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Push Beyond

Posted by Deborah Neisel-Sanders // February 2nd 2014 // 30 Days of Love // one comment

DAY 16: Practicing Radical Love

30DoL_16_Open-HeartOpen Heart

In our denomination we talk a lot about love.  Lately, we’ve been using the term “radical love.”  Sounds like it’s right up our UU alley, but what does it actually mean?

Today’s 30 Days of Love post describes it as encouraging each other, and ourselves, to stand on the side of love in ways that aren’t easy. When we practice radical love, we push past our comfort zone and strive to practice a love that truly encompasses all.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t really think of myself as someone who seeks out challenges – I’m pretty self-indulgent, and if there’s an easy path I like to take it.  But I don’t think the people who know me best think of me that way.

From the time I came out as a lesbian in the 1970’s, I have been crossing societal boundaries about love and challenging everyone in my life to come along. When my mom warily told my conservative grandmother about my recent relationship with someone who is transgender, my grandmother wisely if ruefully said, “I think Deborah’s role in our family is to keep all our hearts open.”

That’s the great thing about radical love – it’s not just your challenge, it provides the same challenge to everyone whose lives you touch.  I never considered myself that way, because I was just busy knowing that there was something to love in everyone and then looking for it, but by doing that I challenged those around me, essentially saying: “This person is important and you are going to open your heart and find that out.”

Challenging ourselves to engage in greater radical love takes a lot of intentional courage. I know there are ways I could push past my own “comfort zone” and learn more about how to be more inclusively open and loving and I’ll be talking about that today with the people in my life.  What are some of the simple, accessible ways you could do that too?  Share your ideas, as well as your fears and hesitations, in the comments here!

About the Author

Deborah Neisel-Sanders is the Office Administrator for the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. She can be reached at dsanders@uua.org.
One Response to “Push Beyond”
  1. Audra says:

    Loved this post — it’s been really wonderful reading about how to be radically loving. It is so easier to throw up walls but this is more fulfilling.

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