Category Archives: Dear Beloved

Dear Beloved: Beauty in the Whole

Dear Beloved,

It is hard for you to look at yourself and see something that is beautiful. This is because you see only the separate component parts and never the whole. You isolate a particular physical feature and analyze it as though it can be stacked up against others of this kind. But as soon as you remove this feature from the living, breathing whole, it becomes lifeless and flat. On its own, this one “part” of you is nothing, and yet when seen in the fullness of its context, the whole self radiates through, and the brilliance and uniqueness of this self overshadow so-called objective “imperfections.” 

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Dear Beloved: Misperceptions

Dear Beloved,

If others perceive you wrongly, this does not alter the truth of who you are in any form. You are still too concerned with what other people think of you. A sense of ‘justice’ burns within your spirit as you listen to words you do not think are true, words that seem to belie the integrity or complexity of your character. But these words (and false impressions) are only meaningful insofar as you allow them to affect you. There is nothing wrong with advocating for truth, but there is a time when it is worthy to so act and a time when this staunch defense of truth derives more from your own insecurities or fears than  from anything else. 

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Dear Beloved: Kindness

Dear Beloved,

Be kind. There are many things that seem to matter, but few things that do, and this is one of them. Never underestimate the difference a little kindness can make on this world. It is not just about doing kind things or listing off acts or accomplishments as concrete displays of kindness. It’s about being kind. Perhaps you are kind to a stranger you will never see again or to a person who will never appreciate your kindness. Kindness does not exist because of visibility. In fact, unseen kindness is often the most beautiful, because it is guided only by love. And kindness cannot be measured – there is no way of determining the exact impact of a moment of kindness, but it is true that God gathers up each little kindness in His hands and never lets a single one go.

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Dear Beloved: Little Triumphs

“Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.” -Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved

In this new series, beginning with the post below, I want to reflect on the idea that each one of us is the Beloved – we have a value that cannot be taken away and that is rooted in our dignity and uniqueness, a worth based on being and not contingent on what we do or have not done. With this in mind, I wrote these letters to myself but also more broadly to all of us, to each individual who desires to love and be loved, who has felt that thrumming doubt within them – the voice that says perhaps you are not enough. In these letters, I want to listen to a different voice – one that says you are set apart and loved, and can love yourself as well; that your value does not rest on anything other than being, and that you can rest in this truth and feel at peace.

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