Achieving a balance between intimacy and independence is the hardest part of any relationship. It’s not only difficult but also a never-ending exploration for any couple. Or at least, it should be for the relationship to flourish to its full potential.
While there are numerous modern-day books, workshops, couple therapies designed to help couples find their perfect balance between intimacy and independence, perhaps Lebanese-American artist, poet, and philosopher Kahlil Gibran, said it best in a passage his 1923 masterwork, The Prophet.
Gibran’s uncommon insight and poetic precision still resonate nearly a century later.
By way of advice on the secret to a loving and lasting marriage, Gibran offers:
Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens 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.
These profound words resonate 100 years later. If they resonated with you, please share with friends and family to keep spreading the message!