I’m getting so much out of this little book!
(I really recommend getting a copy. I saw one on Amazon for $1.50 (used). What a bargain!)
Henri Nouwen gathered his thoughts and pennend notes for his personal use during a difficult 6 months of reflection and healing. They were meant as private notes, but after 8 years a few friends encouraged him to have them organized and published sensing other soul searchers would be encouraged by them. His pain is often palpable and humble and his words are like food for kindred spirits. I’m grateful he was so brave.
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 break the ground to allow the seed to take root and grow into a strong plant. Every time you experience the of rejection, absence, or death, you are faced with a choice. You can become bitter and decide no 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 love 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 live 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.