Viewing entries tagged
be loved

What's Love Got to Do With It?

Yesterday was the Boston Marathon and there were bombs. People died and were horribly injured. Most injuries were lower body injuries. Legs. At a marathon. It's sickening, really, and it doesn't make any sense. I only looked at a few photos from yesterday, and honestly from the looks of it, it seems like a miracle that more people weren't injured or killed. I am so sad for the victims and the people who witnessed such a traumatic event. Lots and lots of people are very sad and angry that something so awful could happen right under our noses. In response to one of my friend's Facebook posts about the incident, someone wrote "Wake up America!"

It's true. It is definitely time to wake up. It's time to keep waking up. For some of us, waking up is a process. I think when people say "Wake up!" they are often calling upon us to DO something. And often what a lot of people DO, is turn to our leaders and say, "What are YOU going to do?"

In tragic times it is completely normal to look to others for answers. When a violent crime takes place, we look to others and we wait to see how they will respond to the violence. We turn to others to bring forth justice. We want the perpetrator named and blamed. We want all that. I think that's normal.


Here is what I propose we do:  First, if you are sad and angry because of something that has occurred, sit with that feeling for a bit. Let yourself feel the sadness. Let it fill every cell of your body. Feel the anger. Let it sink it. Simply be with it.

And then, take responsibility for your sadness and your anger. You are not a victim. You are a warrior and it is time to fight back. If you are moved to sadness or anger, you really must do something about it.   None of us can afford to witness the violence we see in our lives each and every day and do nothing. Yes, it's time to fight. It's time to revolutionize the ways in which we do sadness and anger.

What? You have no weapons? Okay. Good.

We are heading into this battle armed with nothing but love. Love. Mmmhmm.

From all I know to be true in this world - from knowledge gained being a painfully shy and overanxious child, from reading countless books, from graduating with an MSW, from attending seminars, volunteering, and becoming a mother; from talking to people, and listening to people, from living, and from experiencing heartbreak and learning how to put the pieces of my heart back together, I know that love is the answer.

If you are awake and ready for action, then love a little more. Give a little more grace to the person who cuts you off on the highway, to the mom who never seems to have it together, AND the one who ALWAYS seems to have it together. Give more grace to your children's teachers and the PTO president, to your neighbors, to the people who take your orders, your boss, and to our leaders. Give more grace to the people who disappoint you and the people you disappoint. Give more grace and love to your partner, your children, and your dog. Give yourself more grace. Just a little to start, see how it feels, then go full throttle when you're ready.

I know that it is true that like attracts like. It is true that what you put out into the world returns to you. You really do reap what you sow. It's all true.

Love more. Those who bask in the glow of your love will follow your lead. Soon the love will go viral. The entire planet will be LIT UP with love sweet love.

Believe me when I say that I know love isn't all lollipops and rainbows. Love mirrors life in that it can be downright dreamy one day and a freakin' nightmare the next. In a second everything can change. It happens all the time.

It hurts to love sometimes. It can be really hard to love. When my dad died a few years ago I kept wondering whey I had to love him so much that I would allow my heart to break in his absence? When I watch my children in their most tender moments, I think "Oh MY GOD! It hurts me to love you this much." Sometimes I watch my husband laugh with our kids and I think, "OUCH. I love you so much that it is downright painful." To love someone so much that I know if anything harms that person, I will die - that is scary.

The awareness that to love something means to open myself right up to the possibility of pain can be so frightening and maybe that is why we often choose not to love so freely. Maybe that is why we will only love with conditions. Maybe that is why we choose anger or sadness - to start from a place that can't get much worse.

What if we made LOVE our rock bottom?

Start with love and where do you go from there? What makes itself known to you? Grace, mercy, freedom, fullness...BLISS?

I'm on a bit of a mission to love like crazy and to open myself up to being loved. We all are really. The mission is OURS should we choose to take it.

Choose love.

Love has EVERYTHING to do with it.


Love and Be Loved

Angel of Love and Healing Light

I spent Friday morning working some Christmas magic for a friend of mine. She needed some magic. The truth is that I needed the magic too. As busy as I've been and as overwhelmed as I was feeling, I jumped off my crazy train and opened up to the possibility of making space to do something nice for someone. It was food for my soul.

