I was raised in a small town in Michigan with parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends continually getting together and ongoingly participating with one another. My dad’s parents, sister, and brother’s families all lived within a block of us. We shared holidays, a family business and summer Sundays together at a local Church and at my grandparent’s lake cottage. As a boy, this was extremely formative.

Many decades ago I moved to Colorado and left all of what I’d experienced as a boy except for the commitment to family and a sense of common unity which was planted deep in my soul. It has continued to influence how I engage in community and the importance of casual and in depth relationships. It’s grounded me in an understanding of the essential importance of relationships and the commitment to serve them.

Many years later, I had a very difficult conversation with my then teen-age son who was trying to make his break to further independence. We got into an argument about his role in the family which intensified as it progressed. As he got more and more red in the face, clenching his fists, I feared he was going to hit me. Finally, he collapsed on his bed sobbing and said, “Just leave me alone.”

I knelt on the floor beside him with great empathy and sadness. The silence helped close the space between us. When he settled down I gently said to him: “I’ll never leave you alone. As long as I’m alive, I’ll always stand with you and be here for you.” It was a moment of unconditional love I’ll never forget. The commitment I made to love, honor, and keep my family has always brought Life to Life, even in the greatest difficulties.

How many times have you wanted to throw away a deep relationship because of apathy or conflict? How many times have you thought you could go it alone and that you didn’t need anybody? Maybe you’ve even given up on your small self only to discover your much larger Self. To isolate ourselves in whatever ways out of anger, fear, sadness and discontent is to cut ourselves off from the very Source and Flow of Life.

We humans are relational beings. The more intimate and ongoing our relationships are with our inner Self and that of others, the more mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health we have. The energy of Love flows in, around, and through us with every breath. It’s only when we ignore it and discount it that we freeze ourselves out of this dynamic flow of enlivening energy. Do you know this experience, this isolation, this disconnect?

Today, drop into the depths of your Being to know you’re never alone. Breathe in the unifying Love and Care. Transform your world from the inside out and smile at everyone you meet today. Step out of your isolation and embrace the new. Experience the wisdom of life’s challenges. Learn to be vulnerable.Together, we become fully alive!

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