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A Journey of Love


The longer I live the more I realize that life is a journey of love; loving God, loving myself and loving others. “You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Mark 12:31 I’m learning what it means to love God and in so doing love myself. This isn’t always easy to do. I have times of self-doubt and shame and blaming myself. Then Paul reminds us in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Richard Rohr reminds us that “God loves you by becoming you…by turning your mistakes into grace, by constantly giving you back to yourself in a larger shape.” (The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr) I love the image in this Jewish proverb that goes like this, “Before every person there marches an angel proclaiming ‘Behold the image of God.’ We are becoming the image of God! “Our unveiled gaze receives and reflects the brightness of God until we are gradually turned into the image that we reflect.”

2 Corinthians 3:18

Because God loves us all unconditionally, there is an Inherent(essential character of something) Dignity (the quality or state of being worthy, honored or esteemed) to everything and everyone. Once you believe this, you live life differently. We are inherently good; this is the good news of the universal Christ. What would happen in our world if we treated each other with Inherent Dignity – everyone? All judgement is gone, all contempt is gone, all egos are gone. In order to do this, we have to pay attention to when we are not treating everyone with dignity.

Know it well, love is its meaning.

Who reveals this to you? Love.

What does he reveal? Love. Why? For Love.

Remain in this and you will know more of the same.

- Lady Julian of Norwich, Showings

How do we find love without contempt or disagreements? One way I do this is to find the energy around what I’m saying. I tryto find the positive, kind love around my words. We can know all the right things, be intellectual, but we need to have a heart filled with love to seek justice and dignity for all. We are God’s vessel to act out His love in the world; finding the right mix of head and heart!

I love this poem about love! There are many levels of truth in this poem. I keep reading it over and over.

LOVE AFTER LOVE

The time will come

when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the other’s welcome,


and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

By Derek Walcott

Our ability to surrender to our heartfelt moments is the fruit(love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) of our contemplative heart. Are you surrendered to God? Your positive heartfelt reaction to the present moment can free you from judgmentalism and encourages you to be in the moment. This practice is hard. I am learning to be present in the moment and surrender my heart and mind to the Lord. I have had to fail a few times to truly understand. The journey of love is worth it!

Cindy Bartman



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