Can you (or are you ready to) shift your perspective? I ask because this question has been weighing on my mind for the past few weeks. When do we, as a civilization, finally teach and understand that “I Love You” isn’t just a phrase, but a way of life? When you say I love you, the words are wonderful to hear; but love in action (a way of life) is what we need now more than ever. Love in action is easy when all is right around us and even in times of chaos. It’s not always easy when everything hits the fan.
One thing is certain, love, whether it be for a friend, a spouse, a family member, a lover, or for community, must be unconditional. When you tell someone you love them, you don’t get to choose when and how you love them, you just do. If you have this deep feeling for someone, find your brave and tell them, but do so without expectation of them saying it back to you. Love isn’t always reciprocal and that’s okay; we should love anyway.
Shifting Perspective: Love in Action
When Things are Good
Love can be shown in a million ways that doesn’t always require saying “those” three words. It can be shown in a good morning or goodnight text or a post-it note in their lunch. We can show love by choosing the perfect greeting card or by handwriting a letter. It can be in a quick call to say hello, thank you, thinking of you, did you get home safely or letting them know they are in your prayers.
When life is in chaos, it can be easy to show love as well. For instance, individuals, communities, and the world rallied around each other during the aftermath of 9/11. The same can be said during weather events, fires, etc. When we donate to causes, create ‘Blessing Bags’, help our neighbor with a chore, we show love in action. In the current global crisis, men and women are on the front lines helping those who are battling this virus, employees of essential businesses are going to work each day to keep things running, neighbors are shopping for other neighbors. These are actions of love.
But, what about when people are difficult to love?
When Things are Not so Good
Will love remain when someone falters and makes bad choices? Does love remain when someone hurt us (I am not referring to those who are abusive to us emotionally, sexually, physically, etc.)? Will it be there when someone is hurt (physically or emotionally)? Is it there in one’s weakest or most vulnerable moments, when they feel unlovable? Will it be there for those with different beliefs, circumstances, or lifestyle choices? Can it be present if I say it but a person can’t say it in return?
Yes, these are occurrences where love in action is needed the most. Can you shift your perspective?
Love can be shown just by sitting with someone in silence during their darkest moment. A sign of love is staying up all night listening as they cry and hugging it out when needed. It can be shaking someone up and calling them on their bullshit. Love is showing forgiveness, empathy, hope, grace and mercy. It is loving them even if you don’t particularly like them in the moment. Another show of love is learning who they are and accepting the battle scars of their checkered pasts, understanding the deepest, darkest corners of their beings and choosing to love them anyway. Mindset (perspective) shift = heart shift = love in action.
At the End of the Day
Love is not all romance, hearts and roses. It can be raw, gritty, dirty, messy, difficult and challenging. I want this kind of love (and when you stop to think about it, we probably all want some version of this). The kind of love where a deep connection is formed, where there is honest, respectful, open communication about everything. A love where people aren’t afraid to take the masks off, where we get in the ring and fight for each other, where we can lose our fears together and let our vulnerable, authentic souls shine. As we grow, we find we can share this love more readily in a world that makes it oh so difficult at times. It’s at this time we must love harder. We must begin by loving ourselves first. Click to read What Are You Searching for Today? or When You Look in the Mirror
If I had to describe love in a sentence, I would say, “It’s a feeling of comfort and peace working in conjunction with passion and chaos to create the best possible space in which to reside.”
Choosing one word to describe it is a bit more difficult. After some thought, I would choose HOME. Not necessarily the four walls where I lay my head at night (although that is part of it), but any place where I am safe to be my true self.
Love in action is doing something for someone else with no expectation of anything in return. There are no conditions, there’s no charge, there are no strings attached. If we can all help just one person, through a heart-fueled act of love, the world will become a better place simply through the ripple effect.
How would you describe the feeling of love and love in action?
Based on an original post: What is this Thing Called Love? 2-14-18