One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.― Sophocles

The Mystery of Love by Lisa Hunt-Wotton

It is no small thing for me that as a Commonwealth Registered Celebrant I get to walk couples across the threshold of marriage.  It is a great privilege and something that I hold very dear.  To experience over and over again the wonder of love.  The open hearts, the vows, the promises and the values that they choose to build their lives upon.

Each couple, each person so unique, so precious.  Each wedding so incredibly different.  A reflection of the lives and creativity of each couple.  Whether a small private gathering of  8 people or a crowd of 250 people, each is magical and full of wonder in their own special way.

This weekend I conducted five weddings across Melbourne.  Friends looked on in exhaustion but I revelled in the celebration of love and mystery of relationships.  You see I fall in love with each couple.  I grieve a little at the end of each wedding as our journey comes to its rightful conclusion.   I am constantly in awe at the beauty of each soul and the glimpse that I get into the communities of love that surround them.

For many of us marriage encapsulates the mystery of love.  The very nature of a wedding ceremony is about capturing the love essence of each couple and what love means to them.  Two people fell in love which is why they are getting married.  The marriage ceremony is the public demonstration of that love and their commitment to stay in love and to choose love each day over  the course of their lives together.

These two readings by Nicholas Sparks and Anne Morrow talk about love and relationships and what it means.

“NOTEBOOK”

I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten.  But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.

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 GIFT FROM THE SEA BY ANNE MORROW LINDBERGH 

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love and of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in the terror of the ebb. We are afraid it will never return.

We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity, when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity, in freedom.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, not forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.

Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits—islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides of life.

(Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh)

When you read these pieces one thing is clear.  Love is a mystery and love is a gift.  You can’t own it, it is freely given and must be treasured.  For love to grow it must face the challenges that growth brings.  Love is like the sun and the earth.

Love is like the sun above you and the earth below you. Like the sun  love should be a constant source of light, and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow.

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Although not Buddhist, one couple chose to express their vows and promises in an amended version of  Buddhist vows.  These vows acknowledge the transitions, ebb and flow of relationship.  They also encompass community, nature and the understanding that all things belong and that we are part of a larger picture.

Buddhist tradition.

Lisa:  Do you pledge to help each other to develop your hearts and minds, cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration and wisdom as you age and undergo the various ups and downs of life and to transform them into the path of love, compassion, joy and equanimity?

Bride and Groom: “We do.”

Lisa: Recognising that the external conditions in life will not always be smooth and that internally your own minds and emotions will sometimes get stuck, do you pledge to see all these circumstances as a challenge to help you grow, to open your hearts, to accept yourselves, and each other; and to generate compassion for others who are suffering?

Bride and Groom: “We do.”

Lisa: Understanding that just as we are a mystery to ourselves, each other person is also a mystery to us, do you pledge to seek to understand yourselves, each other, and all living beings, to examine your own minds continually and to regard all the mysteries of life with curiosity and joy?

Bride and Groom: “We do.”

Lisa: Do you pledge to preserve and enrich your affection for each other?  To take the loving feelings you have for one another and your vision of each other’s potential and inner beauty, and to radiate this love outwards in an example for all beings?

Bride and Groom: “We do.”

In its essence, love is about giving.  It is about growing and it is about Shalom.  It is learning about how to live in peace with your beloved and with everyone around you.  It is understanding that true love gives and gives and keeps on giving.  Marriage in its simplest form is making a public commitment to choose to love, over and over again each day.  Through each ebb and through every high tide.

It is to commit to ‘undergo the various ups and downs of life and to transform them into the path of love, compassion, joy and equanimity?’.  It is to radiate love to all beings.  This  is known the gospel of love to those who are followers of the teachings of Christ. Christ teaches us to love everyone the way that we love ourselves.  In a way marriage is but an example of how we should treat every being.

The mystery of love is demonstrated and spoken out loud in the form of a Marriage ritual but love is not exclusive to marriage.  Love is something that we should choose every  day and demonstrate to every soul that we meet.    It is found wherever value is placed upon another soul, where we step outside ourselves and demonstrate compassion and understanding.  We need it more than ever and in every context.  I think it may be impossible to love too much.  In each day that we face on this earth and in every situation,  lets choose love.

 

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Thanks for considering.

Love Lisa

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One Comment on “The Mystery of Love

  1. What beauty in what you have written so much passion and understanding just so blessed reading it when we are surrounded by so much horrible news daily well done Lisa

    Sent from my iPhone

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    Like

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