Life is so amazing.
When reflecting on how small and limited my life used to be; how cramped my heart was; how little I knew of the world, of people, and of love; I smile.
I smile because it is all so different now.
The world is confusing and confused at times, to be sure. However, it is also vibrant, lovely, and full of wonderful people doing extraordinary things – every day. It has pure hearts in it too, not just small or evil ones. These warm and generous souls who love others from the depth of their beings keep the world turning, the sun shining, and the days colorful and full of laughter and all good things.
I guess you could say I’m fortunate. Sure, you could say that. You could say, ‘oh she’s networked’, or ‘connected’, and all of that would be a nice partial truth. You could stop there, cynically or literally, and be satisfied that you know all there is to know about any extremely deep person in this smug little brevity of thought. Efficiency is nice.
What really happened is that I endured. I worked through the disappointments and pain of life. I dealt with the problems I faced, head on. I made myself a better person, my life a better life, and did the hard work, and still do – for there is plenty. I looked at myself in the darkness, saw ugliness and beauty side by side, and decided I preferred the latter. I accepted that the other was just as much a part of me, and chose.
I chose love. I chose to sweep out my closets, dust down the mantelpiece, do the laundry and the dishes. I chose to throw open the windows to let the light and fresh air in to warm and nourish my soul. It was the long road, this choice. It wasn’t and isn’t fun all the time. There isn’t always company or even understanding. But I choose love every day, I hope.
This is the epic adventure that every loving soul must take to truly see oneself and one’s life in all its beauty. It is never ‘over’. There is no plateau one reaches, wherein we are ‘done loving’ or ‘done growing’, only a marker for a finish line, which we ever must pass. Love doesn’t end. Our love survives us and joins with the rest in a wreath which fertilizes the lives and loves which come after us.
“Oh!” Loving, caring, surviving – this is the ultimate job. It is our purpose in life, and it means different things for us all. It is no one’s boast to sit and see one handle it differently and deride their kind of greatness. A person of heart knows this. A Lover of Life knows this. We are different because we are, and we live differently because we must, and that too is beauty.
Anyone can breathe, slip through the requirements just to get by, and say they did alright. Sure, we can do that. But the Loving person knows that should be reserved for the days when that is the utter best one can do, and on those few stormy days, a Lover of Life is only laying groundwork for their own greatness.
In fact, a Lover of life will keep pushing through days like this, days when it is so much easier to be mediocre because of the pain, to smile and nod and shrink from the callings of life because it’s so hard. Yet they find, by dent of willpower, trust, and aching heart, that their excellence is only a step away. Just one more push, one last gnashing of teeth and it’s done. Because of, not in spite of. Love knows this.
Love is just around the corner.
It is always there, in the room, watching and waiting. It is in us and through us. It sees – when we choose to ignore it and take the easier path because we’re tired or narrow then. It sees when we choose to embrace it and do the hard thing, or the kind thing, or be that person who ….. when all others might not. It smiles when people do finally ‘get it’, instead of delighting in their ignorance or poverty of soul. Love knows when humans don’t. Love knows what humans don’t.
Love knows who its disciples are, and it knows who might be later, when they are better, or bigger-hearted, if only they threw open the windows a little, or a lot. And so love forgives. It hopes, it endures, and Love lives.
In every room, in every group, in every person on earth, Love can be.
So this is my hope for you where I happen to be on my journey, you wonderful people who have intersected your light and your love and your life with mine, if just for a bit: Keep on loving. Keep on living. For Love knows.