“The characteristic of the blessed ones is that, wherever they go, they always speak words of blessings. It is remarkable how easy it is to bless others, to speak good things to and about them, to call forth their beauty and truth, when you yourself are in touch with your own blessedness… the voice that calls us the Beloved will give us words to bless others and reveal to them that they are no less blessed than we.” -Henri Nowen 

Henri Nowen is one of my favorite authors and this quote from Life of the Beloved is one of my favorites. This quote speaks a simple but profound truth that has been turning my life upside down. In order to fully love others, I need to discover my identity as God’s Beloved.

As an immense perfectionist, I tend to be very self critical and harsh in the way I view myself. I’ve always thought that I could be hard on myself and at the same time graciously love others. However, I’m learning that this is just not the case. There is a direct correlation between the way I view myself and the way that I love others.

In order to show authentic kindness to others, I must be kind to myself.

In order to extend grace to others, I must fully experience and be transformed by God’s grace.

In order to act compassionately, I must practice self-compassion.

In order to fully delight in others, I must be confident that God delights in me.

In order to affirm the uniqueness in others, I must see my own uniqueness as a gift to be shared.

And in order to truly love the people around me, I must know at the core of my being that I am God’s Beloved.


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