Hello to you,
I could have written about this in a million ways, but this is the piece I was called to create. It became my magical carpet on which to lay out my thoughts on this beautiful word, LOVE.
I do hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed producing it…🌹
“There was once a sensitive little girl who always wondered about what love really meant.
Sure, she was part of a family and they existed under the one roof, but always with dinner on the table and some clean clothes to wear…
She assumed she was loved, although no-one had ever really made a fuss about her or told her they loved her.
So she just went about her life, doing what she was told, hoping to be a good girl, wanting to make people feel happy. Happy meant more to her than love. And helping people. She knew what both of those things looked like.
She would attend weddings of her older sisters and aunts and uncles, and at the back of her mind she was searching, watching, quietly observing for any hint of what love should look like.
It had a colour, didn’t it? She tried hard to find it. Was it more about a whirling in their hearts that she couldn’t see with her own eyes?
Did the couple being married have a new sense of something being different? Was there a puff of pink sparkly mist that should accompany them like their own little cloud of joy? And so, love meant pink for her…
And what about that phrase she heard about for so long…’being in love…’
She wondered what that felt like. Would she know when it was her time to be in it? In what exactly?
And so her time was spent pondering these questions.
She said she ‘loved’ chocolate… and climbing trees. Was that the same thing?
She learnt at school that Jesus had taught us to ‘love one another as I have loved you.’
It was hard to make sense of it. ‘Don’t we just LOVE our family? And aren’t they just supposed to LOVE us?
How can you love other people that aren’t your family? What would that look like?
One day, when she hadn’t quite finished school, she met a boy. He was at the school next door. They accidentally met on the train on the way home. He seemed to really like her even though she had no idea who or what she was about. But she knew he was something pretty special.
As time went on she would assume she loved him too because she discovered she couldn’t imagine life without him, and she really liked who she was when she was with him.
Did that mean ‘love’, she pondered?
She felt very ‘loved’ by him because he thought she was beautiful whatever her mood, through her tears, through her times of fear, doubt, her self imposed thoughts of ugliness, her happy times, the times she was so frustrated that she would upset him… and always he would say he loved her. He never attempted to change her or ask why she couldn’t be stronger or less emotional.
He didn’t judge her either…
This very quiet little girl became a nurse, simply because she wanted to make people feel better, to feel they mattered, to show compassion for them in their suffering. That idea had kept her going all those years when she felt like she didn’t fit in anywhere, when the world seemed too big for someone who just wanted to hold a person’s hand in their time of suffering.
So gradually, things began to make sense…
Perhaps she was doing what Jesus was teaching when she was simply sitting with someone when they were sad or broken.
Perhaps it was being loving to others when we can imagine what they are going through.
She remembered the time she was still little and owned a pet bird that had died one day. It was possible to remember what sadness felt like when one of her school friends said they had lost a pet… or even their Nana or Pa..
She never laughed when somebody tripped over or did something silly because she could feel how embarrassing that would be to have someone see you do that.
Was all of this ‘showing love?’
Was it found in just being kind, imagining what it’s like to be someone else and feeling what they could be feeling, not laughing at others, being helpful?
She began to discover that it was…
She could feel a little flutter in her heart when she felt she was being ‘loving’ towards someone.
Was that what it felt like?
Did she have to feel it every day with the boy she met on the train for the rest of her life? Does that feeling stay forever? Or does it change and grow to mean something different?
She had three little babies with that boy who became her husband. They have all grown up now.
She learnt about love from watching them and accepting them when they were difficult, when they had a tantrum, and yet every day, she couldn’t wait to pick them up out of their cot and see them, as if for the first time…
They all had their own little personalities and one was not better than the other. She thought they were all beautiful. They didn’t have to be perfect for her. They were just being themselves.
Surely that was love?
Gradually as the years passed, she realised that she could be even better if she learnt to love herself. That didn’t mean going around and telling everybody how good she was.
It was about accepting herself for all the things that make her the person she is.
Some days she was upset, some days she was happy, some days she forgot things, some days she said something accidentally to make someone sad. These were all the parts that made her whole and she was beginning to be alright with that.
This little girl who grew up learnt that there is love to be found in a kind word to someone she didn’t even know. It could be a person in a shop, or someone she met on the way to somewhere else.
It’s giving someone a flower from the garden, hugging someone, writing to say ‘thank you’ when someone had shown love to her by bringing a flower or sending a tiny metal Angel in the post, wiping someone’s tears with the corner of a tissue, sitting next to someone who is sad, doing some fun things together and laughing, saying nothing at all, just listening…
…saying ‘I love you…’
She came to discover it’s really a special word that means very simple but beautiful things and can be different for everyone…and we need to be shown love in our own special ways too. Ways that speak our language…
Some of us like to be told we are loved, some of us like to be shown we are loved through gifts or spending time together, some of us just need a big bear hug to feel loved.
When we wish that someone can be as happy as us,
or we wish to say or do something that can make them feel better,
when we just want the best for them…without expecting anything in return…
when we don’t make someone feel bad about being who they are…
That’s love, actually…”
….I also realise love can present itself as a little heart enclosing our written words, it can come draped around encouragement, as an extra ingredient baked into a cake, it can be buying a magazine from a homeless person, it can be many things, but what we do know is…
******Song embedded for you… sung by Dionne Warwick, ‘What the World Needs Now’
I’d love to make mention of a book I bought quite a few years ago upon which some of this philosophy here is based…
‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman. It appeared at a time I was questioning what it all was supposed to be about. I thought you may enjoy seeing this too.
Thank you for reading…I wish you much love in your life and some from me too…