I have spent the last 11 months pondering on the word love. What does it mean? Describing love seemed like a convoluted task. The actual definition of it is infinite. Where is it? I spent the months of March to May thinking we all knew exactly what and where it was. As a whole community, we were extending grace during those months and it was a beautiful thing. I found it easy in those months to get a final idea of love. We were all connected and that connection created a community of loving, accepting humans.
Then came the summer months, where agitation began to take place. No one agreed and everyone had their own, very passionate, opinion. I then started questioning the existence of love. Did we lose sight of love? Do we need a “love” revival? As a whole, we began to show our frustration with each other and it seemed love went out the window, alongside our patience and sanity. I began to think love had been lost.
So, I started searching for acts of love in my daily life. However, what I was really doing was searching for where love was not. It seemed to be the culture we were in during the summer months and on into fall. We were doing a wonderful job shining light on all of the unkindness, hatred and division going on in the world. We knew exactly how to say, “that is where love is lacking.” I found that in only seeing where it was not, I was depressed and turned harsh towards myself and others.
I recently decided to change my perspective and make note every time I saw a tiny twinkle of love. I started highlighting in my mind when a stranger held the door for an elder, when a smile came from behind the mask in the busy after work store run, when emotions were high and we still found a way to reach out to a friend to ask how they were doing. These are all acts of love that I had forgotten were still there. It finally hit home when my 11-year-old son was verbally reacting to an injustice done to me (I was cut off at a stop sign.) He said some bad things about the driver of the other car. I had my love seeking goggles on, so what would have been a reprimand by me to his words of unkindness, actually turned into me thanking him for always wanting to protect me and take up for me. He was not acting in hate, he was actually acting in love, for me. That was the finale! The end of my search and my very finite answer. Love is.
Love is everywhere and can also be nowhere. We can see love where we chose to. We can spend our time choosing to see where it is lacking. And in doing that, we often collect massive amounts of data to argue that it is gone. But we can also choose to see it everywhere. And, oh, how it is everywhere. I see sprinkled in every single thing we are doing as humans. Even in the actions, at one time, I pointed out love was lacking. I now see the intention behind them and there it is, love! It is quietly resting behind our every motivation, waiting to be chosen. When we take away the idea that it is gone, it is so very apparent. Love is all around us, if we choose to see it.
My name is Melissa High. I live in Shawnee and am the mother of 3 children. I have always been facilitated with words and the power they have in our lives. It is an honor to write about my favorite word, LOVE.