Do you remember the ecstasy of a first love, when every thought was filled with your beloved? The Inner Life of Love tells that story. But the captivating relationship involves humanity and the Divine mind. It tells the tales of the turbulence of discovery and ecstasy of remembrance while living in love with God. The photos (by the author) create metaphoric avenues for contemplation, while the words express the surrenders and struggles of a sacred relationship.
The Inner Life of Love invites the reader to join in a treasure hunt, as an active participant in this search for bliss. The book is reminiscent of psalms of love and skirmishes with spiritual antagonists. But always, it calls the reader back to consider love and compassion.
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The Inner Life of Love
By P.J. Pennington
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 P.J. Pennington
All rights reserved.
Living in Love
I open my heart to be filled
With the love of God to overflowing.
May all people
Experience God's abundance.
In You I Exist
In You, O God, I have my being
I have nothing except you.
All love flows from you.
All sadness is consoled by you.
You clothe me in your righteous love.
You wrap me in your mercy.
I am dead, but you restore my life.
My joy exists in you alone.
When I am weary,
I lay my head upon your breast
And hear your heart which beats within me.
Your love restores my strength.
One day, when I am finished,
My travels through this land fulfilled,
I shall climb upon my boat
And row upon the sea of love.
The Clothes I Wear
These clothes I wear
Do not define me.
The qualities of my being
Shine through my speech and actions.
You may look at my skin, my hair, and my eyes
And think you know me.
You see that I am not part of your tribe.
And yet, I am not what I look like.
I am so much more.
You place labels that separate us from one another.
I am you. You are me.
We are one.
We love the same God.
There is no other god but God.
Nothing else exists but God.
There is ONLY ONE GOD!
Who is this Beloved One?
Who is the Cherished One that speaks to my heart,
With a deep longing to be known?
In the intimacy which only lovers share,
We are bound together through time and space.
She dwells within my heart,
And I abide in Hers.
No one understands me like my Beloved.
His essence lies with me.
My very essence is His.
Who is my Beloved?
If you do not know this Treasured One,
I can only try to describe the Light of my soul.
How can I find words to describe this love?
Everywhere I look
I see the face of my Eternal Lover.
Awaken My Beloved
Awaken my beloved. Do not slumber.
I am jealous for every moment with you.
Be not so busy with preparations that
Your eyes become clouded and heavy.
Do not sweep the floors.
But sweep away the cobwebs from your heart.
Awaken my beloved for I am calling.
Awaken! O awaken my beloved
To find me waiting for you!
I am the One your heart searches for.
I am here with you.
Awaken to the great love
Which swells through your being.
Awaken to the union between us.
Together our love flows toward new beginnings.
He is my only love
For all that exists is Him.
He is my source of joy.
There is no joy but Him.
In Him is strength to walk in this world.
There is no other Source of strength.
Because I am His, I reveal His mercy.
Because I am His, I demonstrate compassion.
Because I am His, I am His love.
His love is everything and I am His.
I partake of His abundance
Within the sweetness of His love.
My heart is eagerly open
To know all that He is.
My joy cannot be contained.
I speak his name and I am transported
To a love beyond imagination.
He speaks my name and we are ONE.
O God, my Beloved
Let my heart be not confused by man's thoughts.
But may my thoughts be your thoughts;
And my heart be yours.
Let my feet walk the path of righteousness.
When I call to you, hear me.
When I reach toward you,
Incline toward me.
You are closer than my heartbeat
Your breath is life to me.
Your love gives me purpose.
You are nearer to me than any other.
O God my Beloved
You are my joy and
I am yours.
In God's great love, my heart soars like an eagle.
I am lifted up by the breath of God.
Hidden in the mountain of His love is a knowledge that sets me free.
I am wholly yielded to God's will. And in that surrender
I am freed from bondage,
Enjoined by peace.
There is so much more.
The words, which are true,
Might say one thing,
But if you look inside your heart
You will find a deeper truth.
Who is the one who speaks from within?
Who is the one you argue with,
When trying to justify your attitude?
Who is it that answers you with love?
Who is it that knows so much, much more,
Than what you think?
Tell me of the boundaries of the universe.
There is so much more.
There is one who lives within
And yet cannot be contained,
Whose thoughts created the reality
Of what you truly are.
To See the Face of God
Much of my life was spent in loneliness.
It was not until I realized I am never alone,
That I discovered the faces of God all around me.
Looking in the mirror I see,
The face of God is staring back at me.
The man begging on the street corner,
Is perhaps an angel, encouraging my better nature.
The woman in the grocery store,
Yelling at her child
Could be a wounded version of me.
The old woman sitting alone in her room
That feels as if no one sees her,
Has forgotten her true identity.
The teacher, selflessly offering her life
For children, not her own, is God's.
Loneliness occurs when I forget
That God dwells within me.
He is closer than my thoughts.
And I am loved.
All of this too, will fade from view.
All will become a meager memory within the mind.
What will remain?
