Only Love Flows

This may be the most Most Personal and Private Thing that I have ever shared in a blog. It ‘s about that thin veil between the probable and the improbable. The veil that is only occasionally pierced. It’s about my sister’s suicide, which always seemed too big to write. It’s about the Woo (as in “Woo Woo,” or The Big Mystery).

And it’s about the truth of this world, as I have come to experience it: the incredible Sea of Love that holds us all, no matter what.

My sister Cathy was 42 when she took her life. Twenty years later I’m still not much closer to understanding the complexity of her inner torment.  It’s still behind a curtain, as it was when I watched the long, chronic sadness and clinical detachment take her down.

It’s a story I haven’t particularly wanted to revisit. A Russian novel in itself. From the War of fighting her sadness all the way to an ultimate Peace, which was there, unnoticed, all along.

Here’s the Woo Woo part. Shortly after my sister’s funeral my sister-in-law experienced my sister’s presence in the dining room with her as she was working on some paperwork for her job as a realtor. She heard her say that she should write down some specific advice for each of us in the family. Each message contained details that only my sister would know.

Cathy thanked me very much for all the inspirational books I had sent her over the last two years. Apparently her spirit was just as polite as she always was in life.

And then, at the bottom, scrawled on the back of the contract, one thought for all of us.

Only Love Flows.

There’s more to the story, more confirmation of the big Mystery at hand. But what stuck with me was the unusual wording. I’ve been sitting with these words for years, wondering where they came from. Not from the books and tapes I had loaned her. I was pretty sure of that. Later, I looked them up on Google. Nope. Utterly original.

Only Love Flows?

I remembered the week before her death when we had the only fight I remember having with her. It was a quiet, pouting fight. I had insisted that love carried with it some obligation. I stubbornly refused to give her the permission or blessing that she wanted from me, arguing that it wasn’t up to me to give the permission to take her life. We sat in different rows in the theater.

A week after she died, as I was dropping into sleep, I asked forgiveness in my heart and she gave me a dimpled nod in a dream. I knew then it was okay and have never felt anything was left undone between us.

Gradually I’ve come to see that, for her, the obligation of staying in her private hell was nowhere near loving. It was a cesspool with no flow.

Only Love flows?

Ever since, I’ve seen it as my own personal puzzle, my own personal challenge to live into those words. So many other questions have emerged from that.

If love isn’t personal, carrying a personal obligation, then how do I connect with that flowing kind of love?

I gradually came to realize that living with these words would kinda change…the everything of how I live, basically.

Over the years I’ve remembered the words often, and when I remember them, life is more effortless.  And then I forget and try once again to tie obligation to love.

Now, more than twenty years later, I feel like I’ve begun to learn the difference between commitment and obligation.

I have experienced the powerful flow of the spirit of love showing me where to go.

At least most of the time. And when I remember, I don’t have to make anything happen. It seems to happen through me. When I tap into this flow, it carries me.


Checking for the “flow” has become a way of living for me. I think of life energy, like love itself, as a flow. Where there is ease, like water flowing around rocks, I choose that. When I don’t, it’s usually a mistake. And I’ve been known to make a few.

Apply this image to your life and notice. Where have you tied obligation to love? What has happened to the flow? Where is the flow of your own creative knowing showing you the way?

3 Responses to “Only Love Flows”

  1. Anne Gordon

    Susan Grace, this has deeply touched me. Speechless really, for how this has been living in you over so many years. Three simple words: “Only Love Flows.” Such a profound puzzle and yet so simple that a child wouldn’t have a problem getting it. Embodying flow as a way of living is a beautiful idea and one to live into. This is my hope for myself as well. Thank you for sharing your sister’s message with me. How your sister has shown you the way is pure love.

  2. Barb

    Your words have been on my mind and in my heart these last few days. I’ve found myself saying “Only love flows” often, and pondering what those words mean for me and for my work. They have helped me clarify my purpose. Thank you.


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