reflections on love

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

 – Maya Angelou

A few weeks ago, I was looking for quotes, poems, or verses to read at my son’s wedding, when I found the above quote by the late Maya Angelou. What a lovely quote and how timeless! As we observe our world, it is easy to see how money and power seem to be in the driver’s seat. And love? Where is love? Relegated to the back seat or the trunk? We need only look into our hearts to know where it may be in our lives. We say we love…some people, some things, some places. Do we honestly look at others with the eyes of our hearts?

At a time in our history, when there is so much before us that doesn’t feel or look like love, I found these words a refreshing reminder of what is possible…when we open our hearts while laying down our biases.

I have enjoyed riding the “high” that has been the effect of the beautiful gathering of family and friends, from far and near – despite losses, heartaches and other challenges – to celebrate the wedding of my son and my daughter-in-law. The love in the space was palpable. Yes, I know you can say or think, “Of course she felt that way. It is her son, after all.” You would be correct and it was the energy in the space, the looks on the faces, the smiles and embraces of people across multiple generations, past family difficulties, and many, many miles.

Although I did not read the above quote or the poem which follows at the wedding*, I appreciate today the way these words have so beautifully and eloquently captured the moments of that magical weekend.

~ * ~ * ~

Touched by An Angel

by Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
lived coiled in shells of loneliness
until loves leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us in into life.
Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet, if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.
 ~ * ~ * ~


Love may be something we think we do. In fact it is who we are…and we often forget when we get angry or judge another harshly. In those dark, fear-based moments, we have forgotten. Perhaps we find ourselves too busy to love. “Oh, when I finish this project, I’ll spend more time with my family,” is just one of any number of reasons why we may keep ourselves from our very essence and the beautiful exchange that occurs when we are present to anyone.

I am reminded of one final quote, which I hold dear and read often – to remind me what I am here to be.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

 – Rumi

May we slow down to reflect on our barriers to love; that our hearts may open just a little more to acceptance of ourselves, those whom we regard as different and those closest to us who most cherish our presence.


*The bride and groom chose an excerpt from a wedding ceremony I shared with them, from the book, Illuminata: A Return to Prayer, by Marianne Williamson.


12 thoughts on “reflections on love

  • You’ve reminded me that somewhere around here I have a copy of Illuminata: A Return to Prayer, by Marianne Williamson. Did you know she’s thinking of running for president?

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post, Carrie. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  • “…when we open our hearts while laying down our biases.” I hear you clearly, Carrie. And I concur with much of what you share in this post. I guess what I am trying to get my head around is how does one lay down their biases when some of those biases are driven by people’s overt words and actions that harm and belittle people who are simply trying to get by; to live and appreciate what little they may have? Intentional prejudice and disregard for simple human decency, by people who do not care about the damage they are inflicting upon humanity, finds people biased against those perpetrators – with, in my opinion, just cause. When one’s biases are valid, how can one lay them down and compromise their grounded values? I, for one, find it very challenging to open and offer my heart to those who are heartless and quite possibly, incapable of changing their ways and actions.

    Off my soapbox to acknowledge a much more meaningful matter – your son’s wedding. How beautiful the occasion must have been. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of it with us.


    • Eric – I apologize that it has taken so long to post your comment. I just found it in spam, and I have no idea why it was there. The wedding was a most beautiful event, thank you. As for your soapbox, I completely understand. It’s hard to look at those who are perpetrators of some of the worst things we see and experience, with an open heart. I am reminded that generally their actions are borne of unconscious fear, unacknowledged grief for losses and life experiences that did not align with their wishes or expectations…all expressed (projected) onto others as anger. This one is familiar, as my grandmother was murdered in a home invasion in 2002 and it was carried out by five young men, the youngest of which was 17. It has taken me years to unpack all of what I knew at the time and how I experienced it and found peace rather than more anger and fear. It’s not been an easy process…and it was absolutely necessary. I did not know them, their life conditions, or their life experiences up to that point in time. Then, I judged them harshly. Today, I have compassion. Whether they change in prison is not for me to know or otherwise know about. And I will also not them to take up residence in my head. We all have choices, and all choices have consequences. I believe our paths are adjusted as we choose, experience, choose again and experience again and so on. This, for me, is the evolutionary process.

      I appreciate your comment very much. I honor your offering of it and the time you took to read my post and respond. I wish you well this season and hope your new year is filled with many blessings.

      Liked by 1 person

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