The person you really need to marry | Tracy McMillan | TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen

The person you really need to marry | Tracy McMillan | TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen

Translator: Nadine Hennig
Reviewer: Ilze Garda When I was growing up, there was this song
we used to sing on the playground, and it went like this, “Tracy and so and so,
sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage.” And I’m like, “OK, that’s it! That’s how you do life.
That’s how you do a relationship. Love, marriage, baby carriage. OK, got it! (Laughter) Then I grew up, and this is
what my life turned out to be. (Laughter) Slightly more complicated, right?
(Laughter) Love, marriage, divorce,
dry spells, love, marriage, co-parenting, another marriage,
another divorce; you got the picture. (Laughter) (Applause) So if you’re good at math and/or
a fast reader, what you’ve got there is that I’ve been married three times. Yep, three, and divorced. What that is supposed to mean is
that I’m a total failure at relationships. And that is one way
to look at it, but not the only way. Because what I think really happened
is that I kept marrying the wrong person. No, it’s not that I didn’t–
it’s not that I chose bad guys. My first two husbands were amazing men who are now married
to wonderful women who aren’t me. (Laughter) And my third husband, well,
we’re friends on Facebook now. So, all is well that ends well, right? After the collapse of
my third marriage in 2005, I realized that I’ve been marrying
everyone in sight, except the one person
that I really needed to marry in order to have a great relationship and that once I married that person, all of my relationships would be
successes, even the failures. The so-called failures, actually. Since we’re talking today
about women inventing, I’m going to talk about
inventing relationships. What I’ve found through a lot of trial
and obviously, many, many, many errors, to be the thing that has
transformed my life and love, and that is this idea
of marrying yourself. So what does it mean to marry yourself? It’s a big idea. It is as big as marriage itself
except, if I could just summarize it, it would be that you enter
into a relationship with yourself and then you put a ring on it. (Laughter) In other words,
you commit to yourself fully. And then you build
a relationship with yourself to the point where you realize
that you’re whole right now, that there is no man, woman, job,
circumstance that can happen to you that is going to make you more whole
because you already are. And this changes your life. By now, I’m sure at least
some of you are wondering why you should be listening
to a three-time divorcee talk about marriage? (Laughter) Even to herself. And I understand that. Here’s what I have to say about that: what I’ve learned and my experience is that the places where you have
the biggest challenges in your life become the places where you
have the most to give if you do your inner work. I kind of want to say that again: the places where you have
the biggest challenges are the places where you
have the most to give. So let me tell you a little bit
about the person I truly needed to marry: myself. I am from Minneapolis. Wooh! (Laughter) My mom was a prostitute and an alcoholic. She put me in foster care
when I was three months old. My dad was a criminal; he was a drug dealer and a pimp
with a heart of gold – actually, they both had hearts of gold – and he spent more or less
my whole life in prison. He just got out of prison
after his most recent sentence which was 20 years. Until the age of nine, I was probably
in two dozen foster homes. The thing you need to know
about this story – there are a lot of details, obviously –
but the thing you need to know is that I came out of that childhood
with one goal: to never be left. The way I was going to do that
is that I was going to get married. That was the way I was going
to accomplish that goal. So I got married the first time
to a guy I met when I was 17. We got married a couple
of years later, when I was 19. He was a really good guy
from a great family, he had an MBA. I mean, it was like,
you know, marriage material. You know, I was thrilled. I was like, “I have a family.
I belong somewhere. This is wonderful.” And then after five years I left him. Then ten years later, I got married again
to another wonderful guy, who is the father of my
now 16-years-old son. We still have a wonderful relationship.
He is a really good guy. But after four years I left him, too. And I am not proud to say that I did that,
but in order to really marry yourself, you have to get sometimes
very painfully honest with yourself about what it is that you’ve done. So I’m not proud of that. Then eight years later,
I got married again, when I was 40, and I was like, “OK, this feels right!” Let me tell you what felt right
to a girl who was in 24 foster homes: a guy who started to date
after nine months of marriage; essentially, he started dating
a 21-year-old girl. OK, I mean, it would be funny,
if it weren’t so tragic. You have to have a sense of…
that is why we’re Facebook friends. So, here I am looking
at this person that I just described with a terrible track record
of relationships, and I’m like, “I’m supposed to marry her? This is the woman
you want me to marry?” And the answer is yes. Because here is the deal: the thing about marrying yourself
is not just like cohabitating. You’re not just going to date
for a while and see how it turns out. You are going to do this
till death do you part. You are going to take vows. So here are the vows. Number 1: you are going to marry yourself
for richer or for poorer. This means you are going
to love yourself right where you are. You don’t say to yourself, “When you get
