Paradoxically, we fail to disclose ourselves to other people because we want so much to be loved. Because we feel that way we present ourselves as someone we think can be loved and accepted, and we conceal whatever would mar that image. Another reason we hide is to protect ourselves from change. . . Still another reason we don't disclose ourselves is that we were never taught how. . . Personal ambitions and economic pressures also give us powerful reasons for concealing what we really are. . . All of us hide behind the iron curtain of our public selves. . . Men hide what prevents them from seeming strong and masculine. . . Disclosure is so important (because) without it we really cannot know ourselves. Or to put it another way, we learn to deceive ourselves while we are trying to deceive others. For example, if I never express my sorrow, my love, my joy, I'll smother those feelings in myself until I almost forget they were once part of me.
Love, love, love -- all the wretched cant of it, masking egotism, lust, masochism, fantasy under a mythology of sentimental postures, a welter of self-induced miseries and joys, blinding and masking the essential personalities in the frozen gestures of courtship, in the kissing and the dating and the desire, the compliments and the quarrels which vivify its barrenness.
Love is the only bow of life's dark cloud. It is the Morning and Evening Star. It shines upon the cradle of the babe, and sheds its radiance upon the quiet tomb. It is the Mother of Art, inspirer of poet, patriot, and philosopher. It is the air and light of every heart, builder of every home, kinder of every fire on every hearth, It was the first dream of immortality. It fills the world with melody. Love is the magician, the enchanter, that changes worthless things to joy, and makes right royal kings of common clay.
Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength.... It is therefore able to undertake all things, and it completes many things, and warrants them to take effect, where he who does not love would faint and lie down.
The world is wonderful and beautiful and good beyond one's wildest imagination. Never, never, never could one conceive what love is, beforehand, never. Life can be great --quite god-like. It can be so. God be thanked I have proved it.
A woman who could always love would never grow old; and the love of mother and wife would often give or preserve many charms if it were not too often combined with parental and conjugal anger. There remains in the face of women who are naturally serene and peaceful, and of those rendered so by religion, an after-spring, and later an after-summer, the reflex of their most beautiful bloom.