Sunday, January 15, 2012

John Lennon Had It Right

Sunday night I officiated my first wedding this year (125th overall!) right "next door" in McKinney, Texas. Here are the words I shared with this lovely couple, Rena and Jeff, and their guests:

When I was talking to Rena and Jeff about their thoughts, their experiences and their dreams as individuals and as a couple, it made me think about a little anecdote told by John Lennon: "When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life."

That short little story says so much. So many of us forget that what is most important are not the possessions we have, the titles we boast, or the trappings and accoutrements we hold. As Rena and Jeff tell us in words and action, these things really cannot give your life meaning. Only true happiness can.

How does one achieve such true happiness? Well, as a much older Lennon once sang, "All you need is love;" true happiness lies in loving and being loved. In Rena's words, "My love has grown for Jeff more than I thought was possible, and it continues to blossom. I can tell he genuinely loves me for who I am... He makes me laugh and find joy in mundane activities... I giggle to myself sometimes because I think about how content and giddy he makes me feel."

When we find this type of mutual love, it helps us not only in reaching happiness, but in wanting to spread love and happiness. Indeed, Jeff writes about Rena, that she has an affinity for spreading love, and about the affect her love for him and for others has had on him. "She is the most giving person that I know, spending her time giving back. Giving... makes her happiest and she is so warm and sweet to everyone. She makes me want to be a better person and give of myself to others like she does."

Rena and Jeff, as you well know, life will have its challenges. Marriage will throw you a few curve balls here and there. Much like a car, our very existence needs some realignment from time to time. Still, keep mutual love, love for others, your own happiness and the happiness of others central to who you are and what you do. If you do that, I have no doubt that your bond will not only be unbreakable, but even strengthen with time.

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