I posted this picture several days ago on Facebook and of course received many comments in agreement. However, I was surprised by how many disagreed too. And then it reminded me I had a similar experience in the early days of free hugs. When someone asked me ‘why was I giving hugs’ in my early days, my answer was to spread love. Lots of people understood my intention and yet there were lots of people who were surprised as the word love was associated with romantic love. I was out giving hugs so I could see how they could misinterpret it, but it still surprised me. Because of that discovery, I now say I’m out spreading kindness.
Just like my hug experience, this new post on believing in love had a similar reaction. Many agreed with me and said ‘YES’ they believed. I am guessing that many of the YES responses were in agreement that they believed in romantic love and some commented as such. The NO responses were more plentiful than I had expected and those who offered commentary mentioned they weren’t in a relationship, had been hurt before, or were lonely and didn’t trust people. When I posted the image it was to say I was a big YES in believing in love. Of course romantic love is amazing. So is love of family, love of friends, love of sunrises, love of home, love of nature, and simply just love of life. The word love is so loaded with meaning that it got me thinking about it.
I am a BIG believer that love is the answer and it is my guiding force in life. However, if I look at it strictly from the romantic perspective, the times I’ve been deeply in love, they didn’t last. So was love the answer? When my earlier loves dissolved I certainly didn’t feel love was the answer at the time and I went through a lot of heartache as many do when relationships don’t work out the way you wanted or had hoped. However, on the other side of those relationships I was able to see clearly how love was still there and walked me through the process of letting go and moving on. Just as loved had been by my side in every smile, every kiss, every hug, love was still right there to wipe away tears of sorrow, hurt and disappointment. I wasn’t letting go of love, I was letting go of a particular man in my life. I was letting go of active participation with him in my life (see Neale Donald Walsch quote below), not the loving him part.
Love is a privilege and should be cherished, honored and appreciated. It’s easy to love when things are going well in life. How about loving when your fear is showing up stronger than your love? How about loving when someone isn’t able to be the person you want them to be? How about loving someone through them betraying you or disappointing you? Because of Neale’s quote on unconditional love, I find loving people, yes even those who have disappointed me, much easier. I get to love you however you choose to show up in life. I get to love you during smiles and laughter. I get to love you during fun and adventure. I get to love you during happiness and celebration. I also get to love you during fear, hurt, rejections, uncertainty, disappointment and betrayal. I get to love you while choosing how that love will show up in form of participation. My love for you requires no conditions as I will love you regardless of who you choose to show up as in my life. Getting to love you is a privilege, allowing you to participate in my life is also a privilege.
Moving forward, remember love is a privilege by:
Knowing those in your life are there FOR you not against you. Whether they are bringing you great joy or great sorrow, they are there for you to grow your love muscles. Love says no and has boundaries, it just does so respectfully with kindness.
Letting go of the hurt and anger of people and experiences that made you feel less than. Hurt people hurt others. It doesn’t make it okay for them to do, but when you can see their own insecurities and pain, it makes it easier to understand their actions.
Limiting your time with those that it’s hard to love in person. Some people may be family members or close friends that you aren’t willing to let go of completely in your life, so limiting your time with them will allow you to stay in a space of love. So prior to seeing them, think of all the things you appreciate about them so you start the visit in a deeper place of love. And when you aren’t together, send more love their way.
Realizing that sometimes the best way to love is from afar. There are certain relationships in my life that too much has happened to allow them into my life again and remain in a loving space, so it’s easier to send them love without participating. When I think of them, I often return to the hurtful reasons we are no longer together, but, I catch myself and send them love. I am who I am today because of them and all the people I’ve encountered in my life.
Mostly, my wish for you this week is to fall madly and deeply in love with life in general as it is oh so very precious. Fall in love with waking up in the morning. Fall in love with the simplest parts of your day and be in awe of how magically your body operates without you doing anything. Fall in love with love. My wish for you is meaningful and loving relationships, work and anything your heart desires.
Until next time, YES I believe in LOVE – romance, friendship, family, nature, pets, St. Louis Cardinals, fireworks, oceans, sailing, Chicago and Ricky Martin. 🙂
I am in love with life – all of it!
Words to live by
“I love you but if you continue this behavior I am going to leave the room.
I love you but if you continue this behavior I am going to leave the house.
I love you but if you continue this behavior I am going to leave your life.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” ~ Mother Teresa
“Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life.” ~ Leo Buscaglia