A beacon of Love

Right out of high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life, so my mother suggested I enter the Licensed Practical Nursing program at our local hospital where she worked as a nurse. It was a one year intensive program and at the end I became an L.P.N. I only worked for a couple of years as a nurse, but the unit that I was first assigned to was Pediatrics. On occasion, a baby would be admitted with the diagnosis of “Failure to thrive.” Which meant that no one thing could be found wrong (such as a heart, stomach, or blood problem) but the baby was loosing weight (or not gaining), and when you looked into his or her eyes, they were vacant. It wasn’t put in these terms, but the diagnosis really meant, “This baby is not loved.”

The parents, if they did come to the floor with them, left immediately and generally were not seen again. At home, these babies were propped up with bottles, and ignored, so they became ill, not so much from the wrong formula or from not being fed at all, but from a lack of love. What they needed, what they were not getting, was someone’s focused, loving attention.

There is so much talk about proper nutrition and making sure that everything is organic and natural, but underneath it all, what we really need is to give and to receive love. I truly believe that any human being could thrive and be healthy, no matter what we ate, if we did it with deep reverence and appreciation.

So what am I doing “mindlessly” that might be negatively affecting me or someone else? Am I talking on the phone with my father, while trying to answer emails? Cooking dinner, fuming about Jack being late with some ingredient? Feeling annoyed as I drive to see my mother, when I think I should be doing something else? Something more important?

There is nothing more important than doing what I am doing (whatever it is) with love. Paying attention is an act of love. Falling asleep blessing everyone who reads my words, sending thoughts of love and comfort, instead of worrying that I misspelled a word, is an act of love. Slowing down to pet one of the cats as I walk past is an act of love, sitting for a minute and watching them eat their breakfast, instead of rushing into my day is an act of love. Looking at myself in the mirror and saying, “I love you” instead of noticing new wrinkles, is an act of love.

All of the things that those needy babies were lacking, we still need as adults, but so many of us have adjusted to life without tenderness and compassion, true presence and attention, and have forgotten why we are really here. Maybe this weekend we can make it a point to slow down just a little, and do everything in a more loving way. When you pass a mirror, take a moment to look into your own eyes and say, “I love you”, silently say it to the grocery store clerk, the car that speeds past you, the person calling on the phone…radiate who you really are, pure love, and see what happens!

“Divine Love is the only real power. If you can realize this fact even dimly it will begin to heal and harmonize every condition in your life within a few hours. The way to realize this fact is to express it in every word you speak, in every business transaction, in every social activity, and, in fact, in every phase of your life.

An early New Thought writer said: ‘Knead love into the bread you bake; wrap strength and courage in the parcel you tie for the woman with the weary face; hand trust and candor with the coin you pay to the man with the suspicious eyes.’  This is beautifully said, and it sums up the Practice of the Presence of God”. Emmet Fox


51 thoughts on “A beacon of Love

    • Welcome, Cynthia. I am also fairly new here and have been reading my way from the beginning of Mary’s blog and enjoying it a lot. Nice to “meet” you. Nice looking dog…you will find many animal lovers here, myself included.

  1. A beautiful follow up to yesterday’s post about bringing high energy to life enhancing relationships. Yes, focus on bringing high energy and our full, thoughtful, life enhancing attention to everything we CHOOSE to do. Let go of the rest. Thank you Mary for giving me permission to live my life that way.
    Sending you a beacon of love, and best wishes for a love filled weekend in everything you choose to do.
    From Fran

  2. Between losing my dad and a bad situation at work, I’ve been feeling more like a robot than a person. Thank you for this post which reminds me to slow down and find the love that comes from within – to let grow and to thrive and spread to those around me. Have a lovely weenend, everyone.

    • Charlotte, my father died a year and a half ago, two years after my mother, and I’m not sure if I was more “robot” or “bear in hibernation” for a good while. I think we all experience those times in life when putting one foot in front of the other seems about all the effort we can muster for a while. I wish you a lovely weekend, too, and will be thinking of you.

