This is an original work in progress that Diana Burrows has graciously allowed us to reproduce here. This work, in its entirety, is her intellectual property and any comments or questions should be directed to her.

A Poly Manifesto

I choose to look inward to learn about myself and address my insecurities (I have just as many as the next person) so that I may grow to know why it is I feel certain ways.

I choose to question my own socially-accepted ideas and truly analyze whether I believe those ideas and why, so that I can rationally explain why I've come to the conclusions I have, to friends who may ask me.

I choose to approach our situation with love instead of fear. In doing so, I hope to help those who act out of their own fears, understand and realize that fear and love are equal in is debilitating, the other is empowering...for each person, it comes down to a choice of which one is easier to ignore.

I choose to be honest with my friends in the hope to help them understand what and why I have chosen my course of action, if they ask me, so that they can see that the option of love can be so liberating and amazingly simple, not just in our situation, but also in any situation.

I choose to address my fears as they arise because I know from experience that letting them fester and not talking about them with the people who are impacted, makes the fears even worse.

I believe in unconditional love, because I live and breathe it every day. I am loved unconditionally and give my unconditional love freely to my soul mate, my best friend.

I may not know what the future holds, but I choose to plan for the future and live RIGHT NOW.

I hope that my friends will talk to me, openly and honestly, about what they are thinking as I would do in return. Others have told me that expecting my friends to be honest with me is too high an expectation, but I feel that this is the most important part of lift each other up and learn and grow and help each other. I believe that if you care about someone and you believe that they are making a major mistake that it is your responsibility, out of love, to talk to that person and share your concerns.

I believe that the "good times" in friendship lift our hearts and help us build our beautiful branches together, while the "rough times" of friendship, help us grow our roots deeper into solid ground, making friendships unshakable.

I believe that avoiding issues is never okay. I believe it is a survival mechanism that most people, including myself, use to take the easier route, however, confronting issues, head-on, with the people involved directly, as uncomfortable as the experience is, but with love in our hearts, will only make us stronger people, stronger friends.

I choose to live a respectful, giving life. Respect for life, respect for nature, respect for humanity, respect for the people that I care about and most of all, respect for myself. I know I'm not perfect, but I try to do the right thing. I don't always handle things the best way possible, but I try to learn from them and be a better person.

I choose to do something that is unusual and unconventional, allowing it to enrich my life and the lives of others.

I choose to try to keep my fear checked at the door, because I know love will lead me to a better place than fear has to offer.

I ask my friends to talk to me so that we can learn from each other and grow our "roots" deeper together so that we can all have a better footing in this shaky thing called life - so that there are no barriers that keep us from leaning on each other in times of need. So that we can all allow ourselves to enrich each other's lives in the unimaginable and fulfilling ways that love and honesty and friendship can. Life is too short to create and promote barriers between us. Let's use love as our guide and expect miracles!