Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Love Deeply …

Valentine’s Day is a good time to remember all the ways we can be loving, not just to the guy/gal sitting across from you at the kitchen table, but also your boss, your mother, your boss’s mother, and her mother.

One of my very favorite reflections from Henri Nouwen is “Love Deeply,” found in his book “The Inner Voice of Love.” This beautiful meditation reminds me to continue to love and to be vulnerable enough to receive love, even if it means rising rejection and hurt, even as I feel an emptiness in my soul, a void in my heart, which makes me want to build barriers to keep everyone out. Here it is:


Do not hesitate to love and to love deeply.

You might be afraid of the pain that deep love can cause. When those you love deeply reject you, leave you, or die, your heart will be broken. But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love ever more fruitful. It is like a plow that breaks the ground to allow the seed to take root and grow into a strong plant. Every time you experience the pain of rejection, absence, or death, you are faced with a choice. You can become bitter and decide not to love again, or you can stand straight in your pain and let the soil on which you stand become richer and more able to give life to new seeds.

The more you have loved and have allowed yourself to suffer because of your love, the more you will be able to let your heart grow wider and deeper. When your love is truly giving and receiving, those whom you love will not leave your heart even when they depart from you. They will become part of your self and thus gradually build a community within you.


Those you have deeply loved become part of you. The longer you live, there will always be more people to be loved by you and to become part of your inner community. The wider your inner community becomes, the more easily you will recognize your own brothers and sisters in the strangers around you. Those who are alive within you will recognize those who are alive around you. The wider the community of your heart, the wider the community around you. Thus the pain of rejection, absence, and death can become fruitful. Yes, as you love deeply the ground of your heart will be broken more and more, but you will rejoice in the abundance of the fruit it will bear.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment stefani

    Thank you Theresa for sharing this reflection! So moving and beautiful. Your articles and writing are inspirational.

  • http://WhataGodSend Katie

    I needed to hear this. I am feeling so lonely now…even though I have people around me, that say they love me. Depression and anxiety can get one “all up in her head.” I am afraid to love..afraid to let my guard down…I feel like damaged goods. Who is going to want me, other than someone else that is “damaged.” I am dating someone that loves me, but he also jumps from job to job, does not always come across least in my eyes with things that he says…I am not secure in the relationship. I can’t imagine a life with him, however, I also can’t imagine one without him, because I don’t feel anyone else will want me. I know…pretty sad and low right now. This too shall pass. Thank you though for this message. Truly a god send. Right when I needed to hear it. I need to let myself be vulnerable.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Stevie

    Can totally relate. Especially to Katies comments above only I’m married. Ddecisions decisions! Somehow I seem to be mindful enough to not make any based on these feelings I have right now. I keep telling myself that its all part of growing. I hope I’m right!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jen

    Gorgeous post, thanks for sharing this with us.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marc

    Thanks for the post, Therese. One of the challenges some us face is not being able to love deeply; it is believing we are worthy of another person’s deep and genuine love.

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild ...

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate ...

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from ...

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a ...

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer ...

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.