I’ve been exploring two themes in my head a lot lately, but especially over the past week. I wanted to formulate more cogent ideas around both of them, but in meeting myself where I’m at, and allowing my thinking to evolve in the future… here’s what I have so far:
Love is an action. We do things with love. We speak words with love. I think most people can recognize the difference between a perfunctory “Love you, bye” phone hang-up and a meaningful, “I love you” said with genuine emotion. Cheating on a partner is not a loving action, just as sex doesn’t necessarily have to be a loving action. Actions and words can be infused with love– just as they can also be infused with people-pleasing, anger, hatred, and so many other things. A teacher can teach with love or with heartless authority. Mother Theresa says, “Do small things with great love,” and I believe in the power of small loving actions.
Being sad about something doesn’t mean that I want to, or should, try to fix the situation. We can feel sadness without self-pity; we can feel sadness without anger; we can feel sadness without assuming that we need to fix it and solve it and make the sadness disappear. This is a very hard concept to wrap my head and heart around– usually, though, it’s my head that confuses my heart in these moments. Sadness– just some pure, unadulterated sadness– is necessary to be able to move forward.