Love. It’s a simple word…a four letter word! It can mean a little or mean a lot depending on how it’s used. It’s easy to say I love my new shoes, a bit more difficult to say after a fight with my sister, and down right scary to say to someone for the first time when you’re in a relationship. Love. To me it is a filling and swelling that starts in my chest and emanates to the rest of my body. It brings a smile to my face or sometimes seriousness to the seat of my soul. It is all encompassing. . It can be the epitome of bliss or so gut-wrenching it physically hurts. An emotion that is an enigma and a word that expresses so much.
I really began to be aware of love and practicing love during the Baltimore riots two years ago. I had gone to get my nails done and the parking lot is shared by a Yoga studio and a Starbucks. I parked in what I thought was a legitimate spot, but it turned out I was blocking a walkway. I didn’t know. When I came out, a man who was working on a light pole in the lot yelled at me and berated me for parking there. He told me that a man in a wheelchair couldn’t get through becauase of me, then called me a not so nice name. I felt ashamed, stupid, embarrassed and angry. The news of the riots had me on edge…people’s behavior and fear had me on edge and I knew I had a choice. This man couldn’t see me. He couldn’t SEE my humanity. I got into my car. I backed out. As he glared at me I simply said “I hope the rest of your day is good.” And I left. He said something but I couldn’t hear it. Yet, I saw the expression on his face. He looked confused….and maybe disarmed??? I was still shaking from being yelled at but in that moment I realized that I might make a difference in ONE MOMENT by showing and projecting love instead of expressing impatience, anger, selfishness, jealousy, resentment or simply tolerating while still being annoyed. It was like opening up the gates to my heart and letting it flow. And it washed away all the preconceptions, the misconceptions, the irritability and the anger I was experiencing a few moments before.
Truly loving, to me, is being where I am right now with open arms and an open heart and saying I’m here and I’m me and I love you (friend, spouse, child, acquaintance, stranger) because that is really, truly all I have to give….and if it comes back to me from you so be it and if it doesn’t so be it. I am love, and that is the most I can give you. And now for the daring part!
This year, I will also receive love! Have you ever stood before someone, looked them in the eye, heard them say “I love you, all of you” and not flinched inside or out? Have you had to silence the voice that starts with “But what about…” Have you ever stood still and basked in someone’s love for you, with all your flaws and all your fears all your imperfections and humanness and just said to them, to yourself “YES”? Yes…you are loved. Just. As. You. Are. I think it’s hard and maybe scary because I’m not perfect, I’m not always nice, I’m crazy at times. But it doesn’t mean I’m less than. Less worthy. Neither are you.
Be bold, be daring and make this year the year of love for others and for yourself. Go forward with a very open heart. Go forward and fill your space and others’ space with love one heart at a time. We just might change the world!
Written by Kelly Bojan