An upcoming couple selected the following reading by Khalil Gibran. It beautifully describes the importance of individual realization within the context of a loving marriage:
You were born together, and together you shall be forever more.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
And you will be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be space in your togetherness.
And let the wings 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 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 a temple stand apart.
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.