Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Love’ Category

The First, Middle and Final Word

“The final word is love.”― Dorothy Day

“The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?”― Dorothy Day

May you choose love this day.
In thoughts, words, actions.
In a smile.
In a conversation.
In your “to-do” list activities.
In play.
Love is both the path and the destination.
The bridge that brings us together.
One step and then the next to create a revolution of your heart.
This is the only way the world will change.
One heart at a time.
Starting with your own.

“People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.”― Dorothy Day

That Luminous Part

“That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality–your soul, if you will–is as bright and shining as any that has ever been….Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.”― George Saunders

“For your love given
ask no return, none. To love
you must love to love.”― Hayden Carruth

May love be your language, your religion, your practice.
All other things pass away, love remains.
Tune in, tune out, hone your senses to this alone.
The path in and out becomes clear with love as the compass and the destination.
That luminous part of you.
Share that with the world.
Cast light.

“The stuff
of ego with which we began, the mass
in the upper chamber, filters away
as love accumulates below. Now
I am almost entirely love.” – Hayden Carruth

Held Together in Love

“Each of us is an artist of our days; the greater our integrity and awareness, the more original and creative our time will become.”― John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

“For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.”― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

What I have rather than what I don’t
What is present and available right now
What I am surrounded with and in, knee deep
What is rather that what was
To possibilities far and wide
To be thrown back into the current and flow
To what will come
All held together by love.

“May we all receive blessing upon blessing. And may we realize our power to bless, heal, and renew one another.”― John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

BeautiFULLY Human

“Agape is total love. It is the love that consumes the person who experiences it. Whoever knows and experiences agape learns that nothing else in the world is important – just love.― Paolo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

“To become fully human means learning to turn my gratitude for being alive into some concrete common good. It means growing gentler toward human weakness. It means practicing forgiveness of my and everyone else’s hourly failures to live up to divine standards. It means learning to forget myself on a regular basis in order to attend to the other selves in my vicinity. It means living so that “I’m only human” does not become an excuse for anything. It means receiving the human condition as blessing and not curse, in all its achingly frail and redemptive reality.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith

Stop scrolling.
Start connecting.
Use the phone to call or text at least one person in your circle each day.
A check in to reconnect.
A text that leads to a regular call to an in person real conversation.
There’s a loneliness epidemic.
We are each other’s cure.
Love each day through action, simple as a text and phone call.
A smile to the human who is working three jobs to make ends meet who hands you overpriced coffee for underpriced work.
Family and friends closest to you who may be struggling.
Do not pass by without stopping to look, listen, inquire, listen some more.
Let’s regain our humanity.
In simple acts done lovingly.
Discover the joy in giving, thinking of yourself less, and making someone’s day.
Be fully human, beautiFULLY human today.
Be the garden where others can bloom.
Cast light.

“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”― Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

Move a Mountain

“Love, as we have already discussed, is a powerful, wonderful, ridiculous thing, capable of moving mountains. And spools of thread.”― Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux

“You must be filled with expectancy. You must be awash in hope. You must wonder who will love you, whom you will love next.”― Kate DiCamillo, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

May love be a verb each day
In giving
In receiving
Moving mountains.

“It is important that you say what you mean to say. Time is too short. You must speak the words that matter.”― Kate DiCamillo, The Magician’s Elephant

This Place, This Hour

“Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of our experience.”― C.S. Lewis

“The third answer is the most difficult one to grasp, but it’s also the one that can save you. The love you lost, or the love you wished for and never had: That love exists eternally. It shifts its shape, but it’s always there. The task is to recognize it in its new form.”― Susan Cain, Bittersweet

In the sacred act of pause.
In a walk in the woods.
In the quiet of morning before you enter the world.
In a clearing, a wide-open field.
Space, margins, room.
Tend to and be tended to.
Love resides, resounds, reverberates.
Sit here a while.
A peace that passes understanding.
This place, this hour.

“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.”― Walt Whitman

Choose the Better Way

Mom and me on a jet ski. One of my favorite photos. In the game.

