Saturday, February 23, 2013

The many ways we love

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine who lives a plane ride aways called me out of the blue, late at night, just because. My heart warmed over as I remembered how much I love him. I had not thought of him in quite a while. He hadn't thought of me in a while either, I bet. Every now and then an overwhelming thought of each other brings us to reach out to one another in friendship. We catch up, laugh for a while, and send our best thoughts and all our affection...until the next time. This is one of the ways I love and get love back.

My two-year-old nephews call on my sister's iPhone screaming joyfully for auntie, my son walks by me as I write and kisses my forehead, my mom leaves goodies for me in my purse, a new colleague tells me that an ex recently spoke very highly of me, I get an unexpected call in the middle of the afternoon for advice and conversation, the friendly waiter at a restaurant brings me a cappuccino on the house, a gentleman at the gas station points to one of my tires that is running low and fixes it for me...these are some of the ways I get love and love back.

As I write this, another friend just Facebook messaged me. He sends me a hug with thoughts of me. He is a writer, a poet and his messages come flowered with love. Last night, as I sweat a fever, another friend, another poet, called me with concern and tons of love. A day before, my friend and editor spent the day with me until she felt I was better - no condescension, lots of laughs, great and intelligent conversation. Their sensibility comes through without naming the elephant in the room and giving me just what I didn't know I needed. Another way in which I love and get love back.

I share a cause, others look into it and adopt it as their own. Acquaintances gift my son with a treat to thank him for his help and courtesy. A concerned neighbor calls in the middle of the day because I have left a garage door open. A friend in my car quickly gets out at a red traffic light to close the gas tank cap of a car stopped at the same light. A client's firm and its employees pool together to buy groceries for a family in need–for one year, anonymously. A divorced couple decides to have a friendly lunch in forgiveness and new friendship. A retired gentleman walks around the neighborhood and picks up trash other people have left behind. This is love.

Love is not only the romantic type. Love comes to us in satisfying, nurturing and rich ways from different people, in different ways. Friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances and strangers love us in different capacities, as they can, as they know how, as they are willing to. We turn this love around by loving back...them and others.

Today is a good day to think of the many ways in which you get love and how you love back. Give, receive, let love come in, give love back.

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