In fact a mature person does not fall in love, he rises in love. The word ’fall’ is not right. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. Somehow they were managing and standing. They cannot manage and they cannot stand – they find a woman and they are gone, they find a man and they are gone. They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have that integrity to stand alone.
A mature person has the integrity to be alone. And when a mature person gives love, he gives without any strings attached to it: he simply gives. And when a mature person gives love, he feels grateful that you have accepted his love, not vice versa. He does not expect you to be thankful for it – no, not at all, he does not even need your thanks. He thanks you for accepting his love. And when two mature persons are in love, one of the greatest paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone; they are together so much so that they are almost one. But their oneness does not destroy their individuality, in fact, it enhances it: they become more individual.
Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. How can you dominate the person you love? Just think over it. Domination is a sort of hatred, anger, enmity. How can you think of dominating a person you love? You would love to see the person totally free, independent; you will give him more individuality. That’s why I call it the greatest paradox: they are together so much so that they are almost one, but still in that oneness they are individuals. Their individualities are not effaced – they have become more enhanced. The other has enriched them as far as their freedom is concerned.
Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness.
When a man and a woman love each other, that thing between them, that bond that doesn’t let them walk away, that’s God. He’s the third part, uniting them, drawing them to one another even when they’d rather cut and run …
That’s why we can hurt one another so badly and then forgive and love again, because God’s changed all the rules and redefined the parameters - it’s His way of doing things.
That’s what marriage is - it’s showing the world how God loves. It’s public and accountable but it’s also passionate and private.
It’s that third thing that knits us all together, that makes sacrifice simple and heroism the new normal. It’s Him that makes a you and a me into an us.
That’s why nothing else in the world is like it. That’s why it feels so powerful and so beautiful and so terrifying, because it’s Him.
Hermes McCaffrey, Rapunzel Let Down by Regina Doman
Things I’ll teach my children
Abbie Nielsen, Dear Future Daughter