Why Do I Love Thee?
by Roy Croft
I love you… Not only for what you are,
But for what I am when I am with you.
I love you… Not only for what you have made of yourself,
But for what you are making of me.
I love you… For ignoring the possibilities of the fool in me
And for laying firm hold of the possibilities for good.
Why do I love you?
I love you… For closing your eyes to the discords
And for adding to the music in me by worshipful listening.
I love you…
Because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern, but a temple;
And out of the words of my every day, not a reproach, but a song.
I love you…
Because you have done more than any creed to make me happy.
You have done it, without a word, without a touch, without a sign.
You have done it just by being yourself.
After all, perhaps that is what love means.
Loving the Process
It’s finding a mutual language, developing trust, increasing intimacy, telling the truth microscopically, and revealing yourself deeply.
It’s about being exposed as who you really are. It is being independent, inter-dependent, and dependent.
It’s about building a best friendship…the process of love is messy, holy, ordinary, and wildly hope-full.
Tell your loved one what you truly feel, who you really are, what you really want, how to love you best, how to listen to you….we deserve to be fully met and deeply loved.
From The Prophet
by Kahil Gibran
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise on your lips.
Sonnet of the Portuguese
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being an Ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old grief’s, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
by Thomas Moore
Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly today,
Were to change by tomorrow, and fleet in my arms,
Live fairy-gifts fading away,
Thou wouldst still be adored, as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will,
And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still.
It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervor and faith of a soul may be known,
To which time will but make thee more dear!
No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close,
As the sunflower turns on her god when he sets
The same look which she turned when he rose
by D.H. Lawrence
Man and woman are like the earth, that brings forth flowers in summer, and love, but underneath is rock.
Older than flowers, older than ferns, older than foraminiferae, older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks of two human hearts, two ancient rocks, a man’s heart and a woman’s, that is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust, the sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.
Sooner or Later
Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines, and romance in the movies.
We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives. For love is the creator of our favorite memories, and the foundation of our fondest dreams.
Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places. And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all… one known only by those who love.
Love Is Content
Love is friendship that has caught fire.
It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving.
It is loyalty through good and bad times.
It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.
Love is content with the present, it hopes for the future, and it does not brood over the past.
It’s the day-in and day-out chronicle of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments,
big victories and working toward common goals.
If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things that are missing.
If you don’t have love in your life, no matter what else there is, it’s not enough.
Love Sonnett xvii
by Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
So I love you because I know no other way than this.
Where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
To Love Is Not to Posess
by James Kavanaugh
To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another–and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.
by Mark Twain
A marriage makes two fractional lives a whole;
It gives two purposeless lives a work and doubles the strength of each to perform it;
It gives two questioning natures a reason for living, and something to live for;
It will give a new gladness to the sunshine,
A new fragrance to the flowers,
A new beauty to the earth,
And a new mystery to life
Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of its Love
by Edmund O'Neill
Marriage is a commitment to life,
the best that two people can find and bring out in each other.
It offers opportunities for sharing and growth
that no other relationship can equal.
It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love,
marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships.
A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend,
confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic.
And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing,
and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent or child.
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life.
Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher,
commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly,
and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life
is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life,
new experiences, new ways of expressing
a love that is deeper than life.
When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage,
they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer
than any spoken or written words.
Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people
who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill.
by William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.