Dear Ones,

During a recent service I noticed a congregant was wearing a shirt that said “Give Love”. I walked away thinking that this was an incredibly simple and yet powerful statement. What does it mean to give love? Giving love can mean so many different things. Spiritually speaking I believe giving love can be expressed through a variety of ways. These include friendships, conversations at church or outside of church, over coffee or a shared meal, a smile, engaging in an intellectual or spiritual discussion, sharing of thoughts and ideas, being silly, or doing something else that is considered self-care. When we practice self-care we are “giving love” to ourselves. When we do that I believe that we are in a better place to share love with others in our lives.

I was enjoying some time with a friend a few weeks ago and we found ourselves talking about the training process. While the idea came up as we discussed training at a job I believe we can also refer to our lives and learning how to “give love” as a training process. I believe our time here on Earth is in a way, a training process. We are learning how to interact with each other, deepen our connections with loved ones and strangers, share love and appreciation, communicate authentically, and unify our Spiritual and human aspects of who we are. What if our time on Earth is an opportunity for us to learn how and to practice giving and receiving love in grander, more enlightened ways? What if we could learn to be more compassionate towards ourselves and others on this journey we call Life? How would that look to you? For me, it would be to learn how to relax more, how to laugh at myself when I make a mistake, or realize that despite any appearance, to truly know and believe that the Divine is always in the midst of every relationship and experience. Learning from mistakes would be an opportunity to practice gentleness, understanding, and acceptance of myself and others instead of being quick to condemn or criticize. Being “teachable” is also important. When I am in a teachable space I am more open to receive – receive guidance, love, grace, peace, or whatever else I may be in need of receiving in that moment or through that experience.

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
-Mother Teresa

This is how I choose to start February, the “month of love” in my daily interactions with those I meet on my journey called Life. May we greet each other with a genuine, sincere smile allowing the Divine within me to connect with the Divine within you.

Love and Blessings,
Rev Donna Baranyay