to the corner of Hollywood and Vine, then I will marry you.” You don’t say, “When you lose
ten pounds, then I will love you.” And you don’t say, “If you hadn’t
married that loser, I would love you, but since you did,
I’m sorry, I think it’s over.” When you marry yourself,
you walk yourself down that aisle exactly where you are. And paradoxically, I found
that loving myself exactly where I am is the only way to get where I am going. Number 2: you are going to marry yourself
for better or for worse. What this means is that most of us
are willing to love ourselves for better, I mean, sure, I am having
a great hair day today. I love me. (Laughter) That’s not what I am talking about. I’m talking about for worse,
you know, the big life disappointments. Maybe you don’t own a home,
you didn’t get the career you wanted, maybe you didn’t graduate from college,
or get the relationship you wanted. Maybe it hasn’t turned out–
maybe you fight with your mum, maybe you watch too much reality TV, whatever it is, it doesn’t matter anymore. Because when you marry yourself,
you agree to stay with you no matter what. Third, you marry yourself
in sickness and in health. What this means is that you forgive
yourself for your mistakes. A mistake isn’t actually a failure
unless you don’t learn from it and unless you don’t grow. There is a saying, “You ask for patience,
and what you get is a line at the bank.” (Laughter) What that means is that life
does not give you what you’ve asked for, it gives you the people,
places, and situations that allow you to develop
what you ask for. And the thing is if you don’t get it
right the first time, life will give it to you again. (Laughter) Because life is very generous that way. It’s like I didn’t get it the first time,
in the first marriage, and I didn’t get it the second time,
maybe the third time I’ll get it. So inside that terrible experience
of that third marriage, I learned something
about “in sickness and in health”. What I learned is how to sit
by my own bedside, and how to hold my own hand,
and how to nurse myself, and how to comfort myself. What I learned is that I am
a person that I can count on. Last but not least, you marry yourself– when you marry yourself,
it’s to have and to hold yourself. What does it mean to have and to hold? Well, I think it means
that you love yourself the way you want
someone else to love you. I had always been going
through life with this sense of lack. I felt like I was kind of half a person,
and that I was missing something. I went into my relationships hoping to solve this feeling
that I had my entire life: that I was not whole
unless someone loved me. The truth was that I wasn’t ever going to feel whole
until I learned to love myself. So this business of marrying yourself
transforms every area of your life: your business, family relationships,
kids, social relationships, friends. Because when you marry yourself,
this huge thing happens: you become able to love
in this whole new way. You become able to love other people
right where they are, for who they are, the same way you’re already
loving yourself. And of course, this is
what the world needs more of. So when I married myself, and I realized
that I already had everything I needed, I started seeing it as my job to basically just light up
my little corner of the world. That’s my new job. Because I don’t need anything,
I already have it. So when I take meetings, it’s all about how can I help
this person achieve her goal? When I’m in my social communities, it is like what can I bring
to this that only I can bring? When I go on dates, it is like how can I just discover
another person maybe for just one hour which, of course, brings me a full circle. Because people always asked me
about my love life; they want to know. (Laughter) You know, the answer is,
I am still working on it. Aren’t we all? So this is where I am right now. About three months ago,
I went on a first date. About 30 minutes into the date,
I found myself paying attention not to whether he liked me,
but how I felt in his presence. I noticed that I was light, happy, joking. As I reflected on the date afterwards,
I was like, “Wow, I got really excited! Look, this is how committed
I am to myself.” I am not even on this date
trying to get someone to like me. I am more interested in how I feel
about me than how he feels about me, not because I am selfish,
but because the only relationship I am ever going to have
with another person is the one that I am
already having with myself – just going to have it with them now. So it turned out he liked me,
and we are still together. It’s cool and amazing,
but I’ve been married three times, so slow down! (Laughter) The thing is that I am not trying
to get security from him through marriage, and, God forbid, a baby carriage. I am only here to
just be in a relationship. I am not dying to hear the words,
“Will you marry me?” Because even though
those words are very powerful – and very powerful to a person like me – I don’t need them to hear it from him because I have already
heard them from myself. The way I see it is like I took myself
to the top of a mountain, or maybe to the bottom of the ocean, and I got down on one knee,
and I said, “I’ll never leave you.” And now I am married to the one person
I really wanted to be with all along, myself. (Applause) Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “The person you really need to marry | Tracy McMillan | TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen

  1. The old love yourself idea… Guess I'm screwed since always hated myself which hasn't changed no matter how much professional help I got. Sometimes I wonder if I come to help sites to make myself feel worse, cause they certainly do achieve that goal.

