I’ve been thinking about love. I had two interactions last week with different people. One person is barely an acquaintance. And the other is one of my closest, lifelong friends. The first encounter was unexpected and impromptu. I heard that his parent died recently. For years this individual has been cold, detached, and outright rude to me. I choose to ignore this behavior; I realize this is not about me.
On a whim, I reached out and offered my condolences to him. I then gently asked if it was okay to give him a hug. I was pleasantly surprised when he said “yes.” I sensed that an invisible pause button appeared; the others in the room all pretended not to notice.
As I hugged him, I said, “It’s okay. You can go back to being an asshole tomorrow!” He actually smiled and then laughed. As I got ready to leave, he looked directly into my eyes and expressed raw emotion. The rest is not mine to share, and I will honor his privacy. I felt a softening, a shift and I hope he felt supported in some small way. I’ve experienced so much loss; my heart hurt for him.
I also had a difficult but necessary conversation with a dear friend. She’s like a sister to me, truly one I consider family. And we’ve rarely, if ever, had any conflict. I was nervous about the phone call. I love her deeply and knew we had much to discuss. I respect, value, and care about her; this conversation was a pivotal point in our relationship.
I am still smiling and grateful beyond words for our candid, unfiltered chat. Both of us were hurting for various reasons. Expectations and assumptions had caused a disconnect. We ended the call with renewed faith in our forever friendship.
Why do I share these two vastly different yet deeply impactful moments? I started thinking about love as it manifests in all forms. Volumes of literature and poetry have been written about this topic. Comedic and romantic scripts are replete with loving (and sarcastic) banter. Today I’ll share what I feel love is not and offer a perspective I hope resonates with you!
It’s out of character for me to begin my blog with what may seem, on the surface, to be a negative perspective. However, I often see life, like a black and white photo, as a study in contrasts. For me, love is not control, manipulation, or judgment. Love is also not suffocating or self serving. And love is not competitive, conditional, or calculated.
So what IS love? I could bore you with the different types of love, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, and more. But you can just type keywords into your browser or even ask Siri!
Love is acceptance.
Love is generous.
Love is kind.
Love is supportive.
Love is respecting boundaries.
Love is liberation.
Love is gentle.
Love is connection.
I launched EVERY SOUL HAS A STORY in 2017. And now I’m expanding it to include a PODCAST! We have been working on it for months. And I am excited to introduce you to interesting, insightful guests. Our first episode will be released tonight!
Several of you have suggested that, in addition to writing blogs, I connect and share through meaningful conversations. I am grateful for your engagement and feedback. As always, I will continue to send weekly inspirational messages and photos. Join me for this next chapter.
And to love is to let go. That may mean forgiving a loved one who did not apologize. It may mean choosing to forget or look the other way. It often requires a strong sense of humor, too! And speaking of love, my first guests on Every Soul Has A Story podcast shared about how they’ve been married for more than 60 years! Please visit daralevan.com to check it out!
Wini and Joe said that their secret is to “not hear everything” and have a sense of humor. You can listen to the entire episode of EVERY SOUL HAS A STORY by visiting my website. Click this link! https://daralevan.com/ and SUBSCRIBE.
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