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​Spiritual Friday: Self-Love

For our latest Spiritual Friday, we focused on the topic of love – loving others, ourselves, and our Higher Power.

"Love all of G-d's creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of G-d's light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the Divine Mystery in all things. Once you begin to perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love." - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"Our potential to love is very real and is somehow not destroyed, no matter what we experience: all of the mistakes we might make, all of the times that we are caught in reaction, all of the times we have caused pain, all of the times we have suffered. Throughout everything, our potential to love remains intact and pure." - Sharon Salzberg

"G-d is not someone or something to love; G-d is love itself." ~Ellen Grace O'Brian

We asked the patients what they believed true love was. Here are some of their responses:
• "Just wanting to hold my daughter."
• "My 94 year old Grandfather studying the Torah, sitting with me."
• "A mother's love."

We listened to and watched beautiful expressions of love in Tim McGraw's "Humble and Kind.”

As a way to express spiritual love, I brought a table full of craft supplies – cards, stickers, markers, and prayers. I asked the patients to make cards for a group of people very dear to me who have suffered great pain, trauma, depression, and tragedy; people who really need to know they are still loved; people they didn't need to know to bless. I collected the cards and delivered them to our patients on Monday evening, along with this message from me:

Love Yourself

Love yourself
no matter what you do.

You are the gift
that G-d has given the world.
He will never give up on you.
G-d has as much faith in you
As He has in Himself.

His love for you is not dependent
on anything you do,
any thought you think,
or experience
through which you pass.
G-d's love is always cause,
and never an effect.
He knows who you are,
and His gratefulness for you
is eternally, perfectly ensured.

- Alan Cohen

Reverend Laurie Durgan