Wouldn’t it be amazing if it were that easy? As if, like a good snow storm you know you’re expecting, you look out the window and instead of snow, you saw love. And because it snowed on the whole town, everyone saw the same thing, and everyone felt the same thing and we all baked cookies and took instagram photos of it.
And, instead of everyone being snowed in, they were loved in!
Sounds like a perfect Charlie Brown episode, doesn’t it? Or a Hallmark card scene on Valentine’s day. Which is where those scene’s belong because, let’s face it – when was the last time you wanted to spend money on reality? Exactly, Money is for dreams.
I still love Bill Maher’s quote about Valentine’s Day:
“Let’s just call Valentine’s day what it is; a flowers for blow jobs exchange program”
But, Love? How do we call love what it is?…….
Not so long ago I dated, and fell in love with a guy who traveled a lot for work. When we first started dating, our most frequent means of communication was via email. The messages were short, careful and brand new sounding. I tried to be funny, he was sincere. I tried to smart, he was concise.
Not long after we met, I found myself in a conversation with a few girlfriends about communication in dating. The big topic on the table was the XO at the end of an email. When do you throw it in? I tend to not over think those things, though I do over think a lot of others, but when she boldly announced that she took the XO literally and it was a big deal, it got me thinking.
An X flashed into my mind. I pulled up the long email conversation this guy and I had started and there it was, a few emails in and many emails ago. Tiny as a button, in its boldest expression standing on its, little out of the way, own; a big X from him. I read the through the thread like I was opening a gift again, to realize what I hadn’t seen. After a few emails, following no X response from me, he had stopped. Not the emails but the XO. I hadn’t noticed a single expression. “Did he too take these literally?” I wondered.
So, at the end of my next email? Xo
Sure enough, he followed up with: xxxx
He was paying attention and now, so was I.
And there we were, sending secret little expressions of recognition amongst the everydayness of our typed conversation. Neither of us verbally acknowledged this to each other for a while, but I would smile when I saw those little letters at the end of his email, knowing that he saw mine.
I think Love is like the little XO among all the other long, trailing, stubby, beautiful words. It’s not the roses you bring or the gifts you offer; that’s called kindness. It’s not at the end of an aisle, after the offering of rings; that’s called a promise. It’s not the long kiss, the other’s hand on the small of your back or holding your hand; that’s called expression. It’s not words of encouragement, congratulations or a compliment; that’s called recognition. It’s not opening your heart; that’s called the truth. It’s not in going first, telling the truth, leaving or staying; that’s called courage.
And yet, it is all of that. Judy Clement Wall said it wisely in her Love Essays when she said “Love is a practice”. Love IS a practice in kindness, in making a promise you work your hardest to keep. It is in expression, in recognition, in being truthful and in being courageous.
I like to think that Love is the message inside the message which is staring at you every time you read the story of your life. It’s the secret you don’t need to tell, because everyone is keeping it. And it’s the secret you don’t need to keep, because your entire existence is telling it.
It is the little x at the end of everything you want to say.
Last year, exactly 14 days before Valentine’s Day in an effort to shift my attention away from heartbreak, I embarked on a noble quest to write everyday about love. Essentially, it was a secret love letter. I shared music, poetry I loved, thoughts, ideas and interviews and every day I immersed myself in conversation and inspiration and by Valentine’s Day, I was very much in Love.
I have been embarking on a different quest here in India, so I didn’t have the capacity to write everyday but the project is still up should you wish to read through.
Love is what you are, can you be it?
Now, go on, go and honor the rules of the Valentines exchange program!