Beginning of Love

Beginning of Love

Photo Credit: Kevin Delvecchio on Unsplash

By Joan Kelley

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”
― Thomas Merton

Loving with pure intentions and right perspectives is no small task.  Seeing others as God sees them is a daily challenge.  And it is the beginning of love.  It starts with opening our eyes to fully see people for who they are and not our flawed reflection. It starts with opening our hands from the hard squeeze we have on the image of others in our lives. It starts with opening our hearts to the beauty found right before us in those people God puts on our path each day.

  • How might God be challenging you as you read the Merton quote?
  • Who comes to mind?
  • How might you open your eyes, your hands, your heart to those people?





If you have already benefited from knowing your Enneagram type and you are ready to learn more about how the tool can help you grow spiritually, join us for a one day live workshop in South Barrington, IL focusing on the harmony triads.

Learn more here:
“Enneagram: Pathways to Freedom for your Soul and Story” Workshop
June 27, 2018 • South Barrington, IL


Here’s a free audio recording on why you may want to engage with the Enneagram as a spiritual growth tool:



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By |2018-06-18T12:55:21+00:00June 26, 2018|Categories: Life-Giving Rhythms, Spiritual Practice|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Joan Kelley is the Director of Facilitator Development for oneLifemaps and a facilitator and teacher using the “Listen to My Life: Maps for Recognizing and Responding to God in My Story,” a visual workbook to be used in small groups, mentoring relationships, workshops, retreats, classes, between spiritual friends, or individually to re-discover the storyline of the life they are authoring with God. More information is available at or Email Joan Joan is also co-founder of a ministry called Sacred. ( that helps people set apart space to be with God at guided solitude retreats. Joan also teaches a spiritual formation class on Thursday mornings at Willow Creek Community Church.

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