That which always was; the Origin, the Source.
In my dream
I see another world.
Where nothing is impossible
And I am invincible.
If I hold onto it really tightly
Can I make this life last longer?
Can I keep my soul within this vessel?
Can I live here forever?
Would I really want to?
What does this world hold for me
That is more beautiful than being with God?
Not even your embrace, my love,
Can hold me here when God calls my name.
I Am Home
I searched for you
Though you were never lost.
I thought I lost my way.
But you always knew exactly where I was.
I thought perhaps I was looking in the wrong place.
You were in every place.
I thought I needed to have a different practice.
You were in every practice.
I thought that perhaps I wasn't praying right.
You heard every prayer.
I thought perhaps I couldn't know until I died.
I had only to live, to open my eyes and see.
I can know the One who knows me.
My home lives within me.
I am home.
O my beloved,
I know that I do not always walk this path
I know that sometimes, in ignorance
I fall short.
I trust that in your mercy and love,
You will forgive my inadequacies.
I know that you will teach me to be the person
I am meant to be.
Because of your tender mercies and great love
I continue to rest into your guidance in order
To know you.
You are the one who holds my soul in your hands,
And my love.
You it is, that moves me.
I long to be an example of your love.
Help me to rest in you.
It is you who teaches me
To continuously express your mercy.
Behold the Shadow Self
Those parts of me which I think no one sees,
Follow me around as shadows.
Sometimes I am the only one
That doesn't see
My wounded, judgmental, or angry self.
I try to hide my sensitivity
Thinking myself safe,
Because no one knows the real me.
When I am unwilling to appreciate
The whole of me;
Perceiving myself too flawed
To be loveable,
I deny the immeasurable love of God.
The Fountain of Peace
Let me drink deeply of His love
Let my thirst be quenched with peace.
Let me walk in the path of joy, which is
Defined by compassion and mercy.
I am refreshed.
I am at peace.
I surrender to the cleansing of my soul.
His love will motivate my actions.
There was a time when my world closed in on me.
All that I could see was pain, sadness, fear and darkness.
Once the light penetrated the darkness
The dimness began to lose its power to conceal.
As the light grows in intensity from within
The shadows disappear.
What remains is what was always there:
Love, without boundaries, without measure;
Whole and complete, God within.
The causes of sadness and fear
Are seen for what they really are:
Illusion and misconceptions
God's love brings me out of the shadows
Of gloom and pain,
Into the light of his tenderness and mercy.
Sometimes, it seems that life comes at me
I can't find my way to the light.
All around me is darkness and despair.
While I know with some part of me
That God has not forgotten me,
I have forgotten what His voice
Of compassion and grace sound like.
God has not changed.
There is none greater.
God can bring me through the fire.
While the flames dance around me,
I will still give praises to the One
That is greatest.
And if the flames take my life
Let me die trusting in His deliverance;
Fully conscious of His love.
I take refuge in God the Generous,
The Protector of my soul,
And the supplier of great mercy.
How can you possibly forgive me?
I have been so bull-headed.
And yet, there you are before me,
Open armed so to speak,
Treating me with infinite love and mercy.
My heart is moved toward you
And you engulf me in your love.
I am free!
I surrender all that I have
And all that I am.
From the depths of my heart
To the superficiality of my possessions,
Nothing is mine.
How can I even begin to consider
That I have anything else but you.
My possessions are less than dust.
There is nothing that shall keep me
From your great and expansive love.
Only you exist.
I am nothing without you.
When I behold your beauty
I am transfixed.
I want to open to your enduring love.
You continually beseech me
To follow you.
I have never trusted any
As I trust you, and yet
I am afraid to lose myself.
Your invitation pleads with me
To open myself to your tenderness.
Your supplications to yield to your affections
Pull at my heart.
If I give myself to you completely
What will remain of me?
Your passionate declarations come to me
Even in my sleep.
Your love gives my life purpose.
I can resist you no longer.
We will be one and revel in the glories of our devotion.
Our passions shall fill the universe,
And in my complete surrender to your affections,
You surrender also to mine and we are one.
I am fulfilled. I am at peace. No one else exists
Why do I come to you in prayer?
Is it for you to understand me?
Or is it for me?
Why do I pour out my heart in supplication?
Why do I wash my outer self? Why fast?
Do you need for me to cease my self-indulgences?
Does it change one thing about your love for me?
You know my sentiments before
I lay them before you.
What must be cleansed is my heart,
And anything that steals my love away from you.
Reciting holy words is not for your sake,
But to remind me that you are ever near.
You are the compassionate one.
I deny myself that I might be compassion
For those who enjoy little.
We are one.
The outward expressions must be
Symbolic of remembrance and opening within.
My heart cries out to be more fully yours.
That all your beautiful qualities may be mine.
My Safe Haven
Past conversations, playing in my head,
Filled with negativity and anxiety
Are met with love and mercy.
God is everything and greater than my memories.
I will offer myself the same compassion
And encouragement that I give to others.
