By Stephanie Gretchen Burgevin. Stephanie is a writer and retreat leader. She is an associate faculty member of Shalem and a graduate of their Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program and leads spiritual and secular programs. Stephanie manages Shalem’s blog. You can see more of her writing at blessedjourneyblog.com.
Have you ever seen that bumper sticker or button that says, “The answer is love. Now what was the question?”? There is truth and humor here.
As adults I think it’s safe to say that we’ve arrived this far with our share of thoughts and behaviors that make our lives bumpy and difficult. These experiences of hurt, loss, and anger are real and they have left their mark on our lives. So many of us spend a lot of time, energy, and money trying to figure out how to be better with books, classes, meditation, prayer, therapy. And through this we make our progress toward letting go.
But sometimes I think that we complicate this work, we feel like we have to DO these certain steps in order to come out whole. I do think we need to work on it, but I also think there is a lot to be said for just loving ourselves. For going into those dark places that maybe we’re not so proud of and surrounding it with love. “Love your neighbor as yourself” requires that you love yourself. I think that part can be overlooked and forgotten.
So maybe you’re working on getting over an early loss in your life and the anger over that. Could you just love yourself around that abandonment? Could you hold that pain and anger in the Light? Spread a little compassion on yourself?
Water is powerful and gentle and it takes the easiest route. I think that what we souls need to learn while we are on this human journey is also to take the easiest route, the one of love. It too is powerful and gentle. Because when we fill ourselves with love and don’t get mired in the sticky stuff of rights and wrongs but move and act and BE from that loving place, it is the easy way.