Reflection | LOVED
At the heart of LIVEMpowered is our value to share with every person we come across that they are LOVED. We know this to be true of every human and we want them to know it and believe it! However, that is not always easy - sometimes people make it hard to love them and what do we do then?
Thomas Merton sums up where I am going wrong perfectly in this quote,
“The beginning of love is to let those we love to be perfectly themselves and to try to twist them to fit our image.”
When I am trying to make someone into the person I think they could be, or I am judging them for who I think they should be, then I am not going to be able to love them - my focus is on me and my expectations. I am not seeing the person for who they really are.
I need to shift my perspective and get to know them for who they are not who I want them to be. In doing this I will ask questions, I will hear stories, I will see truth and beauty, I will see hurt and pain. It is no longer hard to make the choice to love - it may not always be easy especially with those who we really get to know in all their greatness and grime - but I will be able to love them because I see who they really are.
I may not always feel like I get that love back or see the growth in people that I hope will happen for them but I can still choose to do and say the things that show love. My love is no longer dependent on an outcome but on who they really are and that each and the truth that every person should be treated with love.
However, this is a journey - and I am not always going to win this battle with myself. Henri Nouwen provides a helpful reflection for the end of the day as we struggle onwards trying to really love:
“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love?
These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bits of love I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.”