Now that Valentine’s Day is officially over my thoughts turn to love – all kinds of love – agape, family, mate, co-workers, humankind.
There are so many different kinds of love. Our grands love each other and they love their cousin. Look at the body language going on here – the two closest in age are closer to each other physically and emotionally. Yes, the older loves them, but in a different way. She sees herself as their guardian. The two closest in age are partners in crime!
I’ve been participating in a Bible study recently that is focusing on listening to God. A big part of the study is focused on meditation as a pathway to listening. During meditation this morning it came to me that our grand purpose on this earth is to love each other. It’s no great revelation. We have been taught that fact many times over, yet it’s so hard to do. To truly LOVE one another. I just finished reading the book The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. It’s a powerful book with the main theme being our desire for love and how we do or don’t show that love.
I find it easy to love my spouse – we were meant to be together and have accomplished that togetherness since we started dating in 1969. Now with over 40 years of marriage under our belts (yes, it took a while for us to walk down the aisle!) I reflect on the choice of mate I’ve made and the result(s) of that choice. Would I choose another if given the chance? Absolutely not. I understand the meaning of love much more now than I ever did when we were dating or even when we first married.
I love my children and would do anything to help them. Falling in love with a newborn is a very special moment in time; the moment in time where you raise them to be adults is daunting and awesome, but the best of all is the love I feel for them as adults and the other adults and children they have brought into our lives. A love beyond description.
I’m finding it hard to love myself, so keep looking to quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt. She was something else! My favorite of hers goes something like this: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Amen. I’m getting better at it, and I’m definitely not intimidated by anyone any more, but feeling inferior, or not quite good enough, goes to the core. It’s a challenge for me.
My challenges for the week are:
1-to love myself more, to accept that I am worthy and
2-to love those who are not connected to me ‘at the hip’. To love those who I disagree with. To love those who cause harm in the world. To love those who act inappropriately.
Those two are tall orders. My challenge to you? Tell me how you’ve found ways to love those who seem hard to love.