the ways & means of loving

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Gifts of the self are so varied that there is no easy way to categorize them. These include giving time to others or getting involved with their problems- even the projected concerns of future generations, such as the stewardly acts of environmentalists or volunteers.One’s gift might be the development of patience. Or learning to live harmoniously with others, with nature or with the demands of an occupation or organization. Whatever its form, the potency and force of love is always present to some degree in true contribution. We have seen that mature spirited love is dependent on the relative presence of virtue, empathy and an evolved self that has something of substance to give. In offering some gift of self, we give from strength- not from a weakened, fearful or exploitive self; not from submission to external pressures or to manipulate another through our giving. Because each of us is distinctive, as we refine our specific talents and skills, we will have much to offer from the wellspring of the core self. Individual stewardship is expressed as a potent giving of self. Good stewards give because their hearts are made more joyful, their lives more meaningful by their giving.  ~Marsha Sinetar

what can we sneak in and look at without scaring ourselves away? how can we honor our loves ones instead of projecting our fears onto them? how can we love, so real and so true?

The journey towards clarity is speckled with all of the psychic junk we try to discard—the chunks of self we reject, the fears we try to conquer…Our backs bowed with this weight, we often find ourselves led not by the call of Love but by the high-pitched whine of our inner critic.

Oh, it takes courage to really look closely at what blocks the flow. This is a thorny place- impossible to explore deeply without getting poked and scraped. But all we have to do is to clear a small way and surrender.

   ~Roderick MacIver

relationships along the way

The dynamic of friendship is almost always underestimated as a constant force in human life: a diminishing circle of friends is the first terrible diagnostic of a life in deep trouble: of overwork, of too much emphasis on a professional identity of forgetting who will be there when our armored personalities run into the inevitable natural disasters and vulnerabilities found in even the most ordinary existence. Friendship transcends disappearance: an enduring friendship goes on after death, the exchange only transmuted by absence, the relationship advancing and maturing in a silent internal conversational way even after one half of the bond has passed on.

But no matter the medicinal virtues of being a true friend or sustaining a long close relationship with another, the ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self, the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone. ~David Whyte

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