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  • Writer's pictureErnest Robin Dover

I Do

Change is inevitable in our lives. And if we’re really honest with ourselves and paying attention, we see that it doesn’t take long for things to change around us. Or inside of us. From year to year, we see changes in ourselves. You can’t stop it. There’s nothing you can do about it. Well… almost.

We may not be able to stop or even control the changes in our lives, but we CAN influence the changes. We can make wise choices – decisions which feel good to us. We can deliberately direct our paths into the direction of our dreams, wishes and desires for our lives. We can make promises – vows – to ourselves… and keep them. We can move away from toxic people, places and things and move toward nurturing, congruent and loving people and circumstances. One step at a time is all it takes. One baby step, practiced deliberately, regularly and with faith, hope and focus.

I took a meaningful step forward in faith with an amazing woman named Gloria Raye Hatfield on Easter Sunday, the 4th of April this year. We stepped forward, took one another’s hands and I spoke these words:

We’ve come a long way… you and me. From the very beginning, we made unspoken promises to one another on levels that transcend the physical. Much of this had to have happened before we physically met one another. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the promises we made happened on some heavenly plane before we were even born. I felt it the first time we spoke on the phone. We both laughed so much. It was truly surreal and beautiful.

This is my time to take some of the unspoken promises I made to you and put them to words. To speak aloud to you, to God and to the world. To shout out my love for you from the rooftops. When I asked myself, ‘What dreams may come?’ – I awakened and there you were – my dream come true. When I saw you for the first time… I saw the rest of my life. You are my past, my present and my future.

A vow is a promise. I promise to love you with all my mind, all my might and all my strength and to seek to truly know you and join with you. I promise to honor you, to respect you and to protect you. I promise to pay attention to subtle promptings guiding me to be a better man, a better friend, a better partner, and the ideal husband – for you. Just for you.

I pray we will rise above any perception of offense, and if we fail at this, to always be quick to forgive, for after all, we are human and subject to stumbling at times. I pray we always find ways to make each other laugh, help one another through the difficult challenges life can sometimes bring, lift one another up and to always celebrate our sacred union. That we will always surrender to the will of God, always be humble and kind and to always respect the need and benefit of wise and tender words. I pray that before we speak, we will ask ourselves: is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, and does it improve the silence?

Jacqueline Gloria Raye – you are my One True and Sacred Love. You pulled me from the darkness, inspired me with Light and Love and proved to me I am not alone. Today is an amazing, essential step toward nurturing the magic and miracle of us – together.

These are my promises – my vows – to you. I hope it’s all right to say that I’m insanely in love with you. Forever. And yet, I have more awareness, stability and clarity in me now than I have ever had before. All because of you. It’s wonderful to see the world through your eyes, to see you smile, and to hear you laugh. I also want you to know that you are never in my way. You are my way. Your love amazes me. Yes. I do – love you.

Every day is a journey. Every hour we pass through cannot be reclaimed. Make promises to yourself… to your heart. Make vows to you and your loved ones and do everything you can to keep them. Remember it’s okay to make mistakes because we are all learning along this journey. Everyone needs a little help sometimes.

I say… be strong and of a good courage. Get more positively involved in your life. Don’t ever quit… but remember it’s okay to change course if you feel in your heart of hearts that this is what you want or need to do. We can guide and influence the inescapable changes in our lives. We can choose to do something great. Our lives are worth – everything. It’s our life. Inspiration comes when you allow the light in. Rest. Regenerate. Be ready. Prepare to put forth effort. Work to sculpt your life into a beautiful labor of love.

Even though we can’t reclaim the moments which pass away, we can create our future in this moment. Remember the most inspired moment of your life? Remember the most uplifting, hopeful experience of your life? Remember the power of the good feelings flowing through you in that moment? Remember the BEST you have ever been in your life? Well… YOU STILL ARE. The best you have ever been is STILL a part of you. Feel it – for this part of you still lives. Nurture and love that part of you and allow it to thrive, flourish and enhance the rest of your life.

I make a vow to all of you. I promise you this: fulfillment, contentment and joy follow devoted commitment to lose yourself in the service of others AND in remembering that we must allow others to lose themselves in the service of us. We are all connected.

This promise I make to you.

I do.


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