February 2017 – LOVE
Let’s face it: Love’s a
subject that’s been done and overdone, trivialized and dramatized to the point of mass delusion about what it is and
isn’t. Most of us can’t see it because we have our own preconceived ideas about what it is (it’s supposed
to knock you off your feet and make you swoon) and how it should appear (in a tall, slim, witty, charming package). If love
doesn’t show up wrapped in our personal fantasy, we fail to recognize it.
Love is all around. It’s possible to love and be
loved, no matter where you are. Love exists in all forms. Sometimes when walking with my dogs and I can feel them just vibrating
love. It is always available for the asking.
I’ve seen so many people (myself included) dazed by the idea of romance,
believing they’re not complete unless they find someone to make their lives whole. When you think about it, isn’t
that a crazy notion? You, alone, make a whole person. And if you feel incomplete, you alone must fill all your empty, shattered
spaces with love.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” I’ll never forget
the time I was cleaning out a drawer and came across 12 pages that stopped me in my tracks. It was a love letter I’d
written but never sent (thank God) to a guy I was dating. I was 21 at the time, desperate and obsessed with this man. It was
12 pages of whinin’ and pinin’ so pathetic that I didn’t recognize myself. I held my own burning ceremony
for this testament to what I thought was love. I wanted no written record that I was ever that pitiful and disconnected from
myself. I know that a relationship built on real love feels good. It should bring you joy—not just some of the
time but most of the time. It should never require losing your voice, your self-respect, or your dignity. And whether you’re
21 or 101, it should involve bringing all of who you are to the table—and walking away with even more.
love is not the only love worth seeking. I’ve met so many people longing to be in love with somebody, to be rescued
from their daily lives and swept into romantic bliss, when all around there are children, neighbors, friends, and strangers
also yearning for someone to connect with. Look around and notice—possibility is everywhere.
If you find it a strain to
open your heart full-throttle to the Big LOVE, start in first gear: Show compassion, and before long you’ll feel yourself
shifting to something deeper. Soon, you’ll be able to offer others the blessings of understanding, empathy, caring,
and—I know for sure—love.