  2. You and so and so sitting in a tree k i s s i n g, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes an abrupted tragic miscarriage, then comes blame, then comes despair, two hearts damaged beyond repair. You leave so and so and take the tree. D I V O R C E

  3. need to say that again.. but to say what you left out than what you left in.. 3:35.. If you do your inner work.. left that out when saying it twice.. the misleading reality is.. women never do the inner work when thwi

  4. Loving yourself the way you want someone else to love you…..hmmm 🤔. Is this the new way forward because people no longer want to give to others?
    If I could love myself in every way that I needed to be loved, I would be God surely.
    I strongly believe that the issue is that mankind is selfish and most aren’t selfless but selfish.
    No human being can give themselves everything that they need that’s why partnership is the intertwinement of two people with different attributes coming together to make a new whole.
    I believe the problem arises when during the relationship people stop wanting to become a little bit more like their partner and want to remain exactly like themselves. Perhaps the real question or challenge before entering a relationship should be – find someone that you want to become more like them. By all means know and love yourself but recognise that you are incomplete hence why humanity lives in a world full of other weird and wonderful people.

  5. Brilliant. Her light does shine. Incredibly powerful. The penny finally dropped on the expression truly "loving yourself". Thank you

  6. Yes I needed to hear this 🙌🏾 learn how to love 💕yourself instead of trying to find someone to make you feel that way …. I need to marry 💍myself

  7. She spent her entire life learning what the word of God could have told her before 4 marriages. Why do we have to end our lives realizing the lessons we could have learned in youth.

  8. guys only tell me that they love me, im beautiful and would marry me only when they are really very drunk

  9. Maybe I'm not married but your words remembered me of how I was, I liked my coworker and I felt he got the same feelings for almost a year I tried to make him sees me more and notice my advantages all that time long I wasnot able to see myself or noticing it I was not able to feel myself i left work and I hoped that he might still think of me, but I realized that the only one I need right now is myself and to be confident and sure about whatI want we all took choices by time we know it Was quick step time is revealer

  10. Remember men. So long as the family court continues to exist as a tool of your enslavement, NEVER MERRY! NEVER HAVE CHILDREN! MGTOW!

  11. Very great speech! You should love yourself, then you will meet the person love you like the way you did to yourself.

  12. Yeah, why are people taking marriage advice from someone who has been divorced 3 times? That is equivalent to asking your uncle who has lived his whole making minimum wage and living in a trailer park for financial or investment advice. The idea that there is only that "right" or "one" person you need to marry is a myth.

    Marriage is about 2 imperfect people choosing to work together through the good and bad times to have a stable and healthy relationship, period. It is truly that simple. Yes, I am married and have been for 16 years to the same woman and we are still going strong. Why? Because we choose to work through life together and rely upon each other for support and encouragement.

  13. "Life doesn't give you what you ask for. It gives you the people, places and situations that will help you develop what you've asked for." So true. Nothing meaningful ever comes easily.

  14. A friend told her husband,,I dont need you,I want you.
    He didnt get it.
    Many dont,
    It is a compliment of the highest degree.
    She was saying,,,I am self contained and Can be happy by myself.
    I chose You because I can be even happier with you.

    Sounds selfish and self centred?
    We all are,we marry hoping we get some one who gives us what WE WANT!!!

  15. Great way to wash over all the failed relationships – just distill it to "marrying yourself". Should have done that earlier instead of putting so many through the torture of your company & partnership.

  16. Where ya goin? When ya commin back?,whats for din?, when you taste true freedom nothing matters unless you say it matters.

  17. This is a little shallow… but I used to wonder why all the “weird” kids (by societies standards) ended up in well suited marriages and relationships. I realize that these people have learned to love themselves and aren’t seeking anything from anyone else… ultimately making them more attractive, and better people to be partnered with.


