I was at a wedding on a beautiful cruiser in the San Francisco Bay, and the bride quoted that line from Thoreau in her vows. Then she looked at her husband-to-be and said, “For the rest of my life, I’m determined to love more.”
I loved the sentiment, coming from such an earnest bride, with a wedding backdrop as romantic as it gets. We were floating in the Bay, with the chalky skyline of San Francisco just miles away.
Several years ago I went to a Korean wedding, and the bride and groom, in full ceremonial costumes, had tea with their elders as part of the service. It was custom for the elders to sit with the bride and groom and share their wisdom about marriage.
Guests were never privy to what was shared, but I believe “love more” would have been the wisest advice of all. Here’s why: When you love more, you judge less. When you love more, you criticize less. When you love more, you blame less. The list goes on.
But here’s the most important part of loving more: You keep your heart wide open. A marriage is, by design, full of challenges. Long term love is naturally full of growing pains.
As I prepare for my niece’s wedding, I will be sure to tell her this sacred truth: the best way to keep a heart wide open is to love more.