“When I am Frightened” (#1012) in Singing the Journey, our teal hymnal, is a hymn about vulnerability and relationship. Fears, troubles, loneliness–it covers a bunch of the less pleasant parts of our lives.  But it’s the second verse that resonates most with me. When I am angry, will you still embrace me? When I am thoughtless, will you understand? Every one of us has that fear that we are going to screw up and be cast out. And yet we still have tempers and quick tongues and we feel things so very deeply…there’s a real danger here. I was struck by this story  (warning-some peppery language!!) A woman's daughter lashed out with an I HATE YOU- one of those painful parenting moments. Mom, after her initial shock, called a bakery and ordered an I Hate You cake. It was a sweet way that the family could sit down together, as the daughter had delicious proof that she was still loved, and that their relationship was more important than any one outburst or disagreement. As a parent and an educator, I find that to be a powerful and hopeful story. Really, the example works in so many of our dealings with others. Family, coworkers, and people in our congregations. Sometimes we are the ones startled by a rash statement. Sometimes we are the ones who do the blurting. Important in Unitarian Universalism is the idea of covenant–living with certain agreements or promises, but knowing the whole time that we are human and will likely mess it up from time to time.  The real magic is not in floating along in perfect harmony, but in valuing the relationship over the conflict, and figuring out how to get back to a loving balance. Have words ever escaped your lips that you wished you could shove back in?  Or have you been hurt by someone else’s outburst? How did you find your way past the anger and the hurt? “The Way Back Into Love” is a little ditty from the deliberately cheesy romantic comedy Music and Lyrics.  Happy Valentine’s Day!