I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately. I’m not alone. The past year, and most recently after the election, there has been a great deal of talk about choosing love over hate. The world seems to be full of intolerance, disgust, and anger. I’ve been filled with much of it myself lately exhibiting behavior quite unlike who I thought myself to be.
The Bible is full of references to love; what it is and what it isn’t complete with a detailed list in 1 Corinthians 13 instructing one on how to recognize it. Although love is a vitally important part of our lives, learning to love well and unconditionally is not something that is easy to master for most folks. My late husband, Kirk, made it look easy.
Love is defined in the dictionary as a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. That being said and acknowledging the Bible instructions to love one another, how realistic is that really? Certainly it is something to strive for; a worthwhile effort. But learning to love your spouse well, your children, your family and friends can be a challenge in itself. To learn to love someone who provokes the living daylights out of you is a stretch! Having said that, I do believe it can be done and at the very least just by replacing the dislike, distrust, and disgust with simply agreeing to disagree would help! Then do it and let it go. (I’m still working on that.) I believe if we all resolve to we can train our minds and hearts to be less critical, less judgmental, less condemning. Our DNA combined with our life experiences dictate what we are influenced by, what we are overly sensitive to, what we believe in and what we are passionate about. It should not come as a surprise then to realize the myriad of differences in us all. That’s a good thing. What is not a good thing is when we fall into the trap of believing I am right and you are wrong.
One of the greatest lessons I learned from my husband was acceptance and I’m still working on that. He was very good at it and it does make your life a lot easier if you can attain it. It served him well near the end of his. He taught me about loving others. He was the only person I ever met who truly lived by the rule ‘If you can’t say something nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all.’ He enforced it too, not allowing gossip in his presence. He did not judge others. He didn’t complain about anything therefore he didn’t criticize or condemn others.
The two words I heard most often to describe Kirk was ‘kind’ and ‘gentleman’. He was both. He worked hard focusing on what matters most and I’m doing my best to do the same. What a wonderful world it would be if we could just love one another. We could all use some love lessons. Perhaps you’ve already begun. I’ve been practicing on my little canine companion Tripp which I get zero points for by the way! But today I’m starting my refresher course Loving People Better 101. I know my Valentine would be pleased.
A woman with a grateful heart with more blessings than she deserves. My courageous and kind late husband Kirk remains at the top of my gratitude list.