“Love is the most radically subversive activism of all, the only thing that ever changed anyone.”

Ann Voscamp

Voscamp takes a very forceful voice with her language here, so I thought we might have a little “etymology adventure” with three of her words.

First, we have “radically” which comes from “radix”, Latin for “root”.

Then the word “subversive” (that which undermines an established system)…stemming from two more Latin roots.

“Sub”: beneath

“Vertere”: to turn

Then finally “activism”

From Latin again

“Actus”: “event”, or “a thing done”

(And here, I am moved to Pause just a moment to express deepest gratitude to my father who taught me as a child to love words and their sources. He, and his love for words, lives on in my own learning, reading and writing to this day! Gratias ad te, Pater meus…amo te.)

Back to class now!

So with Voscamp’s quote we’re being pushed strongly to look at the roots, the underside…

Where it may be a bit darker

And harder to get to things…

Those roots we don’t see

Often don’t acknowledge

But that nevertheless “feed” what is growing and reflected above ground for each of us.


Now wait! Don’t back away quite yet…

We’re just going to dig just a little more, to keep us going.


Even though “subversive” is often used with a negative connotation, we can Pause to change even that outlook, by asking:

“How could Love be a positive subversive force today…for me?”

Will I use it to undermine some “established system” stuck within myself?

Would I begin to dig around and loosen some resentment that comes from not receiving something I think I have a “right” to have?

Or shall I exhume some anger grown from a past wrong another has done?

Do I begin to extricate a belief that something “must be” exactly as I see it and can’t be changed?

And how about the “activism” of Love?

Well, that’s self-explanatory, because action implies movement


The possibility of change.

And yes, you know I am compelled to mention Responsibility here, because the only changes that we are in control of are those in our own hands.

If I see Love as something that constantly moves and shifts,

If I see Love as a choice I make in every moment?

The “turning beneath” unearthing part is not so sinister as at first glance…

Because it means I not only have the power to move;

I am also in charge of choosing to be WILLING to move.

To turn away (even a little)

From something that is keeping me locked down….


Where I, if I am being truthful, really don’t want to remain growing.

Love has the power to do that.

And the source is


In the moment.

That’s where we will start every time.


Love stops and notices and embraces ALL that comes along.

It is no High Judge.

It only receives

And is grateful for ALL.

Love lives IN the Pause.

By standing still

And strong

In its infinite peace…

It pulls ALL into its arms.

It says,

“You belong.

This belongs.

Everything you see




Whatever you can experience?


I can


Hold it all.”

Love changes everything

And everyone.

From beneath.


Radix amoris.


Pause today to notice how many of your senses can be involved in gratitude…

In acceptance of the present moment and what it is offering you.

Then notice what changes:

Within you?

And then beyond you?

Did your clenched stomach relax or your mental churning slow down just a bit?

Did the redness of a flower deepen and glow more intensely…or the clouds orchestrate a fabulous array of shapes just for you?

Did you notice the soft silkiness of your dog’s fur as you slowly stroked her head…and did you see an angel looking at you through her warm amber eyes?

Love is something we give…

And because of its profound quality of infinite reciprocity,

It is also something we are constantly receiving.

No matter what our current trials may be?

We will always find sources of gratitude right there before our eyes…

Patiently Waiting….

For us to Pause

And dig a little…

To find yet another Radix Amoris.

That shift?

The “unstuckness” we seek?

Is just a thought away.


Today, each time you reach out with Gratitude…

Watch how your Love becomes





And then ultimately…

Wondrously magnified.

4 thoughts on “Radix Amoris (The Root of Love)

  1. Excellent! I love this and it’s so very true. To realize that we have so many components to our structure, old, twisted roots of pain and in some cases above them, blooming flowers. The dichotomy is marvelous. Thank you! CW

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So good to hear from you this morning, Craig!

      Human resilience is truly a miraculous attribute to witness, especially as we take time to look back on our particular path…or that of another who bravely reveals their own story. That we can finally
      come to believe we DO have the choice, and therefore power(!), to plant seeds of forgiveness and gratitude (alternate “I.D.’s” of Love, if you will!)…
      THIS is the source of the flowers that will be showing up above ground.

      We CAN eradicate (“e”= out, “radix”=root) the further growth potential of a more painful/harmful root, and then SUPPLANT it with a new growth from a new root of Love:

      Pausing to notice is the first step!

      PS: Latin roots for “supplant”:

      “supplantare”= to trip up(!)…

      …further rooted from:

      “sub”=below, “planta”=sole of the foot.
      How’s THAT for a great image! I had no idea…and your comment helped me find that out!)

      Thank you for bringing your own flowers into your world…
      and also for leading me to this new “root” of knowledge in my own garden!🙏


    2. Ah Janelle this is so good, and there’s so much truth in it. I especially like what you’ve written in closing,
      “Today, each time you reach out with gratitude…watch how your love becomes
      radical, subversive, active, instantaneous, and then ultimately…wondrously magnified.” Just beautiful!


      1. Dear Dawn~
        Always a joy to open my inbox and see you have visited again! Your sharing helps me to reflect even more deeply on the immense power of gratitude…and we cannot be grateful unless we take a moment or two to do so! Thinking of someone you appreciate…and why.
        Noticing the stunning colors of a sunset and waiting a breath to ask “Why does this affect me?”…or even just immersing yourself in it for no reason other than it is reaching out to connect to you and that’s enough.
        The experiences we Pause for become radical and active…because their power is present in the Pause itself!
        Thank you for helping me to Pause yet again and go deeper yet, Dawn.
        Your presence is inspirational!💕😊


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