happily ever after

July 5, 2005

stairwell accompaniment:The Shins

words that have graciously given light to my thoughts,offered answers to my questions and gifted my heart with growth…

“What we call ‘being in love’ is a glorious state, and, in several ways, good for us. It helps to make us generous and courageous, it opens our eyes not only to the beauty of the beloved but to all beauty, and it subordinates (especially at first) our merely animal sexuality; in that sense, love is the great conquerer of lust. No one in his senses would deny that being in love is far better then either common sensuality or cold self-centeredness. But, as I said before, ‘the most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of our nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs.’ Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called ‘being in love’ usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married’, then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense- love as distinct from ‘being in love’- is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity; this quiter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run; being in love was the explosion that started it.” -CS Lewis

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One Response to “happily ever after”

  1. Kristi said

    Amber..thanks for sharing this.

    “‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity; this quiter love enables them to keep the promise. “

    Something VERY important to remember…

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