by Rev. Elizabeth Rowley Hogue

The dictionary defines relationship as how two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected. The most important relationships we have are the relationship with ourselves and the God of our understanding. The God of my understanding is my highest or innermost Self, and the Self within all selves. We are each a container, vessel, or conduit of this loving presence.

••KEEP••Rev. Rowley BW
Rev. Elizabeth Rowley is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at

We are like stained glass windows, with the light of the Divine shining through in a pattern unique to us. Our task is to let Spirit’s magnificent, radiant goodness shine through.


Comparing ourselves to others never works because others don’t have the same unique pattern as us. Besides, as Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of all joy.” Spirit wants to shine through you and will continue lovingly nudging you from the inside, beckoning you to step more fully into the light of who you are. It wants to know itself in a particular way through each of us.

When we get right with the relationship with ourselves, we effortlessly get right with Spirit.

Spirit is an indwelling presence; I have a personal relationship with that aspect of the Divine. It’s also as eternal and vast as the space that spans beyond the myriad universes. Infinite! I have a relationship with that aspect of the presence, too. It’s an energetic vibration so mighty and magnificent it cannot be contained by only me. I feel it in the cool breeze on my cheek, the gentle kiss of the warm sun, and the first sip of coffee in the morning. I see it in the significant scientific and technological developments in the world. I witness it through loving kindness, beauty, music, and more.

Paying attention to this presence, I am always guided and know what to do, when, and how to do it. Spirit loves and accepts us unconditionally; it also wants us to love and welcome all aspects of ourselves without condition. This loving presence invites us to express appreciation for all of life, especially ourselves. It beckons us to remember our value, self-worth, and how deserving we are simply because of our presence on the planet at this time. Who or what in your life might you show appreciation for that you haven’t lately or haven’t ever?

Attention, acceptance, and appreciation cultivate our ability to feel cared for by the warm, safe, magnetic, and loving presence of the Spirit. One of my teachers suggested I develop an affectionate awareness of myself and all of life. Imagine moving through the world with great care and a warm presence, creating a safe space that is inviting and open at the top. In this space, there is non-resistance, allowing life to be as it is while knowing I am a mighty and magnificent creative being, consistently compelled to be all that I came here to be. It’s a practice and a love offering to all.

And so it is.