"Love is something difficult and it is more difficult than other things because in other conflicts nature herself enjoins men to collect themselves, to take themselves firmly in the hand with all their strength, while in the heightening of love the impulse is to give oneself wholly away.
Love is at first not anything that means merging, giving over, and uniting with another (for what would a union be of something unclarified and unfinished, still subordinate-?); it is a high inducement to the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world for himself in another's sake.
So whoever loves must try to act as if he had a great work: he must be much alone and go into himself and collect himself and hold fast to himself; he must work; he must become something!"
-Letters to a Young Poet, Rainier Maria Rilke
more from Rilke:... a state in which there would be space and freedom for growth, and in which each partner would be the means of releasing the other...
... a relation that is meant to be of one human being to another... and this more human love (that will fulfill itself, infinitely considerate and gentle, and good and clear in binding and releasing) will resemble that which we are, with struggle and endeavor preparing, the love that consists in this-- that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.
from "A Gift from the Sea", Anne Morrow Lindbergh:
I believe there is, after the oyster bed, an opportunity for the best relationship of all: not a limited, mutually exclusive one, like the sunrise shell, and not a functional, dependent one, as in the oyster bed, but the meeting of two whole, fully developed people as persons.
It would be... (from) Scottish philosopher McMurray... a fully personal relationship, that is "a type of relationship into which people enter as persons with the whole of themselves."
Personal relationships have no ulterior motives. They do not serve partial and limited ends. Their value lies entirely in themselves and for the same reason transcends all other values. And that is because they are relations of persons as persons.
A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules.
The partners do not need to hold tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay and swift and free...
To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern and freeze the movement, to check the endlessly changing beauty of its unfolding. There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand, only the barest touch in passing.
Now arm in arm, now face to face, now back to back-- it does not matter which. Because they know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together and being invisibly nourished by it.
The joy of such a pattern is not only the joy of creation or the joy of participation. Lightness of touch and living in the moment are intertwined.
But how does one learn this technique of the dance? Why is it so difficult? What makes us hesitate and stumble?
It is fear, I think, that makes one cling nostalgically to the last moment, or clutch greedily toward the next. Fear destroys "the winged life."
But, how to exorcise it? It can only be exorcised by its opposite, Love.
When the heart is flooded with Love, there is no room in it for fear, for doubt, for hesitation. And it is this lack of fear that makes for the dance.
When each partner loves so completely that he has forgotten to ask himself whether or not he is loved in return, when he only knows that he loves and is moving to its music-- then, and then only, are two people able to dance perfectly in tune to the same rhythm.
from "Living in the Light", Shakti Gawain:
We must be willing to let our relationships reveal themselves to us.
If we tune into ourselves, trust ourselves and express ourselves fully and honestly with each other, the relationship will unfold in its own unique and fascinating way.
Each relationship is an amazing adventure; you never know exactly where it will lead. It keeps changing its mood, flavor, and form from minute to minute, day by day, year to year. At times it may take you closer to one another. At other times it may take you farther apart.
There is one thing you can count on, though. Relationships lived in this way will always take you into deeper levels of yourself and a stronger trust of the Universe. This, in time, will be reflected in a deeper intimacy and closeness with others.
Real commitment makes no guarantees about a relationship's form; real commitment allows for the fact that form is constantly changing and that we can trust that process of change.
It opens the door to the true intimacy that is created when people share deeply and honestly with one another.
If two people stay together on this basis, it's because they really want to be together. They continue to find an intensity of love and learning with each other as they change and grow.