It is difficult to love others sometimes, but we are called to do it no matter what. It's funny to try to teach this to a child, especially one who is a pre-teen. What do you mean I have to still love her even though she ruined my artwork, crushed my toys, or called me names? What do you mean I still have to love him even though he was mean to me or ignored me in the hallway? To adults: What do you mean I still have to love him even after he hurt me? What do you mean I still have to love her even after she broke my heart? What do you mean I still have to love even after I was made to look a fool in front of my boss?
It's difficult to learn to love even when we don't like. It is so very easy to forget about what love is when we are hurting or empty. When we have nothing left to give and yet we are still called to give more. Where does that come from? That never ending supply of love that we are supposed to be giving out?
What does love mean to you?
I could say that a kiss could change the way I was feeling loved. Coming home after a long day of work and not having to clean or cook dinner (I have been loving myself this way for a long time = takeout!!) I know that I feel loved through words of affection and endearment. I know that little notes here and there left behind just put a smile on my face and make a world of a difference.
I could turn around and do these things for other people, but they might not feel the same level of love that I do. They might just see expectations being met, not exceeded, not surprised by actions or words, etc. It is difficult to find what works and doesn't work. And sometimes it is not as simple as asking because people might not know themselves well enough to answer that question.
I love those little strips that give millions of ideas for what love is. Some of them are silly, some of them are romantic, and others are down right adorable.
How do you love?
Do you love selfishly or selflessly? Do you give back what has been given to you? Do you love with judgement or no judgement?
Love your neighbor as yourself - it's the second greatest commandment. And what does that mean? How are we supposed to be loving?
How do you love yourself? How are you allowing yourself to be loved? How are you loving others?
Think about how your life could change if you loved yourself differently. Think about how the lives of those around you could change just by simply loving them. What do you think the world would look like if we just loved everyone the same?
We could talk about world peace, equality, love, justice, etc. But what would all of that look like if we just loved first? Why is there so much hate, dislike and distrust?
How do you love? How could you love differently? How could your loving differently change your life and the lives around you?
Think about it.