Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waxing lyrical on love again

I'm in one of those "I really want to write" moods.  But all the things I want to write about are perhaps not for public consumption.  Private musings on the journey of life, of love, of God, of growth.

There was a lovely quote an acquaintance posted on her Facebook page the other day - "It's going to hurt anyway. So if you're going to love, give it everything.".  That, dear friends, is a motto to live by. And, I think sometimes we read or think about love and we confine thoughts of love to 'significant' others in our lives.  Our partners, our parents, our children, our siblings, our most cherished friends, our source of being.  But love is bigger than that, if you'll but allow it to be.  Love can (and by definition ought to!) extend to the random stranger on the street who looks so troubled, until they receive your heartfelt smile or greeting and they light up (surely you've been on the receiving end of this too? I certainly have), or to the workmate who is having an appalling day and you gift them with a genuine comment of concern, care, or an action of practical support.  Or to the person you observe struggling at the supermarket and you abandon your own fear of standing out to offer them help, or a comment of sympathy. Or the acquaintance (or again colleague) who you can see is having a rough time and you find the courage to be vulnerable and actively offer them your ear, or your support, or at the very least, your understanding.  And can I say, it is sometimes scarey to reach out to someone you wouldn't normally reach out to, it can raise all your own insecurities, your vulnerability, but really, is that not the mandate of love? To be bigger than your insecurities, to be bolder than your fears, to be open to receive love and in turn to be willing to give it.  And the more you offer it, the more you find you have in your own life - to draw on yourself, and also to give out to others.  

And YES - loving really does hurt!  Empathy is not a passive point of view, it is an active identifying with people and allowing your heart to feel what they feel.  That is NOT a comfortable thing!  But is your ultimate goal to be comfortable?  It certainly isn't mine.  Yes, I want to live with peace of mind, but I also value growth and I'm here for the journey, to truly experience life.  To experience love.  As a receiver, but also abundantly as a giver.   It's a poignant ache, but what a way to know you are alive.  Of course, love is not just painful, it is beautiful, but I do think an emotion as strong as love is always a mix of pleasure and pain - of ache and of joy, of vulnerability and of elation.  Embrace it.  Dare to feel.  Risk love.

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