...with love. The idea, the feeling, the concept. Everything.
Love. I have become absolutely enthralled with it lately. Love is an absolutely mind boggling emotion to me. After a few choice experiences I have had in the last several weeks, I have become utterly enveloped by how incredibly powerful a single feeling or thought grounded in love is.
I am quite obsessed. Love. Loving. All that it is. Thinking about it, feeling it, pondering it, observing it. The simple love of all that is human. Everyone. Love makes us all so incredibly complex and wordlessly interesting. Love makes people give up their own lives for others - and even in spite of others. Love gives life and it takes life. Love makes people want to spend every single day of their life together, forever - doesn't that just seem like a crazy notion? Love allows people living in the most derelict of situations to be overwhelmingly happy and content with life. Love captures and compels those who are living in the most privileged of situations to care more for their fellow human beings than themselves, without prompting or incentive. Just for love. Love is incomprehensible.
Love is the most patient and the most kind thing that we hold and are empowered with as humankind. I think about the bonds that love forms - within family and within friends. I think about how important it is to surround myself with love and never forget to spread it out further than the circle I am so lucky to reside within the protective walls of. Love literally is a force that changes peoples lives.
I did a lot of thinking on this yesterday thinking about what happened just seven miles from where I call home. How could one person have so little love for fellow people? It made me gut-wrenchingly sad to think about. How could someone have gotten so far out of touch or reach of those who love him? Why was no one loving this person? What happened - where did the rest of us go wrong? Why didn't someone expand their circle to include him? Why wasn't he so lucky to be surrounded by people whom he loved and loved him? What kind of assumptions am I making based on my own understanding of love?
After a lot of crying and disbelief it left me again with the simple conclusion. Love is powerful. In fact, in times like this tragedy? Love is a powerful beast.
I remember one of the first times I realized feeling surrounded by so much love was a privilege. I had spent my life labeling myself based on various socioeconomic factors of my childhood. Yet I knew that the label didn't tell the whole story. I didn't match statistics. Granted, I am white, which is in itself a formative reason behind why my story didn't match the statistics when looking at class. But sitting in a meeting one day almost a year ago I found out that there was indeed something else that was working in tandem with my skin color. Another thing that was making it so I could make my life a life full of opportunity, a life not completely filled with insurmountable obstacles that take great amounts of perseverance to overcome. I had my parent's love. The absolutely unconditional and unfaltering (even through hey-I'm-gay-and-dating-a-woman-16-years-older-than-me or hey-I'm-not-going-to-college-this-quarter-and-am-going-to-live-on-an-island-with-guy-I-just-met-instead) love of my mom and dad. I was able to say (yell, in fact) "yes!" and without hesitation confirm the statement of, "Growing up my parents often told me that I was beautiful, intelligent, capable and loved." Loved. My parents modeled for me what it meant to love others - to be kind, to be patient, to be forgiving. As a result I was able to love others so deeply and surround myself with amazing people who love me and I love.
Love is the same if you are white, black, brown or any other color. It may not look the same or sound the same to you as it does to me, but it is a force that binds and divides humankind due to its unbelievable and hard to grasp power. Mike Johnston, TFA alum and Colorado state senator wrote this piece that I read this morning after having pondered love a lot lately, and especially yesterday. I love the idea and I think it gets at the very heart of my thoughts here. Just love back. It's the very least that we, as people, can do. However it looks for you, love back.
In the face of tragedy it becomes all too clear how far out of touch we as people get with what really matters. For some reason my mind so instantly jumps to thinking about people who die with unsettled "love business." I imagine one of the people who died in the theatre having been the gay child of a parent who refuses accept or support (and love) their child because of whom they love... don't you think that parent is wishing - craving, begging - for lost (and gone forever) time? Time they could have spent loving their child - not judging, not hating? Or even just thinking about a girlfriend, husband, or distant friend dying before you get a chance to apologize or take back something said grounded in fear or anxiety, instead of love. Why do we sit around fighting over things like gay marriage? It seems so dumb in the grander scheme of the world and humankind. If we all just could grasp that love is love - it's all the same when you get down to the bare bones of it all - we could all just live (and love) a lot more happily side by side with people, even across lines of difference.
My reflections and wonderings definitely make me love this song a hundred times more than before (and I already was pretty smitten with it): Same Love. Be sure to read the blog entry that goes with it, if you haven't yet.
Cheers to love. Pass it on.