Build with Love

Sometimes I complain too much about the difficult things life requires me to do. If I am smart, I will see what others can easily see; I need the re-construction, remodel, and renovation that occurs when I am doing a work of love for others, even if I can’t see a positive outcome.

Acknowledging the mystery of this often prevents me from tearing down valuable work with my own hands.

Where Did It Go?

Right before my sister’s body convulsed in the terrible grip of death, I received a gift from her learning-challenged son. He had been with me at her hospice bedside saying goodbye. After asking his mother to say hello to Elvis for him in heaven (which even garnered a wisp of a smile from her solemn, sedated face), he gave me his mother’s hand and said, “She’s gone. God took her with Him. Couldn’t you feel God here in the room?”

His confidence that she was no longer in that body has saved me from reliving the strange savagery of her end…over and over again.

I was reminded of this mystery of our souls’ departure by Temple Grandin’s story of Autism and her sensitivity to the death of animals. When the body of a euthanized horse collapsed, limp and empty, she asked about the spirit, “Where did it go?” 

Also in Elizabeth J. Church’s words about the heroin’s father’s death in The Atomic Weight of Love: “Where did all of that energy go? What happened to the bounty of his being, his love for us, for me?”

It’s an important observance and question. Those who see a bit differently often see more than the rest of us.



temple grandin quotes about animals


What I am Not Alive for

What I am not alive for…

  • To feed and entertain this body so that I can do it again tomorrow and the next day
  • To make life difficult for someone else
  • To be the judge of what someone else is doing

If I woke up this morning, it’s because there is something for me to…

  • Learn
  • Love, or
  • Do

When we don’t know what our purpose is, passionately setting out to learn as much as possible, to love as much as we can, and to do all the good we are capable of is the fastest way to find out!

Becoming Charming

“Becoming a charming creature is to be one who is charmed by your own life and the lives of all whom you meet.” – Blair Lewis

Charm is a powerful thing, sometimes misused, but to use it beneficially and to charm the right people into our lives, believing this quote is the only effective starting place.

Breaking it down, it’s merely about delight and appreciation. When we have sincere, agenda-less, (no strings attached) appreciation and delight in someone, they’ll find us difficult to resist. Unfortunately, most of us are too busy sorting our own drama to actually delight in someone else. Once we do, and have unconditionally accepted ourselves, our history, and our circumstances, suddenly we have time and energy to find others charming! Then, Voila! Life changes.



Universal Laws You Can Count On

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No way around it.

No pay no play.

It seems as if the Universe must also “Z” out and keep the books balanced as it goes.

Action and reaction.

Cause and effect.

Effort and results.

Giving and receiving.

As with pay now or pay later, there is a predictable pattern behind them all.

Although, sometimes it feels as if we aren’t getting a fair return or that we have already paid our dues!

Additional considerations for these cases:

  • the greater our mission, the greater our preparation
  • the Universe is working behind the scenes to adjust our trajectory
  • there are surprises to come

What Is All This Suffering about Anyway?

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Not long ago, I found myself wishing an unpleasant experience would just hurry up and be over.

Then I caught myself.

I was trading that moment, as if it didn’t count, for the future.

No wonder I was so miserable! I had told myself that there was no value in the current moment, that it just had to be endured.

I corrected my thoughts to ask, instead, “How can I use this moment to learn something, give something, or make a difference?” Then, things changed. They still weren’t easy, but they were much more bearable, and, just like that, I had found a way to make an investment in myself and others.

Hope and glory weren’t somewhere in the future. They had been with me all along.


“Your Mission, If You Choose to Accept It, Is…”

I woke up this morning wondering what would happen if, on our birthdays, our mothers, fathers, and caregivers always reminded us of these things:

  • You have arrived on this planet as a mysterious gift.
  • You will only be here a very short time.
  • Your mission is to honor the miracle of your creation and all the miracles around you…
    • by loving
    • by creating more joy
    • and by finding something you absolutely love to do and doing it with all your heart
  • It will be extremely difficult at times. This is only to help you discover the power you have been given.
  • Remembering these things will always bring you strength and joy.





While Reviewing Miracles…

I made a list the other day

Of all the miracles I have seen

(Beside people, cats, and mountain ranges, I mean)

Other miracles

Like transformations I could not explain

Or unexpected relief from pain

Or help that came from out of nowhere

Or money appearing just in time (with enough to share)

Or the days and nights I made it through

When it seemed that would be impossible to do


There were so many miracles that came to mind

I could not help feeling

Like a raving victor

After a championship match against the world

Marianne Williamson






John Green Says So

When I wake up in the morning it is usually to the sound of a senile cat meowing for attention. Irritating. Or…not.

If I allow it, her annoying shrieking can be my first reminder of the most important thing that will occur (in this new chance at life I have been given); the opportunity to show love to other beings.

There are plenty of things that will confuse me, blind me, and distract me from this purpose, but the purpose will remain and will continue to call out to me through a myriad of voices for as long as I live.

john green

John Green’s movie, The Fault in Our Stars, opens today in theaters. Among other things, it is a good reminder of this bit of wisdom.

Things We Can’t See without Assistance

  1. The infinite number of living creatures sharing the space with us
  2. The complexity of the integration of every living thing (that has lived and will live) with our own existence
  3. The “why” of our own specialization and specifications
  4. How we are perceived by others
  5. The difference we are making in the world


With that acknowledgement, beauty and peace are finally accessible.

courtesy of

courtesy of