  3. Beautiful, Mary! Thank you for reminding me to slow down. Last night, my 15 year old son was telling me goodnight and I didn’t even look up from the computer screen! He said, “Mom, I want a hug!” I snapped out of my search for iPhone card readers and hugged my precious son. Yikes! Thank you for your post……. I will make a point of doing everything with love and concentrate on what’s truly important. 🙂

  4. How wonderful this is, Mary….you always give the most enlightened of instructions on how to further wake up and be more conscious. You make it easy for all of us in the flock to say, “Oh, I can do that!”

    I was particularly taken with your story of the “failure to thrive” babies. I was about 7 years old when I first heard my dad talk about this problem (he was a pediatrician). In those days, doctors made house calls and I would ride with my dad after dinner to his various calls on patients. It was special time for us to be together, as he was always so busy with his office and the hospital. He asked me one day if I would like to go with him on his rounds at the hospital and spend some time holding a baby, here and there, who was suffering from’ failure to thrive.’ Of course I did, and it had a profound effect on me, seeing these little ones in their little cribs, so not attached to what was going on around them. Some made it and some didn’t. I would hope I made some difference to all of them by doing as you say…..giving love and attention to them when they needed it most.

    Your beautiful post brought back a beautiful memory. Many thanks.

  5. You are a gem. Thank you for putting into words the importance of slowing down, being mindful, and bringing love and compassion to the small, and big, moments of our lives.

  6. I love our weekend assignments! Knead a little bit of love into everything and everyone we meet today. Without yeast the dough does not rise, – without love our hearts wither. My friend told me yesterday that her much harried boss did not return until late in the afternoon – called in to say he had stopped to have a massage, he who seems never to stop going, going, going or taking a moment to himself. When he finally returned, he stopped by my friend’s desk and told her how much he appreciated her, how that everyone who comes in contact with her comments about how positive and professional she is. Wow! By slowing down and taking a bit of time for himself, he came back refreshed and radiated his well being to my friend in appreciation. So, in the immortal words of Simon and Garfunkel:

    • Simon and Garfunkel have a song for everything. Thanks for sharing this link, Susan. I can never hear enough of them!

  7. Feeling a bit put down by someone’s impatient and critical words last night. I now feel invigorated by the idea to notice and spread love. I smiled at your comment to silently say to yourself. I love you, to the grocery clerk. I am that grocery clerk who will be working this weekend. I will be silently saying I love you back:)

    • And we love you back, Michele. There may be days when you feel you have a literally “thankless job”; I myself am appalled at the people who go through the checkout lines talking on their cell phones and never even acknowledging, much less thanking, the people who are standing on their feet all day while helping them. It’s a tough job, with tough shifts, but please believe you are much appreciated. Thank you!

  8. suzanne tate’s comment about her dad reminded me that my father did the same thing. he was a salesman for the gas company and sold stoves and such. he would ask me if i wanted to go on his “calls” with him as in those days he went to the folks houses to sell them the appliances. i remember waiting in the car for him,,,,reading or whatnot….my mom often came also and brought her sketchbook. wow. i haven’t thought of this in years. i guess i never realized that this was one of his ways to spend more time with me. bringing up emotions of gratitude for all the small things our parents did to show their love….which we as children may not have been aware of. thank you suzanne.

    • For me, it was Saturday morning trips to the hardware store! I was the youngest of four. My Dad put himself through college on the GI Bill after WWII, at night, while working all day to support his family. I never saw him enough during the week, so on Saturday mornings he would take me (just me!) with him when he ran his “dad errands” — sometimes topped off by a visit to the pet store “Just to look at the puppies, Daddy!” Sweet memories.

    • Thank YOU, Mary in Manchester, for sharing your memory of those times. So glad I sparked it for you. They were precious times, indeed.

  9. Mary..thank you for your beautiful heart and caring spirit. Today’s post is especially meaningful to me. I think love is the most potent power in the universe and yet I too am challenged with the daily practice of it…especially towards myself. Thank you for your reminder to just let go of those things that do not reflect love in all it’s many forms. Here’s to a weekend of loving thoughts all around!

