Well, I seemed to be surrounded by messages of love today, so I thought I'd share them.
"You simply can't make someone love you if they don't. You must choose someone who already loves you. If you choose someone who does not love you, this is the sort of love you must want." - Israel Horovitz, playwright
This was on my Starbucks cup this morning, and I thought, very true. There are so many people out there that settle for less, because deep in their hearts, they believe that a halfway sort of love is all they deserve. But love isn't halfway. It doesn't ask you to be anything other that what you are. It makes you feel beautiful, and cherished, and like you can conquer any challenge that is placed in front of you. And it makes it okay when you don't. It doesn't ask you to hide, or be ashamed or less than everything you have the potential to be, no matter how unconventional the journey, or whether they agree.
This was emailed to me minutes later...perhaps you've already seen it?
They're touching words from the mouth of babes . . . A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:
"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love." Rebecca- age 8
"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth." Billy - age 4
"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs." Chrissy - age 6
"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." Terri - age 4
"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." Danny - age 7
"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)
"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate," Nikka - age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)
"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday." Noelle - age 7
"My mommy loves me more than anybody You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night." Clare - age 6
"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." Elaine-age 5
"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford." Chris - age 7
"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." Mary Ann - age 4
"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." (what an image) Karen - age 7
"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget." Jessica - age 8
And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry"
I've been thinking about love lately and what it really means to me...how will love come through me...and this last quote pretty much summed it up. To me, love is about acceptance. To allow someone to just be. Wherever that is. Without judgement. To give them the space they need to process and figure things out in their own way. In their own time. To not ask them to be in a different place, because wherever they are in their journey is exactly the right place. For them.
The funny thing is that when I decided that this was the expression of love I wanted to manifest in the world, life became so peaceful and simple. I stopped wasting energy trying to change people, or push them into what I thought was better or right for them. That struggle and conflict disappeared. I learned to appreciate the beautiful imperfection of all the people in my life, and was given the gift of true connection in return.