So, afterward my fellow elves and I went out to lunch. We sat at a table across from a gigantic TV screen. I saw "BREAKING NEWS" flash along the bottom of the screen and didn't think much of it. All news seems to be BREAKING these days. I try to avoid the news. My eyes kept moving back to the screen.

I saw the story. I couldn't believe what I saw. Parents holding each other tightly. Panicked, grief-stricken faces. 20 children confirmed dead. Soon, tears were streaming down my face. We asked our server to change the channel.

After lunch I picked my daughter up from her pre-school. Then, my first grade son from his elementary school. The three of us headed home and waited for my fifth grade son to get off the bus. We drove home. I decided to check Facebook while my kids hopped around the kitchen - giggling over the multiple ways they found to torment each other after a long day apart. With each post I read my heart sank deeper into my chest. My oldest asked if they could watch a Christmas movie. I closed Facebook, thinking I might never go back. At least not for a few days. I scooped up my babies. We situated ourselves on the couch, weaving our arms and legs through each other's arms and legs until we were content in one tangled heap. I squeezed each of them. I wanted them close to me. We watched Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. They stared at the screen, our Christmas tree lights twinkling as the sky darkened outside. I wondered how I could keep us all together, safe and warm, until the end of time. Once again, tears rolled down my face.

Like so many, I cannot even begin to wrap my head around the tragic deaths that took place on Friday. 20 babies will never again fall into a cuddly heap with their mothers or fathers, sisters or brothers. My heart joins the many hearts broken for the families who lost a loved one in Newtown, Connecticut.

What happened at Sandy Hook is unthinkable. The pain is unimaginable. Those parents are living every parent's worst nightmare. To lose a child - it's not natural.

When I see the list of names of the sweet little loves who lost their lives on Friday, it is the age that most of them share that makes my heart stop. So many of them were just six years old. I have a six year old. He is in first grade. He is curious. He is silly and spontaneous. He loves to joke around. He might be laughing one minute and screaming the next. When I look at him, I cannot bear the thought that so many families in Connecticut lost someone just like him - such a big life in that small body, and so full of love.

How can life just keep going after such a horrific loss? Where do we go from here?

A lot of people say we need stricter gun laws here in America. A lot of people think we need to provide better mental health care and services to those in need. I'm sure both are true.

Here is what else I'm thinking though... In order to go on, we need something bigger than stricter policies and better care. I keep thinking about my kids and how they might wake from a nightmare. They are scared. No matter what I do or say, they are essentially inconsolable until they feel safe, until they are wrapped in my arms.

It is time for us to wrap our arms around each other.

Trying to identify the meaning of such tragedy is a fruitless effort. We can make it mean something though. We can stop fighting. We can put our egos aside. We can open up to our similarities, our humanity, and to our lives on earth together, and decide that we're just not going to buy into the fear that makes us think guns can keep us safe anymore. The fear that keeps us glued to violent shows and video games, the fear that keeps our leaders arguing instead of working together, and the fear that makes us think there isn't something more - something bigger and better and truer - out there. Love is the opposite of fear. It is time to love and be loved. To treat every day like the day after a tragedy. We can be raw, vulnerable, and quick to comfort our friends in need. We can wrap our arms around each other. We can love and be loved.

We fill ourselves with so much negativity - the news, the net, the aisles at Costco. Our souls are on a processed food diet. What if, instead of spending 30 minutes watching the news and surfing the Internet, we did that for 10 minutes, and spent 20 minutes praying? Or just repeating the word: LOVE, love, love, LoVe... What if we were quick to forgive each other? What if we hugged more? What if we smiled at each other? What if we looked up from our smart phones and stared into our children's eyes instead? We would see love.

20 little bodies are no more, but those beautiful spirits live on. They are smiling, giggling, dancing in the heavens, and they are whispering in our ears, telling us that love is the answer. They are telling us to love big and hard and real. To love like a six year-old.

May those sweet souls rest in peace. May their loved ones find the strength to carry on. May we all find ways to open up to love and being loved. xo