This month has five more days in it, and so I wanted to give an update to ‘where I am’ in knowing more about love.
While I haven’t accomplished all my goals to ‘explore love,’ I have been noting when and how I think about the concept. Each day, I’ve had some conscious time and effort put into thinking about how I show love, and when I feel love.
Specifically, I’ve learned that when I think of ‘love’ I am called to remember a LOT of past experiences. Love, conceptually, is a past tense verb, for me. Any of the experiences I’ve recently shared, whether about people I care about, or things that have happened already, and aren’t things I’m anticipating.
Initially, I thought it was a pretty intuitive thing—I express love through gratitude, and sometimes it’s just easier to be grateful when you wait to have a reason to be thankful. Right?
I just don’t think this is the real reason that I’ve shared and thought about love in terms of the past. Rather, I’ve been singling out things that make me feel love—often time through music. Music has a way of taking me back to experiences, people, and places that I otherwise wouldn’t remember as vividly. Love, to me, is a very vivid feeling—you may never know how to explain it but you know when it exists. I think, more than likely, I see love as much more relative to another verb — learn.
I think I often times, previously, have looked at love as being something you ‘achieve,’ not develop. It’s not something you win, but rather something that you work, sometimes painstakingly, to develop. In reading Desmond Tutu’s book this month, I really had a chance to think about what it took for people to forgive those that they had every reason to hate—and the power that came from forgiving people who had hurt their country and individuals in very horrible ways. Perhaps those are the two takeaways this month—
1. Love is something you have to approach as something you can learn. It takes practice, and only in certain places, with certain circumstances, and certain people, do you master the art of loving. This means sometimes you try to love when it doesn’t make sense, or that you love others knowing that they’ll never love you back. It means that you think of love in weird terms…perhaps it’s thanking people, or recognizing simplicity. Sometimes it truly is the little things people do, the extra efforts, that solidify love, and it’s a reminder that love can be a powerful thing to share by doing the smallest things for other people.
2. Forgiveness is a powerful way to build others — and what we do to other people, we do to ourselves. Living an authentic life that we love to live means we give forgiveness to those that hurt our hearts. And to give forgiveness, you have to be able to remove your pride and acknowledge the ‘come-from…’ that is, the part of your story that keeps you from forgiving others.
The examples I’ve picked out the last week or so have been great ways for me to share examples of when I’ve felt loved—and each example has been a different way that I’ve learned how I love and am loved—and hopefully gives me context for my next month—Save.
So, if I were recapping this month and last month — I’ve learned how to control my energy, and thought about how to authentically show and embrace love.