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.

James Kavanaugh


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