Let Love Heal the Future

I met a woman at the park. She was crying.

I stopped to ask if there was anything I can do to help.

She smiled through her tears, thanked me for stopping to ask and told me no. She was missing her past and no one could give that back to her.

I agreed and asked if I could give her a hug in the here and now. She quickly replied, Oh yes, please.

And so, two strangers stood heart to heart creating a bridge from the past to the future.

Sometimes, when the past is fresh in our minds and we feel burdened by its harshness, all we can do is mourn its absence.

Sometimes, when the heaviness of our mourning brings us down, and words cannot ease our pain, a stranger’s attention gives us hope that tomorrow will come.

That woman in the park had a story. In that moment, it wasn’t her story that mattered. What mattered most was that she was a human being in distress.

I couldn’t fix what was wrong. I couldn’t change the past.

All I could do was share ‘love’ to help her continue to keep moving towards the healing that comes when the past drifts far enough away, we no longer feel the urge to carry its pain, darkness and sadness.

In that moment, for her, I was an oasis devoid of memories of the past.

In that moment, for me, she was a beautiful reminder of the power of Love to heal.

Love Will Always Find You

Lost and Found

Lost in the darkness of my fear
there was no hope for me,
I could not see the light
beckoning me to surrender
and fall fearlessly into Love.

All hope is gone, I cried
and Hope whispered back softly,
its breath gentle as a lover
kissing my eyelids awake. Come,
Hope promised, there is light
beyond the darkness
and joy beyond the sorrow
and Love beyond the fear.

Trusting in nothing but hoping it was true,
I opened my eyes.

And there was Hope waiting to greet me
with arms full of possibility and a heart full of Love.

And so I fell into Hope’s embrace
and that’s where Love finds me still. Always and forever.


I saw an acronym for H.O.P.E. the other day. Hold. On. Pain. Ends.

My mind immediately thought, Love doesn’t. End. Love Endures. Love Captivates. Love Overcomes.

Hope is a gateway to Love. Hope holds onto truth in darkness, light in fear, possibility in despair – even when we feel like all hope is lost. Hope is holding on to us.

Thoughts of hope drifted into my mind this morning as I read the quote by Fenton Johnson that David Kanigan shares on his blog, Live & Learn.

I remember a time when I felt like all hope was lost. Hope of ever getting my life back. Of ever getting free of an abusive relationship. Of ever walking in the sunshine and feeling its warmth against my skin without feeling the fear stalking my every step. Of ever seeing my daughters again. Of ever being free to Love fearlessly.

And then, one beautiful May morning, there was hope. Shimmering in the sunlight. Beckoning me from the shadows. Encouraging me to step away from the darkness into the light. To choose Love.

I have been choosing Love ever since that morning 17 years ago when I had given up on hope and fallen into the darkness.

I have chosen Love in my despair. Love in my fear. Love in my every day.

It is one of the most inspiring aspects of life I experienced working in the homeless serving sector for so many years. No matter how dark, or grim, or chaotic life was for those experiencing the harshness and pain of homelessness, every morning people woke up, rose out of their makeshift beds in large rooms filled with others sleeping in the same space, breathing the same air, and they felt HOPE. They had survived another night of homelessness and could take another step today.

There was always hope.

I remember a couple who wanted to get married at the shelter. One day, the soon to be bride came to me and said, “Tell me I’m doing the right thing.”

I told them I couldn’t tell them that. It wasn’t my place. What I could tell them was, “Love prevails. Always. It doesn’t care about titles or the number of degrees or recognition you’ve gained or the colour of your skin or your address. Love prevails. It will find you no matter who you are or where you are.”

And it does.

Find us where ever we are.

For always, no matter what is going on, or where we are, or how we are, Love is always there. In everything. Always and forever. Love. Is. Everywhere.

And always, in everything we do. Everything we say. In every way we step into this day, hopeful. Scared. Sad. However we step, we can, and must, choose Love.

Because, while pain and storms and turmoil will end, Love prevails. It has no ending, nor beginning.

Love just is. Love.

Always and forever.


Thank you David for the inspiration this morning.

The Enlightened thinking of Andrew Solomon

This is not at all the post I intended when I sat down to write this morning. It can keep.

As I went in search of a link for a quote I wanted to share in my original post, I stumbled upon writer, Andrew Solomon’s, TEDMED 2013 talk:  Love, No Matter What.

Given that Love is Always the Answer is one of my beliefs, I could not resist clicking on the title of his talk.

Andrew begins his talk with these words,

“Even in purely non-religious terms, homosexuality represents a misuse of the sexual faculty. It is a pathetic little second-rate substitute for reality — a pitiable flight from life. As such, it deserves no compassion, it deserves no treatment as minority martyrdom, and it deserves not to be deemed anything but a pernicious sickness.” That’s from Time magazine in 1966.

