Love is beautiful, complicated, ever-changing and expanding, cheesy, romantic, friendly, spiritual, unrequited, imperfect, uncomfortable, displayed in a myriad of ways, feels different and yet the same for everyone, literally has no limit to its actions or feelings, and so much more.
But most of all, it’s my favorite human emotion because it’s the easiest one to give, the simplest one of all and can change a person. Even better…it’s free.
I had the opportunity to attend the funeral this week for one of the purest hearts I’ve ever known. Diane didn’t have much when it came to worldly pleasures. She passed away in her 50’s without ever going on a single date, or having a romantic kiss, or even a group of girlfriends to have brunch with every Saturday. And yet, in that moment as I sat at her funeral, I truly felt that no one had been loved more and no one loved more than Diane.
It didn’t matter who you were. Diane was there with a smile. A smile that reached ear to ear in love. Love for you. A total stranger.
May we share our love a little bit more by smiling.
Every year, or several times a year, I reread my favorite book: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The whole book is chalk full of amazing thoughts and expressions, but among some of my favorites are those that speak of love.
1. “I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.”
May we find a person with which we can reunite. A person we care about and experience the end of missing someone.
2. “I hope that one day you will have the experience of doing something you do not understand for someone you love.”
May we be willing to experience the kind of vulnerability that only love can bring.
Last year, I got a heart-wrenching phone call and had to take a break from work to walk around outside and clear my head. Working downtown I would pass the same homeless people day in and day out. I would try to smile at them, but for the most part we didn’t know each other. On this particular day, a certain homeless man that I’d seen countless times before came up to ask me for money. Not having my wallet on me, I told him I was unable to help him. He walked away.
As he turned around to come back, I thought to myself, “I already told him I can’t help him. What does he want?”
He smiled at me and said, “You’re crying. Can I help you?”
It was utterly beautiful to feel that kind of love from and for a total stranger.
May we be more willing to reach out in love to a stranger who may need our help.
One of my favorite writers, Pablo Neruda once wrote:
1. “To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.”
May we feed others lives with our love.
2. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.
May we love so much that we allow others to become a part of us and us a part of them.
Of course what would an article on love be without a quote from Taylor Swift. In this particular instance she is speaking to a fan who is struggling with unrequited love. However, I feel her advice rings true in any situation whether it be romantic, a friendship that is struggling, someone who simply doesn’t like you, etc:
“No matter what happens in this situation, I want you to remember that what you are doing is selfless and beautiful and kind. You are loving someone purely because you love them, not because you think you’ll ever have your affections reciprocated.”
May we be more selfless and love just because. Not because we expect anyone to love us in return.
Matthew 22: 37-39 says:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
May we love ourselves in such a way that we see ourselves as God sees us.
As Goldie Hawn says, “I’ve finally stopped running away from myself. Who else is there better to be?”
Be you. Love you. You’re the best.
Love is everything we need it to be.
May we give of it freely and in total abundance.