What Does Love Look Like? – Heartnotes by Rev Anna Shouse, Ph.D. – Feb. 8, 2018

I used to think that love meant managing the other person’s life and letting them manage mine.  Wrong!  Through some hard knocks I discovered that is a set-up for disaster.  Love is based on the ability to stand in one’s own shoes and joyfully allow the loved one to do the same.  It takes work–examining old modeling, working through feelings and behavior patterns, and developing self-respect.  Authentic spirituality is essential.  It keeps us centered and whole as we engage in the closeness of love.  Love is the essence of who we are.  To express it most divinely we are called to develop honesty, strength, and self-awareness.  It can be done.  God is with, within, and in the midst of us all the way, for God IS Love.  The poem below has circulated for years in the recovery community.  I had one of those “aha of change” moments when it was so generously shared with me over 30 years ago.  The original author is anonymous and everyone who receives it transforms it a bit.  Feel free to do the same–make it your own.

In the Love and Light of the Christ,

Rev. Anna



  • To “let go” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.
  • To “let go” is not to enable negative behaviors, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
  • To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome of events is not in my hands.
  • To “let go” is not to try to change or blame another, it’s to make the most of myself.
  • To “let go” is not to care for, but to care about.
  • To “let go” is not to fix but to be supportive.
  • To “let go” is not to judge but to allow another to be a human being.
  • To “let go” is not to protect, it’s to permit another to face reality.
  • To “let go” is not to deny the facts no matter how displeasing they may be to me, but to accept that they are the facts of the matter.
  • To “let go” is not to nag, scold, or argue but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
  • To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.

–Author – Anonymous


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