Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saying Yes To Love

Book Excerpt: Life Of The Beloved by Henri J.M. Nouwen

"The unfathomable mystery of God is that God is a Lover who wants to be loved. The one who created us is waiting for our response to the love that gave us our being. God not only says: "You are my Beloved." God also asks: "Do you love me?" and offers us countless chances to say "Yes." That is the spiritual life: the chance to say "Yes" to our inner truth. The spiritual life, thus understood, radically changes everything. Being born and growing up, leaving home and finding a career, being praised and being rejected, walking and resting, praying and playing, becoming ill and being healed - yes, living and dying - they all become expressions of that divine question: "Do you love me?" And at every point of the journey there is the choice to say "Yes" and the choice to say "No."

Once you are able to catch a glimpse of this spiritual vision, you can see how the many distinctions that are so central to our daily living lose their meaning. When joy and pain are both opportunities to say "Yes" to our divine childhood, then they are more alike than they are different. When the experience of being awarded a prize and the experience of being found lacking in excellence both offer us a chance to claim our true identity as the "Beloved" of God, these experiences are more similar than they are different. When feeling lonely and feeling at home both hold a call to discover more fully who the God is whose children we are, these feelings are more united than they are distinct. When, finally, both living and dying bring us closer to the full realization of our spiritual selfhood, they are not the great opposites the world would have us believe; they are, instead, two sides of the same mystery of God's love. Living the spiritual life means living life as one unified reality. The forces of darkness are the forces that split, divide and set in opposition. The forces of light unite. Literally, the word 'diabolic' means dividing. The demon divides; the Spirit unites."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Want To Tell You That You Are Loved.

I want to tell you that you are loved. These words came to mind tonight and I wanted to share this with you. But even as I open my mouth to say them, it immediately comes to mind that no matter how many times someone may tell you this, they will continually ring hollow until you hear them being spoken inside of you in your own voice. At the very least, though, I hope these words will encourage you or bring a smile to your face on a rainy winters day.

There is nothing that you have to do in order to be more lovely or lovable.

There is no shame too great that cannot be gently stripped away by the comforting hands of love.

Love will go to any length or depth necessary to meet your pain, sit with it, and heal it.

There are many reasons why you may have trouble believing that you are loved. Perhaps you grew up believing that boundless love was available to you, but maybe there were "ifs" and stipulations attached. Maybe you tried to fit into someone else's idea of what you must do to be loved, but after trying and trying you simply found that you do not fit into that plan.

But there is indeed nothing that can separate us from Love, because we are Love.

I want to tell you that you are Love. I believe that each of us are made of it. Love is as much a part of us, and even more I believe, than oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, etc. We are inseparable from Love.

I believe that each us is a unique, wonderful expression of Love born into this world, and part of our purpose, if not most of it, is to learn and to grow and for Love to come to know itself more fully through relationship with those in our lives as well as ourselves.

Love weaves through and transcends religion, belief, colour and gender. It is ever-expanding.

The journey of realizing Love need not be about running around to and fro, frantically searching for it. It can begin in the silence, in that space where you stop and give Love's voice space to be heard. It is your voice.