Same-Sex-Weddings-by-Lynn-Gladstone-com- 2015

The Power of Authenticity

To set the tone of this blog, I am sharing these words.

The real beloved is that one who is unique,
who is your beginning and your end.
When you find that one,
you’ll no longer expect anything else.

These are words written in the 13th century by Persian poet, Rumi, who passionately loved another man.

A short time ago in these United States of America, women and men who sincerely loved another of their own gender were not able to express their profound commitment to one another by marrying. Same-Sex couples did not have the legal right to be wed as they are now able to do as a result of their determination, personal risk and dedication to authenticity. This is cause for admiration and applause.

In the coming years, people of entire political and religious spectrums will look back and wonder how that right could ever have been denied–the right to be recognized, protected and given the benefits of married couples by our government, our neighbors and even ourselves. This will be much akin to the way we incredulously recall the historical shift in status of American women and black citizens when they gained the right to vote.

There is really only one question that everyone needs to be asked. What is really important in life? Is there anyone who can deny that love is the bottom line? The desire to love and to be loved is both irresistible and universal. When we are lucky and love’s power finds us, we become vulnerable to its vagaries. Genuine love is not logical and has little to do with age, race, wealth or gender. Love is a magnificent experience that has everything to do with feelings of familiarity, loyalty, support, values, and yes, physical warmth. Everyone deserves ownership to love whomever they wish!

Whoopi Goldberg said it best: “Really, darling, it’s a no-brainer. You know, I understand not everybody is for gay marriage. But if you’re not for gay marriage, don’t marry a gay person…”

–Rev. Lynn

Photo Above, Rev. Lynn Gladstone joyously performed the wedding of Martin and Oliver in CA, 2015

Wedding Blog by Rev. Lynn Gladstone

Planning Your Wedding?! Relax

First things first: Congratulations!

While your wedding day will be a glorious moment in your life, try to keep your perspective. What is really important is that you and your partner have reached a new point in your loving relationship. You have decided to spend the rest of your lives together building a beautiful future. No matter what takes place before or on your wedding date, you will have a long and precious adventure to look forward to together.

Having said that, and having worked with so many couples regarding their nuptials, there are clear steps that can be taken to make the planning process easier.

  • What You Both Want: Take the time to speak at length together about what each of you envisions for your dream day. Prioritize what is most important for both of you. Understand that this event process is exactly that–a process that can change along the way. Make a pact to make the process fun.
  • Budgeting: Be honest and realistic about your budget and agree to stick to it, even if it requires compromise.
  • Family & Money: Come up with a strategy for handling family members who may be contributing a large amount. In this common situation, express your gratitude in accepting your parents’ gift(s), but that you would need to maintain final word on your wedding decisions. For the parents who want to take control, I recommend you ‘give’ parents the last word on up to 3 details (and only 3) that are especially important to them.
  • Timeline: Familiarize yourselves about a Wedding Planning Timeline and adhere to it. Such timelines are readily available online and in books or magazines. Seek advice of trusted friends.
  • Divide & Conquer: Look over the timeline and divvy up the tasks between you. Meet no more than once a week to discuss your progress. Check off completed tasks and move on.

Remember there is life beyond wedding planning to be enjoyed!

–Respectfully, Rev. Lynn

Love the Second Time Around

The following excerpts are from a wedding ceremony I was honored to participate in for a lovely couple in Vermont in September 2014.

Marrying for a second time is testimony to hope (some say foolishness or insanity). Yet, it is the ones who say, “I do” again that possess the gift of faith in goodness and the ability to learn and grow. There is something rather humbling about marrying again, because that decision begs the myriad questions, “What happened last time? What went wrong? Where might I have gone off course? Did I sincerely try my very best? What have I learned? Did I learn to tamp down my ego (‘Down ego, down!’), not be too defensive and to really listen and truly hear? Did I learn how to be less possessive and more patient? How to cheer for my partner and to share the limelight? How to love more gracefully and graciously? Can I do better now?”

We approach remarriage with optimism and yet leading up to the nuptials there can’t help but be a voice whispering inside our ear asking us, “Are you sure about this? Is this time going to be any more successful than the past?”

People who marry in their earlier years are so often faced with unique, all-consuming responsibilities and roles that have to be managed. There could have been the extraordinary effort required to raise and educate children, or to pursue a fledgling career, or to earn that monthly mortgage. When we’re older, we hopefully don’t have to do that stuff anymore and we are freer to focus increasingly on our own needs and desires and those of our partner.

With second loves, being in different times and spaces in our lives, come fresh opportunities to imagine and navigate our world anew. The deck is dealt differently than before with the face cards looking different–more colorful, more full of perspective and mirth–and hopefully a lot wiser.

So often, people focus on the negatives of those relationships gone by. Yet, what can occur the second time around is two people having the benefit of all that was good before. Two souls have chosen to synergistically co-create something new and wonderful that is larger than the sum of their pasts. Each brings elements that beget exciting new chances to design an original and sturdy castle in which to reside and flourish.

I trust this couple understands that each of them has come to this juncture having lived a full life of their own and that probably neither mate will change all that much. I sense that this bride and groom have taken hard, honest looks with hearts and minds, regarding this decision to join their lives. As a twosome, I believe they have come to comprehend that each needs to pursue independent interests, perhaps from a time before they met. That is so fundamental, so essential, for these second time around affairs to thrive.

Dearests, God willing, I wish you the finest opportunity to generously love the one you’re with, the one you have been circumspect in choosing to be with from now on.

To conclude, I illuminate this theme of the second time around with a quote from Teilhard de Chardin–a French geologist, priest, philosopher and mystic (1881-1955): Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.

And with that fire, oh the places you two will go.

–With my deepest loving wishes, Rev. Lynn