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In her monthly Meaningful Reflections column, Chaplain Kim Crawford Meeks pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Published Jan 31st, 2023

By Kim Crawford Meeks
Spiritual Care Manager

The day begins and ends with a look at ourselves. As we brush our teeth and perform the various tasks of self-care to get ready for the day, these are mostly performed in front of the mirror. As the sun rises, we prepare our faces for the day and inhale the breath of hope the new day offers. We should all try telling ourselves in the mirror each morning that “Love starts with me.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us that love begins within each individual person, and that we should strive to offer love regardless of what others are doing around us. Dr. King stated, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great of a burden to bear” and that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Unfortunately, the reflection in the mirror often becomes very crowded with the hateful things we hear, suffering we see, and pain we endure. We must not allow these shadows to block the light of the sun from our pathways.

When we allow ourselves to receive love and offer love, we are better equipped to realize the purpose and power in our lives. We spend our lives trying to figure out our purpose and feeling small and insignificant, yet the truth is that we share an incredible purpose. Regardless of family heritage, traditions, education, or job title, a shared purpose, in whatever position we are in, is to love others. We are not able to control the behaviors and decisions of others, but we are able to choose love for ourselves. Love encompasses such great power.

So often, we allow a veil to cover our faces and hearts, which shields our gifts and causes us fear that stops us from receiving love and offering love. Under the veil is a smile you may offer, a look of compassion, a nod of understanding, and these simple expressions demonstrate love. Under the veil there is courage to be kind when someone else may be rude. Under the veil there is a heart that wants to love and be loved. Under the veil there is you. Under the veil there is me. Love starts with you and me.

As we remove the veil and look in the mirror at the end of the day, there is great joy and blessing in being able to say “Today, love started with me.”

Love Starts with Me 

Love starts with me… 

Love starts outside of ourselves with a greater love than we could possibly comprehend.

To receive love from a higher power.

Love starts with love of self.

To know our individual gifts, strengths, and purposes.

Love starts with love of life.

To awaken each day to the opportunity to allow love more than yesterday.

Love starts with love of others.

To give love to all who have walked this journey before us, will walk beside us, and will walk ahead of us to lead the way.

Love starts with you and me.

May we be blessed in receiving love beyond what we are able to think or imagine, and may others always receive love from us.

Remembering the Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for us to love one another.

Patients, family members and USA Health associates are encouraged to call the Meaningful Reflections Line at 251-445-9016 for a daily recorded word of encouragement.

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