  10. Does it ever seem old to always say how much I love Mary’s blog? I can’t seem to stop myself from the wow feeling I get each time I read a post here. And the comments…well powerful stuff my fellow WFF followers! I missed yesterday, which is rare for me, but then the treat of reading 2 days in a row is given like a gift. Thank you and bless you all! I silently sent out “I love you’s” on my walk today, the blessings seem to be returned to me in the beauty of the day and a pure flame of love in my core. Sending that love thru cyberspace to all!

  11. Mary – I have to repeat Terri’s sentiment. Do you ever get tired of hearing how much your blog means to us? A few things have happened this week that have frustrated me to no end because they’ve slowed me down. And then, here’s your message to stop rushing and spend more time doing things with love. Thank you. I’m going to take my time running errands now (not really running!) and spread some love!

  12. Oh, and I love the messages about special dad time. Mine used to take me along in the summer when he was an insurance salesman. I can still remember the picnic lunches we’d have in some scenic spots around Schoharie Valley. Very wonderful memories!

  13. …”heal and harmonize” … Mary, love these wonderful weekend
    opportunities….enjoy this long Presidents’ Day weekend…
    giving us even more time to slow down…

  14. Mary, again so many thank you’s for your wise words. And thank you Suzanne, Mary and Pam for helping me remember how loving my parents were. I was a young baby sitter in the early 1950’s and my dad would always sit in his car in front of the house I was baby sitting in until I was through with my job. He never wanted me to be alone in the evening at a neighbor’s house and it gave me the extra courage to know he was right outside. He was the best. Wishing everyone a very gentle, loving, long weekend.

  15. What beautiful, loving memories were shared. I could feel the warmth they evoked. How fortunate we are to read these posts that are so generously shared.

  16. Mary, you relay the power of love so well with your words, stories and examples. Thank you for the reminders given so lovingly. Once a person gave me a card with beautiful words explaining how we are like a drop of water into a pool. That single drop eventhough small, starts to radiate out getting larger and larger and even over laps with the radiated enlarging rings from other drops of water. That image and the ones you create with your writings, help me realize the amazing thing we all have within us….love, including to love ourselves.

  17. Today’s post addressed two things I had wondered about. The first was….does anyone ever pray for me? I am a pray-er, praying throughout the day and night when someone or something comes to mind. So thanks for the blessings, Mary. They mean much. The second thing I wondered was if it mattered if I prayed over the food I prepare for others…can I pray love, health, healing into what I am making? After readying this message, I think perhaps I actually can. I silently “loved” and blessed everyone I saw while my husband and I had lunch out toay. It was a simply lovely time…I wonder why? 🙂 Thanks for the timely nudge in a direction so right that it’s amazing we haven’t been doing it all the time. I think we will make a big difference. Have a great weekend, everyone.

  18. I don’t know if this will work…..but I’m attempting to add a photo of birds that reminded me of our flock of love.

    /Users/mary/Desktop/Bird Photo.jpg

  19. Checking in tonight, only 8 p.m. for me in Arizona, I am so touched by the Daddy memories – wow, when our first man takes that special moment to lift us up, physically and literally, into his arms! I saw it last weekend when I saw my 38 year old firstborn son lift his soon to be step-son into his big strong sturdy arms, and it brought it all back, one night – I remember my usually troubled and depressed father sensing me awake as a young child, and carrying me downstairs for cocoa, with Mama, just the three of us! as my two sisters and little brother slept. Those special moments, – they just sear into your memory and bank up your shores of love for a lifetime!

  20. Thanks Mary. This is so appropriate for me today. My dau. is slightly miffed at me (not unusual) and we have to spend alot of time together this w/e. It is my grand-dau.’s play “Guys and Dolls” and she has a lead! So I will radiate all my fond love on my daughter and tell her as I always do what a wonderful Mother I think she is. We are a demonstrative little family. It’s so nice. Nothing like my family of origin.
    And I must admit,today when I passed a mirror(NOT full length) I thought ‘pretty’. I think that’s great!

  21. Good Saturday morning! I just had to come back and say how much I enjoyed all the dad memories shared here yesterday. I’ll share one too. In the fall of each year our family of 4 would drive out to the apple orchard and pick apples, it was so exciting,those apples were so good! Then in the evening my dad would pull me up on his lap and as he sliced an apple with his ever present pocket knife, he would share it with me. So sweet, in more ways than just taste!

