“Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.” ~Maya Angelou
When things are going well in our lives, it can feel fairly easy to show up with love. But when faced with struggle, loss, or grief – or even just the small frustrations of daily life and relationships – we may find it harder to operate from a place of love. The gift, of course, is that it’s on the hard days that love’s capacity to sustain – and even transform – is most poignant.
During the pandemic, we’ve witnessed repeated counts of people expressing love – playing music from balconies, placing supportive signs in their windows – as a way to carry one another through collective hardship. In our individual lives, acting from love on the hard days and in the hard moments can offer equally powerful sustenance and healing, not only for others but for ourselves as well.
Today’s practice is an invitation to identify one specific difficulty in your life that could be eased or softened by intentionally approaching it with love. While this doesn’t mean that frustration or disappointment, anger or sorrow simply go away, how might you allow love – your own and others’ – to come alongside what’s hard, to offer a kind of accompaniment?
- Through reflection or journaling, begin by identifying the struggle or hardship on which you’d like to center your practice today.
- From there, consider some ways that you might hold or approach this situation, relationship, or feeling with greater love. Is there a loss you’re grieving that could be tended by your love? Is there an entrenched stance – your own or someone else’s – that might be softened by your love? And if it’s just simply a hard day with no easily-named cause, how might you let yourself lean on who and what you love to bring some comfort?
- As you make your way through the day, take note of what shifts, what comes easily or with difficulty, and what’s surprising. Where do possibilities arise by intentionally turning to love on the hard days?
Share Your Reflection: As always, we invite and appreciate your reflections about how you experienced today’s practice. Please share below.
- It looks like the sky is coming apart and together at the same time, A Poem by Maya Stein
- Rise Up Again, A Short Video by Green Renaissance
Image: Each day of our Grateful for Love practice includes an image of love as expressed through street art. Today’s Photo: Frank Albrecht/Unsplash
Enjoy the full seven-day Grateful for Love practice.
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Loving difficult family members is often a struggle most especially at times when familiarity breeds contempt. When this happens, I let the frustration pass…..just let it pass and acknowledge because I am human to feel the pain. Let it pass and wave goodbye.
Breathe deeply and as I exhale I bid it goodbye.
Love your poem. Poetry reaches a place nothing else does.
It hit home like a brick….a brick that I need to soften with LOVE. A relationship in which the pronoun” We” does not exist. A hard one to think about it. I am softening it by playing with my keyboard, by listening to today’s video, by reading you ‘Love on the Hard Days”…
A shower of gratitude for this day’s lesson.
Thank you for sharing this tenderness, Mandy. I hope that this softening creates a bit of space in the relationship or even just a bit of space for you. Sending care.
There are days when there are so many issues – not just one. Today is one of those days for me. I will try to focus on the one issue that is most difficult for me to see/feel the love. I have to remember that God is Love and that God’s Love is within me. God will give me the strength to be aware of the Love within me – so that I may be enfolded by it – and give it to those around me in need of it.