"You don't forgive without loving. And I don't mean sentimentally. I don't mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, 'I forgive, I'm finished with it.'" – Maya Angelou

This powerful and courageous choice to forgive has been lifetime work for me. I am aware that I forgive fairly easily. I think I mean it. I think I am "finished with it" but I still am visited by memories and sadness. This must be the love that Maya Angelou speaks about.

I am aware that forgiveness is a gift I give myself. I am aware forgiveness is essential to my healing process. I still need to work on giving up my story on how I have been hurt. I need to let go and let God. For me letting go and letting God means moving to empathy and compassion. I can reflect on the person I perceived hurt me. I can spiritually and emotionally focus on empathy and compassion. When it is difficult to move to empathy and compassion, I can always choose to be kind.

Dear God, grant me the serenity to choose to be kind.

Everything we think, everything we feel, and everything we do, makes a difference to someone.

"The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us, 
and the light goes out." – James Baldwin

We are designed to connect. We are made to hold each other. When we hold each other, when we connect, the love multiplies. We need each other. Interdependence is our only hope moving forward. We must work together to find creative solutions to the problems of today.

"The breath of one is the breath of all, and the breath of all, 
is the breath of God." – Melanie Bacon

I am reminded of the African principle of "Ubuntu".  It means "I am because you are." We are all bonded together in a shared humanity.

Everything we think, everything we feel, and everything we do, makes a difference to someone.

What are we learning each day and with each experience?

Each experience in my life has given me skills and knowledge for what was yet to appear.

I discovered passion and commitment by choosing to do what I loved and follow that "still, small voice."  I found courage and wisdom in facing pain, fear, and loss.  When I stumbled and fell, I got back up. I kept trying, and learning, and growing.  Every decision I made created the person I am now. 

Life has been constant change. There is always something new to learn and hopefully enjoy. As I rise, again and again, I learn perseverance and grace.  I am filled with gratitude for every day of my life.  Every day and every experience has the potential to be profound.

The purpose of life is to love

The purpose of life is to love. When we love, we ripple out aspects of original creation. When we love, our life is meaningful.

I am grateful to know and experience that love and life are intertwined. Love is not something we do. Love is something we are. Our love is a way of life.  It is an orientation, a motivation, an intention that brings its own reward.

Connection is the natural state of life

Connection is the natural state of life.

We all belong. We are all included.

Even when we feel excluded, we are still part of a great, loving universe.

We are all part of the love, that universe, that one song.

We are all driven to connect, to bond, to be together.

Everything is relationship.

You are here in this relationship because you are needed, you are indispensable.

You are here because life needed your unique self.

You are a part of the intimate, unconditionally loving, Divine, universe.