Love Your Brother For Yourself

My boyfriend has been attending a real estate industry blogging conference the last few days. He has been telling me about what he’s learned not only about blogging, but about the people he has met. He has been introduced to strangers standing in hallways and food lines, or sitting in a meeting room waiting for the next session to begin. He’s shared with me a common thread that often surfaces in these six to eight minute conversations amongst strangers. One story was about a big burly looking man with a heavy east coast accent. On the outside this man appeared as someone you definitely don’t want to mess with, yet when he shared with my boyfriend that he was going through a divorce, his presence morphed into one of a six-year old boy.

It seems that once the business at hand is acknowledged, there lies one thing that is so important to us all that it never leaves our hearts or our consciousness. We want to love and be loved. It’s no wonder when you think about it. We are love. We were created through the energy of love. We are connected by love. We are surrounded by love everywhere around us, even if it doesn’t look like our perception of love on the surface. Love that is hidden like this is actually a mask of pain.

How quickly we tend to come to the rescue of our sisters and brothers when we discover them in a state of physical pain. We’ll rush to the side of the road to call for help when we witness an accident or send our hard-earned cash to organizations providing aid to those in need. We wear our hearts on our sleeves when we see that others are in need, but we often hide our own neediness because we don’t want to appear different or less than perfect.

My point here is that we are really all the same. By being ourselves and coming forth with our own frailties, we give others the opportunity to fulfill our need to feel loved. And by giving our brothers the opportunity to give us love, we fulfill that need for them.

Try an experiment today if you will. Open your heart to a stranger or to a loved one and see what happens. See what you can do to reduce the pain in our world.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate the opportunity to share my heart with you.

My best,


Susan Hanshaw
Sanctuary for Change

Finding Love in the Mirror

Most of us value our own lives enough that we’ll do whatever we can to avoid death.  Yet how much of what we cherish is about a love for ourselves versus an attachment to life in general?

How many of us look into the mirror with only a critical eye?  Why is it that we tend to focus so much more on everything we aren’t than on the beautiful specimen of life that we are?  When was the last time you looked in the mirror and really took in the face that stares back at you or the eyes that are the windows to your soul?  Have you ever taken a close look at the lines on your face and traced them back to see that they were formed by the millions of times you’ve smiled or laughed throughout your life?

Slip into the bathroom sometime today, tonight or this weekend and close the door.  Look in the mirror and embrace who you are in the mirror.  Feel what it’s like to love yourself in those moment.   Feel the sweetness of life.

Thanks for visiting.

Wishing you love,

Susan Hanshaw

The Divine Matchmaker

It is a spectacular morning as I write this. The sky is clear blue and the air, blessed with warm sunshine, is carrying the smell of freshness in the slight breeze that is greeting me through the open windows. I feel so lucky to be alive. It’s times like this that I feel moved to reflect in awe about the magical nature of life. It’s magic because it is so perfect. I look at my own life with grateful wonder about how perfectly the pieces have all come together, even if it didn’t seem like it when they were in motion. And since we were all created equally, I have to imagine that your life has unfolded in the same way. After all, I don’t really think that the universe favors me.

The perfection that I feel particularly grateful for today is the gift of love that has been bestowed upon me. As I sit here thinking about it I wonder if this gift is a product of fate or the law of attraction. I know that it doesn’t really matter, yet it does make for a good debate over some key spiritual principles. You see, I’d been a dating gal for almost twelve years before I met Dean. I rode through this time first healing some deep scars that were left from a painful divorce and then trying to date with an open mind and a more evolved soul. Then as I became aware that my soul wanted more from me than sitting at my corporate desk, I began to sense that it also wanted me to cooperate before it would introduce me to Mr. Right. Although I continued to casually date an assortment of men, the idea stuck with me that I wouldn’t meet the right one until I settled a bit into my real life’s work. I don’t remember exactly when I first felt this. It just seemed to show up one day and it made sense.

I met Dean almost six months ago on Yahoo personals. I had dabbled on and off with those dating sites for a good three years, but this time I went in with a different attitude. Rather than it being an exercise of just going through the motions, this time I signed up with the belief that I could possibly meet a great man. Lesson #1: You have to believe that something is possible before it can become your reality.

I will never forget that first email that came over from Dean. It was the afternoon of New Year’s Eve and I was wrapping up business at my desk. Dean’s was one of about six profiles that I received in that delivery. Yet when I clicked on to his, I felt a burst of energy. And it wasn’t just because I thought he was cute. Lesson #2: Pay attention to your instincts.

I emailed him back and the rest is history unfolding. We are in the process of moving in together. I haven’t lived with anyone for twelve years so to say that this is a bit of an adjustment for me in an understatement.

I look at Dean as being a gift with intention from the universe. By that I mean that I can see all the reasons why he has come into my life at this time. It seems like the universe came through with what it knew would best support me to do the work I’m doing as well as provide me with a fun and loving companion to share the hours of life with. Lesson #3: The universe always provides you with what you need.

Sure, I had to wait for a long time to find a great love. Yet I suspect that I would have never pursued my calling had I been delightfully distracted by the companionship of love. I suppose the universe figured this out long before I did.  Lesson #4:  The universe knows better than you do about what is best for your higher good.

Thanks for visiting. I wish you an amazing journey.

Susan Hanshaw

secrets of a wedding officiant

Have you ever landed in a role that you didn’t consciously choose yourself yet it turned out to be one of the most valuable experiences in your life? I have. A few years ago I came to recognize that I was being drawn to perform ceremonies. So I got myself ordained as a non-denominational minister and now I am an active wedding officiant. Ten years ago if you told me I’d be doing this I would have laughed. Yet now I see the divine perfection of the universe in this little assignment of mine.

I’m going to come clean here by sharing that I have been a bit jaded about the idea of getting married. You see, I’ve been divorced twice. My second husband left me for another woman. You might say that it left me holding on to the limited belief that a wonderful man who wouldn’t run from commitment might be out there for me. So I find it pretty interesting that I now get up front and personal with couples who are about to be married. What’s the message here? I think the universe is playing with me.

I’ve learned a lot from the couples I’ve worked with. In numbers they’ve provided me with an intimate look at our culture. Individually they’ve shown me how I might change some of my own beliefs so that I can find true love, too. I’d like to share some understandings that have come to me through this work:

  1. It is possible to find the love of your life on the Internet.
  2. Most of us are afraid to cry in public.
  3. We all want to be loved and accepted.
  4. Nearly everybody lives together first.
  5. Hearts can be open-minded about race, religion and gender if you let them.
  6. Differences can be seen as balance.
  7. Your heart can know in an instant.
  8. Love can show up in a very different package than you expect.
  9. Friendship is the cement of the relationship.
  10. Men can be just as sentimental as women.
  11. Even the most bitter of exes can get along if they choose to.
  12. Love can come even to those who have lost hope.

If you’re in love right now, remember what it is that brought you together and say a prayer of gratitude for the gift that has come to you.  If you’re not, trust that it is all in divine timing.  Your turn will come.  And I bet it will be even better than you could imagine.

Thanks for visiting.

In peace and light,
Susan Hanshaw