I firmly believe in a “universal consciousness”—whether you call it God, Self, Atman, Christ, Allah, Adonai, Buddha, Jehovah, etc.—that pervades all of life. God is found within each of us and that divinity is the life factor of us all. I usually begin my ceremonies with an affirmation of that connection, saying. “God dwells within us as ourselves.” As a couple, the key concept to love is the respect, appreciation, honor and trust of one person to the other, creating a sacred space that will not be violated by either one.
To love each other is to recognize the love and respect we hold dear because we acknowledge our oneness to the whole of existence. My ceremonies affirm that belief structure and celebrate the love and connection the bride and groom have to each other and to the world itself. This belief is neither religious nor non-religious. This belief exalts the human spirit in its journey through this life. The couple are individuals with their own belief structures and their own desires. Together they are stronger, reinforcing and supporting each other through their individual journeys. They are partners and yet separate, joining together to celebrate and unify their existence, bringing each other greater clarity in pursuit of happiness, joy, understanding, and meaning to their journey in life.
As Kahlil Gibran so aptly writes in his poem “Marriage” from his book The Prophet:
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heaven dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.