Do you know what LOVE is? What it means to be LOVED and to LOVE others? We explored loving ourselves, and now we will dive into spreading that love to our families, our friends, and even to complete strangers.
Leo Buscaglia in Love: What Life is All About, tells us that we must be willing to learn as much as we can about LOVE to truly understand it and be deep in it. We learn how to cook a new dish, how to try a new dance step…why wouldn’t we learn as much as we can about LOVE? “It’s never too late to learn anything for which you have a potential. If you want to learn to love, then you must start the process of finding out what it is, what qualities make up a loving person and see how these are developed. Each person has the potential for love. But potential is never realized without work. This does not mean pain. Love, especially, is learned best in wonder, in joy, in peace, in living.”
Sharon Salzberg shares in her newest book, Real Love
, “From our first breath to our last, we’re presented again and again with the opportunity to experience deep, lasting and transformative connection with other beings: to love them and be loved by then; to show them our true natures and to recognize theirs…..We share joy and compassion, struggles and sorrows, gains and losses. And we learn in our bones what it means to be part of something bigger than ourselves.”
Isn’t it easy to just offer LOVE to everyone? Or should our LOVE be reserved for those who deserve it, who earn it, with whom we have already developed connections, like family and friends, and even the bank teller we see each time we are there?
Barbara Frederickson, Ph.D., psychology professor at UNC Chapel Hill, and author of Love 2.0, tells us based on her extensive research that, “Love is our supreme emotion: Its presence or absence in our lives influences everything we feel, think, do, and become. It’s that recurrent state that ties you in— your body and brain alike—to the social fabric, to the bodies and brains of those in your midst. When you experience love—true heart/mind/soul-expanding love— you not only become better able to see the larger tapestry of life and better able to breathe life into the connections that matter to you, but you also set yourself on a pathway that leads to more health, happiness, and wisdom.”
LOVE is a source of joy. It’s a source of fulfillment. It’s part of the social fabric that makes up all of life. It’s vital to our health and happiness. It’s vital to our communities and to our families. Too much, too big, too scary? LOVE is both tremendously huge and complicated while effortless and tiny to offer to oneself and others. We sure hope you won’t miss out on this discussion at our next Mom’s Morning Retreat meeting, this coming Thursday, November 2nd, 9:30-11am, Grace Church on Bainbridge Island.