My Vows to Love

Vows from My Commitment Ceremony

John Driggs

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Author’s Own

The moment you first stepped through my door, your eyes spoke to me as if we had never existed apart. Never had I felt such depth in a creature’s eyes. Never had I felt such an awake and penetrating presence. You were really there. There was nowhere to hide. I felt naked, fully exposed. But your soft smile and the wrinkles at the side of your eyes put me at ease. I felt safe, secure, and warm. Astonishingly, this stranger at my door made me feel home.

This was a new feeling for me. For a long time, I struggled with feelings of isolation and depression, even though I had many wonderful and loving people in my life. But as you all know, I’m weird. I’m different. I’ve never gone about things the way everyone else seems to. I question and challenge everything. I think, act, and move through the world differently. I’ve gone against the grain for as long as I can remember. I’ve carved out my own path, my own way of being, my own beliefs and understanding. I am queer in every sense of the word.

This was really hard for a long time. As I continued to move through the world, as I continued to meet and interact with more people, as I developed more and more relationships, the harder it got, the more isolated and alone I became. Finally though, in my mid-twenties, with some hard work and dedication, I made peace with myself, I made peace with life. Solitude and stillness became my closest companions. My heart opened. The walls of my being dissolved as I came to occupy the wide open space of awareness, that unformed space which knows and embraces all things but is itself no thing, entirely unborn and undying. And after sitting a silent meditation retreat 18 hours a day for a month in Thailand, that was it. I was entirely at peace with however my life would unfold, even if that meant I would spend it without a partner or family.

I doubt I would have been ready for you had I not come to this place of acceptance, this place of inner serenity, stillness, and clarity. You wouldn’t have found the same depth when you looked into my eyes. Fear and worry would have clouded my heart. Only after I had made peace with myself could I have offered you my freely given love, a love that is unrestrained.

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