Love Letter #99: A Tribute to Unconditional Love & Courage

I want to share this incredible love story with you but trust me, it’s not your typical love story.

Yesterday, we honored the life of a truly amazing woman, Erica Parrillo. Honestly, her life was a love story; a romance with life in its purest form.

Erica was diagnosed with Alexander’s disease as a young girl—a degenerative illness with no cure. She departed from this world on March 27th at the age of 34.

I got to know Erica through our spiritual community, and she was not just a friend but a beacon of unconditional love for many of us. She had this incredible ability to love and accept everyone, with no exceptions.

It’s like she knew from the start that her time here would be short, so she poured out all the love she possibly could, making every moment count. 

Despite the challenges and hardships she faced, Erica never harbored anger or resentment. She was here to spread love, regardless of her physical limitations.

Lisa, who was not only Erica’s best friend but also a friend to all of us, spoke about the true meaning of legacy at the Celebration of Life Service. She asked us to look around at the packed sanctuary and see how many lives Erica had touched. Love was her legacy, and maybe that’s the most meaningful legacy any of us can leave behind.

Reflecting on the Erica I knew, I’m reminded that we all have the capacity for love, just like she did. We are born from love, and love is our true nature, a unique expression of the Divine.

This Rumi quote comes to mind: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

We are already the love we seek; we just need to recognize and embrace it.

I’ve been thinking about the times when I’ve put up walls, resisting or withholding love to protect myself from getting hurt. But as Ernest Holmes said, “If God is for us, then no one and nothing can be against us.” 

There’s nothing to fear or protect myself from when I can see and remove the barriers I’ve created against love.

So many of us, myself included, have learned to guard our hearts against the world’s hardships, but at what price? We are all interconnected, part of the same divine essence.

Today, I encourage all of us to let down our guards. Notice when you’re resisting, withholding, or withdrawing love. It might feel like someone or something else is causing that tension, but in reality, we’re the ones creating those barriers within ourselves. Only we have the power to turn inward, identify the barriers, and remove them.

When Erica transitioned, there was profound sadness for losing such a radiant soul, but also a collective sigh of relief. It took incredible courage and love for Erica to live the way she did, and now she’s moved on, carried by love to wherever she’s meant to go next.

We all have the power to shine our light unapologetically, to be the love that we are without holding back. Erica’s life is a reminder that love is our true essence, and when we embrace it fully, we not only enrich our own lives but also touch the lives of everyone around us.

Let’s celebrate Erica’s legacy by living our lives as a testament to the power of love, embracing our true nature, and shining our light brightly, without apology. Because in the end, love is all that matters, and it’s what connects us all in the beautiful tapestry of life.

With love,

Step into self-love, release self-doubt and criticism, and leave a legacy of unconditional love for yourself, and those around you. If this resonates with you, let’s have a conversation!

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