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