When life slows enough to allow me to spend time thinking deeply, I often like to consider how I want the balance of my life to be weighed. I will not be a great historical figure. I doubt I will write a sentinel piece of literature. I will not make a fantastic scientific discovery. In the great scope of time, I shall be remembered by a few people and my existence will pass away. Some people may find this an odd thing to sit around pondering. But, this is one of those great questions mankind has considered since we, as a species, could consider. Auguste Rodin’s statue, The Thinker, has eternity to sit an ponder. I think in many ways, modern man has lost the art of thinking. If we don’t ever spend time thinking, we cannot truly understand what we are feeling.
So, back to my life….what shall it be worth? For what will I be remembered? How will I have contributed? My deepest desire is to know love. Love is our grandest, most fundamental emotion. How do we know we are loved? I think and feel that love originates from a belief that a Creator had to have actually desired us. I call that being God. Across time on this planet, man has struggled to define this Force. I shall never suppose to know the mind of God, but I have this image of Him pondering what he wants to make next….and He made us. How cool is that? But more than that, He made us LOVE. I believe other creatures also have emotions, but humans LOVE in an entirely different way. Our emotional spectrum is complex but in modern times, also stunted. (Is our emotional retardation connected to our separation from the Divine? That is a whole other post.)
Who has time to feel anything when we move at warp speed?
Love is sustenance. Love is cellular. Love is biological. Love is that core piece of the Divine embedded in all of us. I do not like to consider that there are people incapable of loving, because that would mean there are those among us lacking anything Holy.
I want the balance of my life to be about cultivating LOVE. Ultimately, it means I want my life to be in the service of my Lord, but I want it to be through my acts. The testiment of my love shall echo in my acts. If I love my Creator, then my life shall be dedicated to loving others. In my faith, Jesus loved in a perfect way. Are we remotely capable of that kind of love? I think trying is a true vocation.
How is it that those closest to us can often feel unloved? How can we best express our love? How does a child grow into adulthood and believe they were unloved and unwanted? How can a marraige, after decades, dissolve if there is love? How can I feel so lonely or empty or distant if I am loved? What happens to love in these situations?
Love is energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed.Â Like energy,Â love assumes many forms and can be expressed in many ways. The hope is to learn to communicate love in a way others can comprehend. Many years ago, I read a book by Gary Chapman called The Five Love Languages. I learned that each of us speaks and shows our love in different ways. We can truly, deeply and completed love another person and yet they can still feel unloved. How can that be? How can two people have such energy invested yet feel woefully unloved? Mr. Chapman suggests in this book that we can be speaking different “love languages”.
So, what is my language? It varies depending to whom I am connected. As a child, I needed love from my parents as words of affirmation. From my once husband, I needed quality time. But, I also express my love differently to different people. For my children, I devote quality time to them. I often express love in all my acts of service. I love to give gifts to my friends. If my child needs physical touch then I must learn to accept his need to sit on me and hug me and be always in my personal space. I must love them the way they need to be loved….even if it is a language I stumble on. As time passes, I become more fluent in these languages and LOVE thrives.
The success of my life is measured by my ability to live a life of LOVE and to communicate to my Creator, my father, my mother, my two sisters, my sons, my friends, my close companions, my acquaintances and the random stranger that I am a loving person. I pray that is the ultimate balance of my life.