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I look around the world and I see pain. Syrian Refugees holding their young children without a warm place to rest their head, mass bombings in public spaces, hatred, bullying, and fear. Recently I came across a quote that made me stop in my tracks.

“Later that night, I held an atlas in my lap, ran my fingers across the whole world and whispered where does it hurt?

It answered.

Everywhere.

Everywhere.

Everywhere.” –Warsan Shire

“And then I whispered What can I do?

Love.

Love.

Love.” –Glennon Melton

Love is the answer that returns me to the purest place in my soul when I find myself numb with sadness and fear. I firmly believe that in order to give love, you must first know that you are loved beyond anything you could possibly imagine. When I start to doubt how much I am loved I think of this powerful statement, God loves you more in a moment than anyone can in a lifetime. Just in case the chaos of the end of the semester, the looming exams, and worldwide violence has caused you to forget about love, here my love letter to you:

Dear beautiful friend,

Take a moment to breathe. I know you have been so busy. I know life is sending you in a million different directions. Be still for a moment and remember, life is not a rush, it is a gift. Do not worry about the challenges and pressures that are up ahead, it is oh so easy to dwell on that. Instead, take a minute this Advent season to slow down and sit quietly in God’s presence. Gaze up at the stars, give a giant hug to a friend, share a meal with a beloved family member. Take time to allow yourself feel God’s unstoppable, never-ending love. You are God’s creation, full of divine potential and pure magic.  You have the capacity for so much love and you are SO worthy of love. Allow love to manifest and grow within your heart.

Nelson Mandela said, “Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” My hope for the future is love. Let’s share stories of God’s love—a love that never ends and will be a constant through all the chaos of life. Fear and love can’t live in the same house. When we chose to live in fear we are unconsciously shutting out all the love that God longs for us to feel. Love is fuel for our soul. Share that love with yourself first. When you feel full of goodness, grace, worthiness, and love, go out into the world and share that love with those around you.

ABBoardKaitlin McGeeney is a member of the Alternative Breaks Board. You can be sure that you if you are in her presence, you will smile, and you will leave feel happier than you came.