Later, he quotes an article in The Atlantic Monthly, voice of liberal America — written by an important bioethicist who, in 1968, on the subject of Down syndrome children, said to millions of Americans,

“There is no reason to feel guilty about putting a Down syndrome child away, whether it is put away in the sense of hidden in a sanitarium or in a more responsible, lethal sense. It is sad, yes — dreadful. But it carries no guilt. True guilt arises only from an offense against a person, and a Down’s is not a person.”

I read Andrew’s first book, The Noonday Devil: An atlas of depression, a year after it was released in 2001. I was in the dark, dark, days of a relationship going very, very wrong. I knew I was in a depression. I didn’t know how to ‘get out of it’ and was searching for answers outside myself.  The answer to my depression was not ‘out there’. It was within me all along. It came from accepting I was not in a relationship of love gone wrong. I was in an abusive situation. It came from accepting I was abused. I did things I wasn’t proud, and I was still worthy of love. It came from acceptance of me, just the way I was, in all my warts, with all my Beauty and the Beast complexities. In acceptance, Love had room to flow. In Love, all things were possible, including loving myself even when I didn’t think I deserved it.

After devouring every word of his 20 minute TEDMED talk, I intend on reading his latest book, Far From The Tree.

Don’t tell anyone…. I’m hoping for rain this weekend so I can curl up and read!

Give yourself the gift of 20 minutes of enlightenment this morning with Andrew Solomon.

Let us be Love in this world of wonder

I danced Friday night. I danced and sang and laughed and heard stories and shared an evening with strangers and it was perfect.

It was 9pm when C.C. and I decided to walk over to a local pub to grab a bite to eat. He hadn’t yet explored the neighbourhood so it seemed like a good opportunity to check out what was going on. What was going on was karaoke night and a whole bunch of people having fun.

We were sitting by ourselves when a man from the next table came over to chat. “Why don’t you come and join us?” he asked when he found out I was from Calgary and C.C. was new to the neighbourhood. Which is how we came to be embraced by a group of 8 friends celebrating Warren and Linda’s wedding two weeks ago.

Warren, the groom, was the man who invited us over. “You gotta come hear my band,” he told us at one point. “We’re called, “Two and a half Metis” and he began to laugh uproariously. “I’m the Metis guy. Get it?” He was still laughing when he got up from the table to take the mic to sing a song. Gerard, the host of the party to honour Warren and Linda took the mic before Warren could begin to sing. “Ladies and gentleman,” he called out to the room. “I want you to give a big warm welcome to the one, the only, the amazing Warren from Las Vegas.”  And the room burst into applause, hooting and hollering as Warren began to sing.

Ever gullible, I asked Warren when he sat down if he really was from Las Vegas. He laughed and slapped the table. “Hell no. I’m from Batoche.”

“Oh,” I replied. Having long forgotten what little I knew of Louis Riel and the Northwest Rebellion, I asked for clarification, “Is that near Las Vegas?”

This time his laughter split my eardrums. “Hell no. It’s right here in Saskatchewan. I’m a native boy.”  He had to turn and poke his new wife’s arm on that one. “Get it? Native boy. Metis…”

And so the evening went.

People sang. Some on key. Some not so clear. People danced. So did I.

And then, I decided to sing. I don’t sing in public so for me, this was a great stretch — it may have had something to do with that second glass of wine too… I was nervous at first. Nervous and self-conscious until I decided to not make it about me, but rather, about having fun. And that’s when I found my note. That’s when the music moved through me and I just let it flow without trying to be on key or anywhere other than in the music. I belted out House of the Rising Sun and knew, The Animals would have been proud. Even if I messed it up, I loved every note of it. Loved every moment of singing my heart out.

Mark Twain once said that we should all,

Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like its heaven on earth.

I sang like no one was listening on Friday night. I danced like nobody was watching.

And in the singing and dancing and loving and living I found myself touched by grace. I found myself connected into a circle of joy that carried C.C. and me home as walked in the quiet of the night back towards our little home on the prairies. I stood beneath the full moon where once Neil Armstrong set foot and declared it to ‘be a giant step for mankind’  and blinked my eyes at the moon shining brightly.

It is the same moon that shines above every man, woman and child walking this planet. It is the same moon that casts its light into the darkness, calling us to move into the light of knowing, we are all one world, one planet, one people. There is no us and them. We are all connected and when we celebrate that which makes us great, when we share in laughter, song and dance, we make a difference.

Just for today, let’s all surrender and fall in Love with knowing, it’s all about us, together, doing whatever we can to be Love in this world of wonder.