriage is a pathway to happiness.
  4. Conversation: Connecting with people of every age is one of the most profound elements of the weekend for me. Everyone was there for the same reason: to celebrate the happy couple. In doing that, the barriers of differences melt away. Over Sunday brunch, I connected with a cousin of the grooms, and after hearing that Sheila and I were celebrating our 44th anniversary that weekend, he wanted to know how that happened! That led to a long discussion about creating happiness and how that happens in our lives
  5. Oh, yeah, food and drink: It is an old Pittsburgh tradition that part of the dessert is a “cookie” table, and this one was loaded with all kinds of delicious treats, along with a little bag to take a few homes. I took two!

Resilience is not always about overcoming adversity. It is also about building up love, friendships, and fun as a storehouse of protection.

Thanks, Meg and Paul!

© Richard Citrin 2023

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