What about L*O*V*E?
"And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth"
– Raymond Carver’s “Late Fragment” provided by Aimee Levens
A week ago I kicked off the L*O*V*E project by exploring the definition of love. I sent out questionnaires to people that I know from a broad range of age, locale, marital status and gender. To read part #1 click here. We found that to be able to define love is difficult at best. We learned or re-learned that there are different kinds of love depending on the type of relationship and that love is about connection, openness and aliveness.Part 2 of the L*O*V*E project continues and the answers are so amazing, juicy and profound I can hardly wait to share my findings with you!
I am immersed in love and the meaning of it to others. Here is an image for you… I have hard copies of every answer I received and they are spread in a circle on our living room floor. I have spent most of my time sitting in the center of this circle, surrounded by these heart-felt answers about love… may I just say “yummy-licious?” I LOVE this and recommend this to anyone who needs a good shot of love.
Without further ado here is the yumminess on love for you:
Our second question: Why is love important to you personally?
Yet again, connection is a major theme in the responses to this question.As I consider this, it seems as though connection is something we think about as being simple.
It is simple…and yet it really isn’t at all.
Here are a few answers to show you what I mean:“ …As a human being I am truly wired for connection, and a connection of love is the deepest, richest and most wonderful of all” said Peter. Shannon’s response was ”Love connects me to the universe. It makes me feel like I’m not alone and I am valued.” Aimee used this quote to convey her answer: “Love cures people—both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it” (Karl Menninger).
Wow, love heals through connection, and love tells us that we matter through connection. This is no lightweight subject.
In her answer to the question of why love is important to her, Valorie speaks about this also: “…Love, to me, can transform and change anything for the better… When I am living lovingly, the ways love happens are endless.”
What excites me about love is how transformational it is – for anyone, anywhere and at any time. This is HUGE. At any time we can extend love to anyone and anything that crosses our path.
I would like to see us have more conversations around this. Why is there not a higher value put on the connections or bonds we have? If love is about being connected and a sense of belonging, why do we sequester it to our home or private life most of the the time? Can we push our boundaries a little further out into the world?
In Brene’ Brown’s book Daring Greatly she has a “Leadership Manifesto”, addressed to “CEO’S and teachers…politicians, community leaders, and decision-makers”. A key part of this manifesto is: “We are hardwired for connection, curiosity and engagement.”
The LOVE project is showing us that connection and engagement are key elements of love.
So to bring all of these points together, here is a crazy idea… let’s bring this kind of engagement wherever we are. Love is about Expansion – of ourselves and of others.
This is what my vision is for our future and is the focus of my coaching practice when working with clients who seek heart-based businesses in alignment with their heart-centered lives. We can connect and show love at any time.
That sounds pretty serious for a project on love and here is why:77% of the participants who answered the question “Why is love important to you personally?” said love is the reason they are here. It is their purpose with a capital “P”.
“I think we all just want to be loved. Accepted for who we are, but what most people don’t realize is that it begins with ourselves, it begins with self-love. It’s important to me because it’s my mission to share this with the world.” – Emily ( who IS doing just that – check her out at www.beflyliving.com )
“Wow…it’s the number one emotion for me and from it everything else flows..” commented Dan (who did move half way across the world for love).
“It gives me purpose”– Shannon
“Without it life would feel very lonely and likely meaningless” – Dorothy
“I believe it is our purpose on earth” – Sue
“Love is another name for Life” – Emma Curtis Hopkins, via Valorie
“If you don’t have love, you don’t have life, like water to a plant. Love nourishes us, gives us endless opportunities to grow.” – Dana
“I believe that I, along with everyone and everything else, am a being that was created from love. Love is my Source. Love is my internal language. I would cease to exist without it. All of creation whispers and shouts love to me.” – Linda
Did you catch that? From these strong answers love is the number one thing for our purpose here, and we would not thrive and even exist without it. Without the fostering of connection, and healing that love brings, our world would be a desolate one indeed.
All of this is speaking to how fundamental love is in our lives. It is what gives us meaning, purpose and fulfillment. And it can do this not only in our romantic relationships but in every single one of our relationships and encounters.
I told you it was fascinating and juicy…
I would like to close with a challenge: As you go through your day, be aware of where you are loving, and where you are not so much.
Then, go forth and love more.