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Versions of Love

Sunday 17th September 2023

Jenny welcomed us with images of portaledges! How do we each view the concept of leaving behind our home comforts and excess baggage for pilgrimage?

Jay Shetty has written a book entitled 8 Rules of Love: How to Find it, Keep it, and Let It Go. In this clip, Jay shares a little about how we might begin to navigate the perception that love will arrive in our lives fully formed, alongside the reality of inevitable imperfection and conflict.

Clare began her first talk this morning with a scripture about love from The Message version of the bible:

“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. A fearful life is not one fully formed in love.” - 1 John 4:17-18 MSG

Clare introduces the idea of ‘versions of love’: we all use the word ‘love' but do we all mean the same thing? Each of us bring an understanding of love, formed over many years and experiences, to each one of our relationships. Which version of love currently has the run of your house?

In this well-known Abba Song, we hear talk of winners and losers in love. When versions of love become about who is winning or losing, perhaps we may have missed the point about how love becomes more fully formed in our lives.

In part two, Clare explores the important part that conflict may have to play in mature love. How do we learn to speak towards ourselves and others in loving ways and what might be the stumbling blocks we encounter on the way that we need to address?

“Every time one of you loses, you both lose. Every time the problem loses, you both win.” Jay Shetty.

In 2010 Marina Abramovic, a performance artist, engaged in a performance art piece called ‘the artist is present’. Over the space of 3 months, for 8 hours a day, she sat while people queued to sit opposite her, eyes locked in a minute of silence. One day, a former lover sits down opposite her. What happened next has been viewed 70 million times.

In Clare’s final talk she recalls an experience at a festival where she was encouraged to see someone else beyond her own internal voices, distraction and awkwardness. She invites us to consider how vulnerable we are each prepared to be.

Love says "I see you".

Clare mentions how indiscriminate nature shows itself to be in how it ‘behaves’. Perhaps similarly, we might seek to become an echo of Scott Peck’s version of love in The Road Less Travelled? – "The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth."

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