    • Terri, I too, always check in on the weekends, because invariably someone also is suffering farm withdrawl and posts something as you did this morning. You brought back apple orchard memories for me too, a place in Michigan called Bintz Farms (I bet five minutes ago I would have never remembered that name, but your story brought it all back) – at this farm you could watch the huge presses squeezing out the juice from the apples and to top it off, you could also watch fresh donuts falling into the hot oil, dusted with cinnamon – and eaten with, of course, hot apple cider. Oh yum! Happy Weekend to all!

  22. After a week of WFF withdrawal while away, I have just quickly read (and will reread) the past weeks posts and comments. Wow! Another week of such rich sharing. My journal is open and I am writing away! All five posts seemed to be saying, “read me, Kathye, this will help you”. Reevaluating relationships, letting go, paying attention, being fully present, radiating who we really are, loving ourselves…it just doesn’t get any better than Mary’s blog! You are all a daily prayer, a big bowl of ice cream, a favorite song, and a good book all rolled into one! And a big hello hug to Cynthia and Carol E.!

  23. I check in on the weekends also. Could be a new comment? Could get a new insight after re-reading a post? Could just bask in the warmth of the group? Could just feel connected? Hope everyone is having a pleasant weekend. Take care. See you next week.

    • 9:30 p.m. Arizona time Mary Solomon! Just got back from having dinner with my son at his house – just had to check in here at WFF! So here’s a hug your way, and to anyone else checking in late night! Glad you’re back Kathye, and renewed welcomes to Cynthia and Carol E!

  24. Thanks Kathye and Susan…I also check in to catch new comments for a few days after each post. I am still catching up from the beginning of Mary’s blog and have read every comment every person has made from the beginning. I am so enjoying all of you. What a flock 🙂

  25. I have to share this story with the Flock! After Christmas last year a couple and their two dogs were on I80 going from Reno back to Utah. They had a roll-over accident outside Battle Mountain. The couple were airlifted to a hospital in Reno where the man died a few days later. One dog was found with the car and the other ran off into the sage brush. The woman was devastated of course at the loss of her spouse but not knowing what happened to Dooley (dog) was dreadful. A local group started looking for Dooley. Dog tracks in the mud were found but no Dooley. People came on horseback and with search dogs to join in the search. A week later animal body fragments were found which were thought to be Dooley so the search was stopped. Four weeks later someone reported seeing a dog at the accident site! The search was resumed. By this time Barbaraa (dog owner) was out of the hospital and even though she was still sore and healing she joined in the search. Dooley was spotted a few times but he was by this time in survival mode and ran from everyone (even Barbara) They could not get close to him so they put out cage traps in hopes of containing Dooley. The weather turned cold, it snowed and hopes of capturing him were growing dim. Dooley had been in the desert for 7 weeks now without food or water to speak of and no shelter. Then last night we got a call — Dooley had been found! Barbara managed to capture him and he is now home and malnourished but in pretty good shape otherwise. We have been praying for Dooley for almost 2 months now and our prayers have been answered! Yes!
    Never give up hope!

  26. How wonderful that the woman has Dooley to nurture and comfort at a time that must be difficult for her…to say nothing of the comfort Dooley will bring her. .

  27. Barbara (Dooley’s owner) put a note on Facebook today. Dooley put his head in her lap when they got in the car, he let out a big sigh and he calmed right down. He is home in Utah now and Barbara said he has settled right in just like nothing happened in the last 7 weeks at all. Dogs are marvelous creatures. We can all take lessons in adjustment from them! I am so very happy that this story had a positive ending! Thank you for your comments!

    • Thanks so much, JoAnne, for this addendum to Dooley’s story. It is the icing on the cake to get this follow-up and know that this sweet dog survived and is now home and safe and none the worse for his adventure. Dogs are just the best!

  28. Just wanted to say thanks for another brilliant post Mary. I am guilty of multi-tasking when on the phone and you’re right, the person doesn’t get my full attention, and I feel bad afterwards. No more, when the phone rings, all else shall stop. Thank you.

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