I woke up flooded with love.
It was an amazing feeling.
It wasn’t romantic love.
It was like waves, a vibration, and a voice saying, “You are love; love is you!”
That feeling lingered and followed me into my day and into the week. I’m not sure where it came from. I do know that I needed it.
This made me think about love and loving.
This article isn’t about your typical romantic love; it is about the things you do to show love.
I have spent the majority of the year in solitude. Plenty of time to think about all of the things I have done for love, out of love, and even to be loved. This past year has turned out to be the most expansive heart-opening year, and for this I am grateful.
It is human nature to desire to be loved and accepted. We are relational by nature. We are born dependant and learn and grow through relationships. We all crave connection and it is through our connection that we often thrive.
Sitting down to write this, I started thinking about all the things that I have done for others out of love and some things that definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’m an easygoing gal, one who adapts socially, but I don’t necessarily fill up my social calendar. I prefer attending concerts solo, as well as art events.
When I started to think about all the things I’ve done out of love, the first thing that came to mind was the year I went to what seemed like a hundred events with my single girlfriend. She was in a social job and needed to attend functions for her work. I became her date to galas, fundraisers, weddings, theatre productions, and the list goes on.
These events really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I was often asked last-minute and recall driving around town with a full gala attire in my trunk to change at a moment’s notice.
I attended these events for my friend because she needed me.
Honestly, I don’t recall if she was newly single or partnered with someone who refused to attend; all I know is I became a single girl’s date to what seemed like hundreds of events. Things I would have never attended on my own.
Looking back it was a hell of a year.
I recall going to events in a hearse, not a limo. You read this right: a hearse and winning a trip to Greece. An incredible year!
This attending and saying “yes” spilled over to other people.
After that year, I attended a convocation ceremony with a friend who was newly dumped.
I stood up and gave a speech at a wedding when the bridesmaid didn’t show up.
I went to classes and took notes when friends weren’t able to attend. I wasn’t in these classes…and I stuck out!
The past few years have brought me many losses. After loved ones passed away, I grieved, and this “doing” for others also increased.
The after-grief rituals and tasks were the strangest. After my father died suddenly, upon my mother’s request, we went to every store and business he attended in person, and my mother asked to be taken off mailing lists, saying my father had passed away. The grief rituals and requests were strange, but they were meaningful, especially to those who mattered.
After my ex-husband passed, I drove around with my ex-husband’s belongings in my car for a week after his house sold, until we could find storage.
I flew across the city with my ex-husband’s cremains. I filled in, picked up, and stood by for many, as I had experienced grief so intensely that when others called, I attended no matter how ridiculous or crazy the request sounded at the time. I have no regrets!
The crazy things I did for others weren’t for romantic love. These were the things I did for my friends, and I know that these friends are there for me and will do the same.
This is the season of my life in which friends are incredibly important—they are family.
I know I will continue to do crazy things for love; this I do not doubt.
I truly believe that the most important thing about life and living is our relationships and the people that we encounter.
Back to this flooding of love.
I hope this kind of love finds you, my friend, and that you, too, are flooded and immersed in the unconditional love of God, a love that finds you perfectly perfect in your imperfections.
Life is often strange and unusual.
One thing I know is that it is full of opportunities to learn, love, and grow.