Monday, August 11, 2014

Prompt: (Don’t Be Afraid to) Love More

“We are grateful for these and all blessings”

It’s an old family dinner grace, and one I adopted as Daughter was old enough to join us at the table. It is an expression of gratitude, without specifying to whom or what. That’s open to interpretation or debate. The gratitude is much simpler.

“What will you do with your one perfect life?”

A beautiful, life-affirming throw-away line from Letters to Juliet. I want to get it as a wall quote. You have one life, this life. What will you do with it? What if it is, in fact, perfect?

“Don’t be afraid to be the one who loves more.”

Advice from an older couple. And I’m trying. And it’s hard. Terrifying. Nerve-wracking. Doubt-inducing. Exactly.
And it’s not just about a romantic partner. As if that weren’t hard enough. Parents. Children. Coworkers. Caregivers. Police officers. Store clerks. Exes. The guy who cut me off on I-40 on my way to an important meeting this morning.

            What if someone hurts me?
            Love more
            What if someone takes advantage of me?
            Love more
            What if someone makes fun of me?
            Love more
            What if someone is angry with me?
            Love more
Because I think it may all boil down to this. Why do we want money? Power? Things? To protect ourselves. To protect our families. Because we are afraid. But what if everyone approached life through a different lens? Love.

You are imperfect. Love yourself anyway. Because you are worthy.
Love yourself.

To thine own self be true
And it must follow
As the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man

Because it’s not about *them*. It’s about *you*. At the end of the day, as you lay your head on your pillow and close your eyes, *you’re* the one who has to live with *you*. And at the end of it all, in the moment that you die, it’s all, always, been about *you*. And how you have lived your one perfect life. For the better? For the worse? And of course other people affect you. They affect us every day. The drug dealer racing from the police. And of course other things affect us. Cancer. Heart attack. Earthquake. Fire. It. Is. Still. Your. Choice.

Will you rage? It’s okay, you’re allowed. Will you quit? Completely understandable. Will you get hard? Withdraw? You can, you might. But…will you stay that way? Or will you, maybe, possibly, choose to Love. More.

Several years ago, I worked with a young couple, and though I enjoyed their company, and I thought the two of them were very much in love, it bothered me how much they bickered and picked at each other. My grandparents were the same way, and as a young child, it bothered me even then, although I believed they loved each other too. This same young couple, however, also approached the world from a very particular mindset: how much can we *get* from anyone. They were, in turn, very generous in many ways, such as opening their home to friends, hosting frequent parties and casual dinners. But there was such a strong undercurrent of “I scratch your back a little to see how much you’ll scratch mine.” And in our business dealings, this took on an even more mercenary edge. A sense of “They owe me!” An angry edge. It always made me uncomfortable, and eventually (for this and many other reasons), we parted ways.

In the aftermath, which was also the aftermath of huge changes in my personal life, I have worked to embrace a more positive approach to life. Sure, I get angry. Depressed. But I make conscious efforts not to dive into the negative. I used to have a lot of “road rage”, and while I occasionally regress, I usually try to let people pass, wishing them safe passage on their journey, as I want safe passage on mine.

Sometimes, the negative is too much for me to easily overcome, and I have to float for awhile, as I have this past week in the aftermath of a friend’s unexpected death, as I’ve shared in the past few blog posts. I have said before, I am a water baby, and much of my personal imagery involves water, such as floating. I often think of depression in particular, but I’ll say all of the negative energy and emotion in my life, as an ocean, and I have carefully constructed a dam to hold it back. Sometimes it threatens to break the dam, and again, I have to float, rise above, hold on, wait it out. Let the waters recede enough for me to regain balance, control. My positive outlook and approach to life.

Because there’s a lot of negative out there. And we all have to choose how we live our one perfect life. I choose, again and again, I choose to live it with love.

If you’re still reading, bearing with me, you may be thinking, hey, isn’t this supposed to be a prompt-writing site? Um, isn’t it supposed to be daily?

Yes, and yes. At the end of July, I intended to step back from my daily writing to the prompts, and to focus on finishing the complete draft of my first novel. I also planned to build out some of the prompt-writing resources here on And so I shall.

I think I’ve sufficiently written to today’s prompt. I might be almost ready to leave journaling and return to writing speculative fiction. Or, perhaps, they are one and the same.

I’ve heard many translations. Here’s one I love: The light of the universe that shines within me recognizes the light of the universe that shines within you.

Dogs in House

Time writing
~90 minutes

August word count

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry about the loss of your friend, Margaret. I've not been on Linkedin lately, and missed post. We are truly blessed to live each day; we never know what will happen tomorrow. Sending much love, Nance