Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Love is a Verb

Verb – A word that describes an action, occurence, or state-of-being.

I am a listener. Always have been. In my professional life I spent many, many years perched alongside many who would pour out their souls in the confident embrace that only a hairdresser could provide. I have heard everything from bang trims, to back pain–from menstrual cramps to murder.

I also found that my services were sometimes a by-product of the time spent with me. People crave connection. People want to be heard, they want an audience, and they want to feel valued if even only for a brief moment. I found that people sought and desired compassion. They want love.

Many people would sit in front of me seeking advice or thumbing through books looking for new “bait” to put upon the proverbial hook. They sought a magnetism that would attract the attention and affection of others. They would also seek to elevate how they perceived themselves.

This lonely quest for love is perpetuated by feelings of powerlessness. We are fooled to believe that this emotion, ethereal and elusive is beyond our grasp. I found that I was saddened by noticing the proliferation of those feeling separate–a state of bottomless wanting hoping that the void would become occupied with tangible evidence that one is “worthy” to have this “butterfly” land upon the shoulders of the deserving.

I too spent many hours feeling defeated, deprived, and depleted in my search for this state, this “rainbow” that was colorful and brilliant, yet no matter how fast I closed in on it, the faster it seemed to move away. This love not only in an affectionate sense from a mate, but from friends, family, and others–myself.
I felt that if others did not want me, I may be fractured. Maybe unable to contain the nourishing nectar love was able to provide to only the secure. How long would I have to wait? What must I do? Is there a manual? Is there criteria? Does love do a background check?

I would “numb” myself and saw others do the same, wallowing in a pool of shame watching my self-worth drop like stocks in a recession. I no longer took stock in myself. I grasped at love like a child trying to catch bubbles blown in a gust of wind. In my attempt to clutch them, they burst. It burst. I burst.

I turned to contempt. To loathing. To judgment. It was your fault as much as it was mine. I used to be good enough, or so I thought. If I suck, then you suck too!

I wanted the feeling of the warm and fuzzy, the connected and cozy, and it required an ingredient I could not get which another had to provide. I thought if I had that ingredient I could feel a certain way. Then and only then would all be well. I felt I had the lock but someone else had the key.

Then it dawned on me–Love is not an emotion as much as it is a verb. A shift in my perception, created a shift in my reality!

The seeds of love are steeped in action that I can activate upon my very choosing. When thinking of loving someone, I thought, “HOW do I love someone?”

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 I show compassion to them. I find humor, and brilliance in who they are. I am accepting of them for their uniqueness. I offer them forgiveness, a lot of forgiveness. I desire to have them at my side. I try to connect with them on an intellectual level to better understand their world so I can seamlessly merge it with my own. I want to grow from them. I am myself with them. I do not try to control them unless I am attempting to try to elevate them. These are all actions.

I found that by engaging in the activities of love, I was planting that which I could harvest later. The more nurturing and pure the intention behind the gestures, the greater the harvest!

I also found to receive love; we must be “lovable.” Creating love through my loving actions created a source of love others gravitated towards. I no longer felt that I had to change the bait on the hook trying to "snare" someone or something with a continually changing facade. Love became gravitational and sought me out. I found myself abundantly surrounded by that which I always try to demand from others.

In practicing these loving gestures, I also found that I never had to manipulate my strategies. Since all people, even including the ones in a given relationship send, receive, and interpret love as an emotion differently, I found the actions were similar which created the desired emotional states personally tailored to the experience.

In showing acceptance, appreciation, tolerance, absence of judgment, support, nurturing, affection, and accommodation, I find most experience their desired interpretation of love. This was so much simpler than trying to go through a huge set of keys trying to see which one opened the vault.

The beauty of all this came to me when I realized I could start with myself. I could express these actions to myself! I could become my own catalyst of love and start to develop it in myself and my space. I found that it was almost like being able to print money but the value of the minted material I found was much more valuable and brilliant.

I now find an absence of the destructive thoughts and behaviors that once burdened me. These thoughts based upon a low self-worth due to the absence of something I felt I was not worthy of, or was tired of having pass me by. I no longer feel separate, ashamed, hollow, or lesser-than.

I encourage people to consider HOW they love, and HOW they like to be loved, and then do those things. I guarantee you; the emotions that once shifted in our lives like the weather seem to provide much more sunshine, and the storms become that much more bearable.

Take action! Something will occur! And we will receive the state-of being!

1 comment:

Lisa Joy said...

Loved this Tony...you have a gift!