God is greater than my anxiety.
When I am afraid,
I will run with all of my heart
To the only one who can rescue and protect me
From my imaginings.
The lover of my soul is closer than my breath
And will never leave me without help.
God is greater than my fears.
When I am doubtful
Wandering through my life,
Feeling as though I have no course in mind:
As if there is no plan or relief,
I will fall into my heart to find the one,
Who knows what is best for me.
God is there,
Always as near to me as my heart itself.
The winding staircase inside of a lighthouse
Where each step is illuminated,
Leads toward the light which shines brightest.
This light can penetrate even the darkest night
It shines in the midst of a storm
To light the way to safety and peace.
It is the light by which I set my course.
The Dark Night of the Soul
I have heard that the "dark night of the soul"
Can descend like a curtain.
It is a time for your personal battle
Against doubts, fears, anger,
Or anything else that stands
Between you and the Lover of your soul.
It is the time to sort out the past
From the present,
A time to discern who you truly are.
Do not run in fear,
But treasure the time of discovery.
When the darkness is so deep
That you can scarce see your foot
Let alone, know where to put it,
Light returns, ever so gently at first.
As time progresses,
The light will ever increase,
Until you see that hope and love
Are what guide your path.
Mercy and compassion are ever your companions.
Such that when there is darkness
All around you, once again
The light from within will illuminate your path
The Light Within
When you look at me, you may see
An outer package which is unremarkable.
But deep within me, is
Something far greater than can be seen
With simple physical eyes.
Deep within, is a priceless jewel,
A light that the whole of the universe
Could not contain.
Within that light is endless love and mercy;
Endless compassion, forgiveness and grace.
You are my brother and sister.
We are progeny of the same parent.
The light that burns within me, is in you.
That great lover of our souls
Asks only that we return the love,
Not only to the source of all love,
But to the objects of that love.
Loving you is loving me is loving God within.
When all that is temporary disappears
That which is eternal will remain.
The source of all light and love:
The Creator is eternal.
We are one with the eternal ONE.
Draw near O Beloved.
Here am I my lover
Let me whisper words of love to you.
My heart receives you willingly.
Set aside all thoughts of other loves.
In you I delight.
Let our hearts beat as one.
Only you exist
You are mine and I am yours.
Nothing can stand between us.
I am totally surrendered to your love.
There is none whose love can match mine.
I knew not the meaning of love until I knew yours.
You will not be disappointed, O my dear one.
O my God, satisfy this thirst
Which only you can slake.
Grant me the peace
Which only you can supply.
Lift me up.
Let me drink deeply
Of your love, your mercy,
And your peace.
I am filled with your light
Which will never be extinguished,
Let me rest in the security of your protection.
It is your tender mercy that keeps me.
It is your love
That lifts me up.
I am drinking in your love.
Nothing else can quench my thirst.
Blessed Are They
It is easy to be kind to someone who loves you.
Be kind when someone is screaming at you.
Love the one who hates you.
A wounded animal bites.
Do not take it personally.
It is easy to give from your abundance.
Give then when you have little.
Generosity means something more then.
And what about giving to the person in need,
Who does not say thank you?
Are you giving for the "thanks"?
Or because it is the right thing to do?
How would you want to be treated?
Do not think too much of yourself.
You are no more or less than your neighbor.
Treat each person
As if God were wearing their skin
Regardless of how they behave.
Anyone can make war.
Be a peacemaker.
Hearts will open to you.
Excerpted from The Inner Life of Love by P.J. Pennington. Copyright © 2014 P.J. Pennington. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Living in Love, 8,
In You I Exist, 9,
The Clothes I Wear, 10,
Awaken My Beloved, 13,
My Love, 14,
To See the Face of God, 20,
I Am Home, 22,
My Prayer, 23,
Behold the Shadow Self, 24,
The Fountain of Peace, 25,
Shadows Disappear, 26,
My Hope, 27,
My Beloved, 30,
My Safe Haven, 32,
The Lighthouse, 33,
The Dark Night of the Soul, 34,
The Light Within, 36,
Draw Near, 37,
I Thirst, 38,
Blessed Are They, 39,
When I Am Afraid, 41,
Seeing Beyond Illusion, 42,
The Generosity of God, 43,
Food for Thought, 44,
Thank You God, 45,
I Have Judged You, 46,
A Mirror Image, 48,
An End to Selfishness, 49,
Return to Me, 50,
Moving Toward Life, 53,
From Deep Within, 54,
In The Mind of God, 55,
Looking Within, 56,
How Time Flies, 57,
May the Peace of God Be Within You, 58,
The Path, 61,
God is Love, 62,
Walking Among Giants, 64,
Stuff and Commentary, 65,
Can We Talk?, 66,
According to Your Will, 67,
From A Mother's Heart, 68,
Seasons of Loving, 70,
I Am a Child of God, 72,
The Treasure Hunt, 76,
Butterfly Wings, 77,
My Name is Joy, 78,