happy holidays from the center for the development of the person


“If we did not have our wounds to heal and we only had the Beauty of Life, we would become static and immobile in the ephemeral enjoyment of Beauty” – Antonio Mercurio

Here we are, in the holiday season, and at the end of yet another year with the beginning of a new one just around the corner!

I have been thinking a lot, recently, about love, and hate.

Of course, with the things that are happening around the world, the violence and the hunger and the warming earth, it can be easy to get caught up in thinking that we are never going to get this right, and that we are doomed to destroy ourselves, each other, and this beautiful and delicate globe we call our home.

But then ….. I manage to step back a moment, and remember where I have come from, and look at the progress that others I know are making as well, and I can see that there is much more to all of this than meets the eye.

There is nothing more challenging, and yet more moving and wonderful, than delving into our very lives, with all our wounds, and pain, and loss, and deciding to transform all of that darkness into love, beauty and new creativity.

Every time we manage to shift our focus from resentment to forgiveness (which does not, necessarily, mean reconciliation – the transformation must happen on both sides for that to happen, when too much pain has been caused – but we can forgive, and let go of the pain, hatred and self-justifiable anger); from the need to retaliate or obtain justice to a desire to activate our ability to create beauty in even the most difficult of situations, we are releasing precious energy into our own lives, into the lives of others, and into the Whole of which we are each a single cell.

The more of us that choose to truly experience this, and activate this type of existential Art within their own beings and their own lives, the more we can contribute to the transformative process that Life has entrusted to us as a species.

This is, in essence, what is captured in the affirmation “Amo, ergo sum” – I love, therefore I am: as Antonio Mercurio has so eloquently pointed out, the ability to create love and beauty is both a great gift, and a great task assigned to us. While we must use our ability to think (“Cogito ergo sum”), to use our higher mind, as Descartes declaimed centuries ago, ushering in a new (and most certainly necessary) era of rationality, the time now has come to activate our hearts, in concert with our minds.

Only our hearts can bring us to the kind of deep integration that can heal our own wounds and further the healing process in the entire species.

It is my sincere hope that we can all open our hearts – and our minds – this season, and realize that we are not each others’ enemies, no matter where we are from, what religion we profess, which political party we adhere to, or how much money or education we have, or don’t have: we are each one of us human beings, here to learn to love our own lives and see them for the gift that they are, and work together to create ever new levels of love and beauty.

My best to all, and may each one of us come to know how truly loved and precious we truly are, because when we discover that, and truly understand it, we discover the same thing is true of every other Life

That is when Peace on Earth becomes possible, as it begins within each one of us.

Martha's Signature

764px-La_Vierge,_l'Enfant_Jésus_et_sainte_Anne,_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_retouched Leonardo da Vinci, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne

As Antonio Mercurio pointed out to me a few years ago, this painting shows beautifully what a gaze of love is, from mother to daughter to son/grandson (even above and beyond the purely Christian connotation).

I look at it often (I have a print of it in my office), and I show it to my clients, to remember to gaze upon ourselves with that kind of love. When we can love ourselves freely and responsibly (free from our conditioning and from commitments made from obligation), we can love others with truth and authenticity, and also open ourselves to receive love in a healthy, balanced way.