Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What Does Love Look Like?

Driving home tonight I was distracted by an amazing moon. I had been writing an amazing blog for you in my mind, but that moon, enormous and luminous and heart grabbing, got in the way.

I'm going to try to lasso the moon for you and bring the thoughts back.

I had a surprise phone call today. And it was wonderful.

She called me for no other reason than to say she had thought of me. That she loves me.

She loves me.


I'm over that moon.

It made me realize that what I always preach to you about the little things is really maybe a true confession about myself.

So I tell you often that the little things count big in other people's lives. And they do. I see it all the time when I do little things. It's the ripple, the butterfly effect, the George Bailey moment. If we weren't there and didn't do the little thing, then the next things wouldn't have happened.

Well, after the last week or so and some reflecting, I've come to see that the little things are huge to me in the circles of those I love, cause it's not just The Mr. I hold dear in my heart. He has his own place, but within me there is another place with another sort of deep oozing love that I can not put to words, but if you're one of those people in that place in my heart, my soul, my very being, you know it. You've been subjected to the "I love you's" and all the different ways I've tried to tell you how much you count to me. For that I'd say I'm sorry, if I was, but I'm not. I'm not sorry at all, because if you count to me, I want you to know it. And don't even get me started on how we are within our families.

But I've come to see, I like to receive too. This simple phone call today made me notice it all over again. There was a certain intensity with which we were both making sure we said the "I love you's" and that they were heard. That they were felt and genuine. It makes sense after our silent stretch, but it was key.

It was key because it was natural, a pattern. It's become a part of me and I'm not sure when it did. At some point I realized it was important, maybe even critical to tell people you love them, to say the words every time you see them, every time you talk to them, everytime you think it or feel it or have the chance to do it. It became an important thing to give hugs and hold someone's hand and rub a shoulder. It became important for that hug to last just a moment or two longer and be just a little stronger so the other person really knew it was real.

Maybe I fear that hugs and "I love you's" have become like small talk. I often walk down the hall somewhere and hear from people I know, "Hi, how are you?" as they keep on walking and I find I almost have to turn my head to finish the verbal interaction and it's not real. It's what we're supposed to do, but it's not real. It's a Pavlov reaction to seeing an acquaintance. We've got polite and fake down to a science, but you know what? I want real.

I mean it. I want real. I want to be real with people and I want them to be real with me.

I love to hear, "I love you" especially when it's genuine and spontaneous. It's like a hug or someone special taking my hand at just the right moment because they know me that well. It's a cuddle or back rub or kiss without asking for it. It's a note or a phone call just because, with words from the heart.

It's knowing me well enough to know which things I'll never ask for but will always want. It's knowing me so deeply to know that I won't call unless you tell me to. It's knowing I'll never come to something unless you say to me, come to this, I want you there. I'm never secure enough, no matter how much you love me, to just trust that I'm welcome.

It's a book or song or something that fits me or fits our moments together that you tell me about just because it delights you. In turn, it delights me.

It's when you really see me, that I'm having a pulled together looking good day and you tell me I'm beautiful. Or that you've looked through me and seen what's really going on and taking the time to say, "what is it or it's going to be okay". It's noticing something like a sunrise or a full moon and somehow having that thought bring me to your mind.

It's the little things.

Perhaps all these words are just a small lesson in relationships, in friendships, in love. Perhaps we're loosing touch with how it's supposed to be, intense, real, messy and so on, in favor of an antiseptic, sterile, politically correct, polite version of friendships and love that won't ruffle anyone. If we keep it all nice and neat we won't bother anyone on the outside looking in and we certainly won't bother each other. But you know what? I think, no I'm certain, I would count those polite relationships as loss.