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.

– To Love is Not to Pos­sess — James Kavanaugh