  19. to marry, for a women, it means to SURRENDER, to him, no matter how powerfull you are outside, in the house, you must bow to the king 😉

  20. There is no way you'll be fully 'whole'. That's putting such enormous pressure on yourself in an individualistic culture. The message is great, love yourself first. But know that you won't always love yourself. And that's fine. Also, some people will help you love yourself and others won't. Also, very normal. Life is a mix of you and the environment. Never just one of the two.
    That's what I've understood from my social psychology and personality classes at uni.

  21. So, two great guys and she left them for a third guy who left her. The guys she left are wonderful but the guy who left her is a Facebook friend. What???

  22. That really touched me, and I cried at the end along with you. You are such a beautiful soul We are alike in many ways. My mom & dad were on the opposite pole of yours (pastor & pastor's wife), but they were essentially "not there" so I felt exactly the same. I am on my third marriage, and I realized too that I was the one that was here with me and I had to take care of me and love me in order to make it in life with anyone else; whether he is here or not, I AM. Thank you so much for that beautiful rendition of self-love, because after all (as I tell myself) we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139) so why aren't we happy with this gift of ourselves, right? Thank you, again, and again.

  23. @Tracy McMillan — Wherever you are I am happy that you are loving yourself, I am inspired and I am grateful to hear your honest account of life experience. Thank you!

  24. EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT video! I love this lady, because she is REAL and does not mind being herself. What words of wisdom. Yes, we must love ourselves first! I wonder how many people wish they had known this years ago? Wish I had. Actually, I learned this recently through some books written by Don Miguel Ruiz who discusses The Four Agreements that are ancient Toltec wisdom. Look them up — they can change your life, they make so much sense and contain tons of wisdom.

  25. Self love is a positive choice. Make choices NOT excuses!Tracy clearly has survived trauma but shes more than a survivor …..She's a THRIVER! Bravo! She has elevated herself from her history and created a new beginning! Very powerful message of healing and a soul journey to marriage to ones self is the first step to healthier relationships.

  26. Gynocentric, female priviled, hypergamous,, and delusional. And she should shoot her haridresser, the 'do' looks like a wild bush.

  27. So moved by this. It’s often said that loving yourself is the key to all love, yet I’ve never been so inspired by an example of someone’s road to get there. Weepy and also 😍

  28. This whole video is summarized succinctly by the adage "You is what you is and you ain't what you ain't." Yea. I get it. I don't need to get married three times to figure this out.

  29. Couldn't handle crying before she even started to cry. This video was basically sent from the universe like HEY HEY HEY love yourself already.

  30. You still haven't figured it out!!!! You have been in love with yourself through insecurity and CANNOT see the other person!!! You are the "A" typical American female. Good luck!!!

  31. Que mujer más hermosa😍 Gracias por transmitirnos ese mensaje de amor tan bonito y tan puro 💕💕💖💖 Irradias felicidad y espontaneidad en todo momento, me encantó 😍

  32. 잘 보았습니다. 관계에 관한 훌륭한 경험을 공유해 주셨네요.
    "앎으로 가는계단", "관계와 큰 목적"을 새메시지 닷 com(.com)에서 읽어보시기를 추천합니다.
    물론 거기에는 "사랑 그리고 관계"를 아주 도움이 되는 메시지도 있습니다.


    EPHESIANS 5:22‭-‬25‭, ‬28‭-‬29‭, ‬31 AMP – ²²Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as [a service] to the Lord. ²³For the husband is head of the wife, as Christ is head of the church, Himself being the Savior of the body.
    ²⁴But as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives should be subject to their husbands in everything [respecting both their position as protector and their responsibility to God as head of the house].
    ²⁵Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, ²⁸Even so husbands should and are morally obligated to love their own wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.
    ²⁹For no one ever hated his own body, but [instead] he nourishes and protects and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
    ³¹For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined [and be faithfully devoted] to his wife , and the two shall become one flesh .

  34. We often learn valuable lessons during a time of our lives where we may be going through a difficult situation or perhaps are transitioning in to a new area. It's important we allow our selves to reflect on our transgressions and acknowledge areas which may need improvements.

  35. Yeah I guess that some people walk the same road as this hotty. Others actually find someone they want to spend the rest of their lifes with. Not everyone will get as lucky. Gotta play the cards you were dealt.

  36. If you marry yourself, and you fall for a guy or a gal, do you need to divorce yourself before you get hitched? What is the legit procedure?

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