We live a lot of life in between before and after, in the middle.
Then there are the afters, the lines we cross and there’s no going back.
No do-overs or second chances.
Today, is an after day.
Last night, my Mom died.
No turning back.
Going through is the only path.
No formulas.
No platitudes.
No turning back.
My Dad died in 2016 and Mom lived with me, my sister and brother, going between three houses each week for almost 7 years.
Almost two years ago, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, no treatment offered.
The fact that she survived for two years is only one indication of how tough she was and is.
Never admitting to pain, powering through.
The past 10 days she had been struggling, sleepless nights.
She loved the dogs, probably more than humans at times.
I get it.
Dogs just love without measure, memory or complication.
She loved us, the grandkids, and her great grandkids.
Always wanting to be busy, included and involved.
Stayed in the game to the very end.
I am grateful for the quick way she went considering the alternatives of the end of lung cancer.
Caregiving is a long hard journey filled with frustration, joy, exhaustion, all rooted in love.
So much more to say about Mom in the days to come.
Needed to mark this day, this time, as fumbling as this is.
For those who are caregivers, you are not alone and keep fighting the good fight.
We can do hard things, imperfectly, but love is big, expansive, undefinable.
And in the caregiving, we can be like Martha when Jesus comes.
Busy taking care of things, focused on our to-do lists, commitments, murmuring and responsibilities.
As I and we walk through these next days, I am going to be more like Mary and choose the better way.
Sitting at the feet of Jesus quietly listening, present as we walk Mom home for ourselves.
She’s already in Heaven in no pain, reunited with Dad, her Mom and Dad, brothers, friends and relatives she spoke of often and best friend, my Aunt Marion.
There’s a particular solace in her seeing her Mom again who she lost when she was 10 years old.
What a long embrace and reunion.
Martha, Martha, sit.
Choose the better way.

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me! “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38-42

Aloof to Tender

“With the delicacy of a flower,
love tames the most aloof hearts.”― Augusto Branco

“Kindness is not the same as niceness, or putting our heads in the sand, or avoiding conflict. It is acknowledging that no life is as it seems on the surface. It is understanding that we never know all the layers in a life, and choosing to speak and act from that difficult gray place in all of us.”― Kerry Egan, On Living

The delicacy of a flower.
The immensity of a mountain.
The light of the sun.
The softness of a summer breeze.
The depth of the ocean.
The expanse of the sky.
The flow of a river.
The strength of a tree.
Love harnesses, tames, frees, multiplies, deepens, spreads, expands, heals, creates.
Root, anchor, move with love, kindness, compassion.
Self, others, the world.
Melting aloof into tender.

“Love your neighbor, even the ones who do not show you the same courtesy. You can’t expect to receive love if you’re selective and not really willing to give it. What you put into the world, you will indeed get back, even if it’s not from the person you’re expecting it to be.”― Alexandra Elle, Words from a Wanderer

Full Immersion and Expression

“Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility; for it thinks all things lawful for itself, and all things possible.” – Thomas a Kempis

“What are the characteristics of the most wonderful people you know? The WONDERFUL ones? They said, Loving. Caring. Kind. And so I asked them, Is that not what success actually is? To be a wonderful person who touches someone else’s life?”― Julie Lythcott-Haims, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult

Above and beyond.
The extra mile.
Reaching out.
Going first to engage, not waiting or taking turns.
No calculation, measure, keeping score.
A smile that shouts “HELLO.”
An exclamation point.
A comma and semi-colon to pause.
Inquiry and observation.
A conversation, a real connection.
Listening to understand, not reply.
Responding with gentleness rather than judgment.
Generosity of spirit.
Soft heart.
A magnet.
Hospitality and welcoming.
Inviting and belonging.
This is love.
Tether and anchor in love and then go show it.
Loving. Caring. Kind.
This is how we save ourselves and the world.
The power of one, then another, and another…
No excuse of impossibility.
All things possible.
Light your wick.
Full immersion and expression.

“Compassion means the full immersion in the condition of being human.” – Henri Nouwen

Only Kinship

“There is no force in the world better able to alter anything from its course than love.”― Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

“No daylight to separate us.

Only kinship. Inching ourselves closer to creating a community of kinship such that God might recognize it. Soon we imagine, with God, this circle of compassion. Then we imagine no one standing outside of that circle, moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased. We stand there with those whose dignity has been denied. We locate ourselves with the poor and the powerless and the voiceless. At the edges, we join the easily despised and the readily left out. We stand with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop. We situate ourselves right next to the disposable so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away.”― Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

Kinship, kindness, compassion in abundance.
Margins erased, boundaries crossed, connections made.
The noise of othering, judgment, and opinion fade to reveal our shared humanity.
May love be our map and destination.
Oh, the places we could go.

“We exercise kindness in any moment when we recognize our shared humanity—with all the hopes, dreams, joys, disappointments, vulnerability, and suffering that implies.”― Sharon Salzberg, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection