"The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance." Brian Tracy
I believe in love. I believe love has purpose and power in all of our lives. Love is a driving force throughout the world. There is nothing more inhumane that being deprived of love. We need love to survive, and to thrive. Without love and without hope life has no purpose, no light, no peace. And yet, love has escaped me for so long. What I know is that I am surrounded by love, and what a gift it is to love and to be loved in return. I am wrapped in, adorned, drenched, and covered in love. I have others that love me, and the more I recognize it the more I am grateful for it. I, however, don't think I love enough, and love people enough. I don't demonstrate love. I don't live out my love. I don't embody love. I love, but not in it its entirety. I am still figuring out what me loving others - not just the way they love, but in my own way, means for me. I don't quite know yet. And I think that's okay.
I have never been in love. I have loved, and been loved. I know what love is, but I don't know what love will be for me. I think being able to witness love is an immense privilege. To be able to learn from the love of others, to observe, to learn, and to be able apply what you've taken in. To construct your own idea of what is and even more importantly, what love is not is this ambiguous task that we all have to figure out. I have seen love up close, seen love from afar, seen media representations of love, and seen love break down on social media. I have seen love reinvigorate life and love take away life just like that. I wonder what me in love, loving, and being loved will look like. What will it feel like? How will it be for me? I know that I have to make my love my own. My love will never be the same as that of anyone else. I cannot want, yearn, or desire for the love that I see from others - I have to create my own rendition. I have to try, and I have to fail, try again, and repeat for a lifetime. Love doesn't have an end point, and if it does, is that then love? Love cannot be a destination, nor a means to an end. Love has to be an ongoing process, a deliberative act, a renewed commitment in perpetuity.
I am still problematizing my conceptualizations of love. There's a distinction between loving love, being in love, and loving someone. Some people are in love with the notion of love or the idea of loving someone. Other people enjoy what being in love does for them. Some, engage in the act of loving another. Love has to be a verb, not just a noun. I think being bombarded with a varied narrative of what love is supposed to be, how it should feel, when you know, etc. has made putting love into practice challenging. Love for the sake of love is not love. Love for its benefit to you is self-serving. Love as a means for someone else seems different. Love can be intoxicating, enticing, and seductive. Love will always be self-benefiting. AND love needs to be practiced towards someone else if it's not self-love. That practice is what makes that kind of love different. Love is not an obligation but a repetitive choice to act, communicate, etc.
I used to be afraid that I was unlovable but I have come to know that is untrue. I think rather, I am fearful that I will get the chance to love another, and that terrifies me. What if I can't sustain love? What if my creation of love is not enough, or even what if it is too much? What if I don't want love to be all? I don't think I want love to consume me, for me to be lost in love or even to disappear into the love of another. I hope to retain myself as I am in love, but to also be open to being changed by love for the better. I am both wary, and optimistic of love - at least for me. I think my underlying contentedness with not having love in the "traditional" sense has brought me peace instead of the anxious society says it should. I don't love - in the ways we've long represented them is for everyone, and that's okay. I think focusing on love not as a concept but as an action makes love more utilitarian for us, helps us clarify the potency of love, and makes love more intentional.
"Love trumps hate" in all its variations have become this idyllic message that often lacks substance, sincerity, or sustainability. What does love do - and love has to do something because that is what it does. Love is a verb. Love is an action. Love is something that you do. Love is not passive. Love is unrelenting, undeniable, unbreakable. Love is unconditional, unwavering, and uncompromising. Love is powerful, potent, and proud. Love conquers all because love is a conqueror. Love is triumphant. Love wins. Love is a winner, a champion, a victor. Love is a survivor, protector, provider. Love is relationship, friendship, personhood.
Love is activism. Love is a force for peace, justice, and righteousness. Love must be spoken out. Love must be shared. Love must be made known. Love must be carried out. Love must be fostered. Love must be ferocious, passionate, and fearless. Love must be a warrior through and through. Love is a battlefield.
To proclaim the name of love is to live up to all its awe-inspiring grandeur. It is to be bold, brash, and brazen with your convictions, your conscience, and your consistency. It is to wield as the ultimate weapon to disarm, dismantle, and disengage. It is to sacrifice, be selfless, and to be self-aware. Love has to be given. Love rebukes hate. Love combats hate. Love destroys hate. Love does not cooperate with inhumanity. Love prevails because it takes a stance, it makes a declaration, it exists in its truth - then fights for it.
Love is human. Love is humanity. Love is recognizing, validating, affirming, and celebrating the humanity of all. I need your love to be real, to be passionate, and to be to be fierce. I need your love to be genuine, courageous, and intentional. I need your love to be alive, allied, and authentic. Do something tangible with your love because love demands it. Love is action - action is love. X