Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

One Love ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

One Love ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

Never had moving been so easy. My friends dived into unpacking in ways that settled my new apartment quickly.

Claire was especially devoted, and she was celebrating all the good going on in my life when she asked, "Is your heart so full because of Joe?"

I smiled. Joe is an amazing gift in my life, but honestly I had to tell her that he wasn't the source of the joy.

"It isn't him, Claire. For the first time, I think I understand that there's just one Love in my life, and all of you are confirmations of it." As sweet as the romance is with Joe, it isn't more significant than my friends' generosity, my mother's tender support, my children's enthusiasm for my progress. Joe doesn't feel like a whole new thing but a natural expansion of my heart revealing a bigger view of God's love taking another amazing form.

This understanding has been long in coming. The gentle healing of my widowhood opened my heart to dating again. But even then, romance had felt like an elephant that was always in the wrong place causing havoc.

If I had someone in my life, I was miserable because the relationship wasn't what I wanted. If I didn't have someone special, my heart ached, and I undervalued the good going on.

What has come to feel safe and secure is the knowledge that the one Love that is God fills all space, all the time, every place I go, in every aspect of life. God, our Father-Mother, Creator, would not ask us to live one moment of our lives alone.

This understanding brings a new perspective to all my relationships, including Joe. How can I love with a pure and perfect heart each person in my life? This is a tough question because often my instinct is not so unselfish. Getting what we want out of relationships may feel at first like the point of having them. But the selfish instinct is the animal instinct that spoils relationships quickly. Instead of being a blessing, other people start to feel like yet another frustration.

Inevitably life's lessons bring me back to face the demand to practice unselfishness. Not the kind that is self-flagellating, martyred, or putting up with abuse. But the kind of unselfishness that understands the source of love to be the all-Love that is God. …

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