Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lose Yourself

Saturday evening (7/18) Reverend Allen Grant and I co-officiated Rachel and Robert’s wedding ceremony at the Perot Museum in Dallas, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

Some might think that our general views about the world, would have no impact on our chances of success in the marital game. Common sense tells me otherwise. If, for instance, you think that you have an absolute monopoly on the truth and innermost thoughts of the Creator, will you possibly carry that understanding to spousal differences?  

This is why I love this cosmopolitan couple's shared observation that Robert puts so well: "I was exposed to a large number of religious views during my time on ships and found that almost all religions, be it Christian, Muslim, Judaism, Shinto, Hindu, Buddhism, or anything else all preach a similar message-be good to others and yourself." In this Robert states something very deep at the core of Rachel and his understanding as an interfaith couple: neither of them has a monopoly on the universal truth, and so certainly both are far from having a monopoly on any truth related to their relationship.

The last part of that statement, though, might be the most important. If there is any universal truth out there, one we could even ground in science, it is this: “Be good to yourself, and be good to others.” If you listen to Rachel and Robert talk about each other and their journey together, you know that challenges they have faced together have helped them hone this ability to be kinder and more loving to themselves, as well as to each other, and to the rest of their world.

Rachel puts the degree of their mutual love resulting from this journey of learning so well. Listen up, this is really something: “It is a little cliché, but I... know Robert is the person I want to spend the rest of my days with because he makes me laugh. Saying that doesn’t really do justice to what I mean when I say he makes me laugh. I mean he makes me completely lose it when we need that escape from the stressors in life. I have noticed at times when I am very frustrated with something he actively finds ways to make me bust out into a rolling-on-the-floor, clutching-my-stomach, tears-rolling-down-my-cheeks laugh, and to be able to completely lose yourself in a laugh like that is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world."

I would disagree with only one thing - I don't think it's cliché at all. Though Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players," true love should be the one exception to the Bard’s rule. True love means you can shed all pretenses; you can take off all the masks that hide you from the world, and throw your head back and laugh. When you have that one person who can help you do just that, well, that is THE most wonderful thing in the world, indeed.

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