Find a place where you can be quiet with your thoughts. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for about five minutes, perhaps repeating a word or phrase to separate yourself from the activities of the day. When you feel settled and relaxed, think back to a time when you felt a strong sense of warm, supportive and perhaps even unconditional, love. Consider how this felt, to be held in love and encouraged to just be who you are—no strings attached. Was this time during your childhood? Was it part of a special friendship you experienced? Was it in relationship with another adult? In a beloved faith community? You may wish to close your eyes and think about this time in your life when you felt true love surround you, and dwell in it for a while. Then open your eyes and consider:
- What was it like to feel surrounded by love? Where did this love come from?
- What does it mean to grow up with a heritage of love? How might this affect a person's life?
- How can we help children internalize this notion of a heritage of love and what difference might it make for the shaping of their identities?