Angels and Demons the Following Day…

“One may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel.” – Doctor Who ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s easy to get caught up in the hoopla of holiday. The kids need the requisite cards to hand out to their classmates (yes, even the kid that smells funny, or the one that picks on them…yes even that one kid…you know…the weird one, who’s family is just….strange). Trying to explain to the little ones that everyone needs love. Or the pressures of dating or being solo or married/partnered. When they said they didn’t want a gift…did they really not want one? Or did they secretly want one but not want to have to tell you they wanted one? Or , or? To the point that we lose focus on the really important things in life.

Valentine’s Day, history and Hallmark aside, is meant to be a reminder of one of the greatest gifts humankind has. The capacity to LOVE. Love is a word that has probably one of the broadest ranges of definitions of any word in the English language. It has at least 27 definitions to express everything from a score in a tennis match, a term of endearment, and fondness for objects/activities, an affection for another person (anyone from parent/child, friend, to the intensity of romantic/sexual partners), the act of intimate relations, even a feeling used to relate the fondness of deity for it’s creation! It can be conditional. It can be unconditional. It can be short or last a lifetime. It can be returned or not. So why do we limit our focus in February so narrowly? Why celebrate only romantic love?

Sure, in it’s best form, romantic love is meant to embrace and embody a perfect union of (at least) two souls – in an unconditional, life long, enduring, passionate affection. But how many of us these days can honestly say to have found that ideal? How many of us compromise? How many of us are afraid to give of ourselves that completely – thinking it will never be returned as fully? How many of us limit our capacity and definition of love? Why? How often do you say “I love you” because you don’t know what else to say? Or because someone said it to you and you don’t want them to feel bad? Or even without really thinking about it because it’s just become so much habit – like saying “hello”?

Love can be so much more than we allow it to be. Rather than getting caught up in all the circus, why not spend some time to really think about those people in your life that you truly love? In all their varied forms and roles. The friend that you haven’t spoken to in years, because life gets busy, but you know if you called them on the phone right this minute crying they would immediately drop everything for you. The sister/brother of the heart – even if the stork did get lost and make the delivery at a different house. The people in your family, who would be there for you no matter what – even to tell you the things you don’t want to hear when you really need to hear them. Your partner/spouse. Your kids. Your parents. Anyone who can lay even the smallest claim on having a place in your heart.

I’m not saying all these relationships are perfect, of course they’re not. We’re all human and therefore all fallible. But what if we tried just a little bit harder? If we gave just a little bit more? What if we treated even a total stranger as we would those we hold most dear? How would that change the world? What if we treated ourselves with the same love that we give others? How would that change our own happiness? (Or if you’re really good at self love – treat others with the same love your show yourself. How would that change how they feel? How would it change how you feel?)

No matter our circumstance or personal histories, everyone knows and experiences what it feels like to be unloved. If you’re really lucky and fortunate, you only have to feel it once. Maybe a first crush that wasn’t returned. If you’re less lucky, you know other ways in which the absence of love can prick and sting even the seemingly hardest of hearts. But the presence of love, can be just as powerful. It can melt through the coldest walls of self protection a person can raise. Applied persistently and with care, it can create miracles. Love makes us feel good. It makes us happy, more positive, and healthier. So it makes sense that a person lacking such feeling would be more negative, sad. It’s been proven that going long enough without love can even cause death.

Love can make us do stupid and embarrassing things, sure. It can also bring out that which is the best inside of us. We are moved to sacrifice and endure for others, what we would never do – even for ourselves. As stated so aptly above in the Dr. Who quote “One may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel.” Who would you tolerate a world of demons for? For who in your life, would you be willing to face down the bowels of hell itself? Who is the first person you think of when you wake? Who is the last person you think of as you drift into sleep? Who, at the merest thought of, can make you smile and instantly make your day better? Who knows the one thing that can always make you laugh? Who is the guardian of your secrets and will take them to the grave for you? Who never leaves, even when you’re not very lovable? Who prods, cajoles, gives you crap – because they want to see you succeed at be your best?

There are no right or wrong answers here. You may have a different person for each of those questions. You may have a small handful. You may have just one person. Whatever the case may be, I challenge you to do something this month for anyone that comes to your mind in answer to any of these questions. Send a postcard, give an unexpected hug, just listen when they need to vent. Something, anything, to show that they’re important to you and that you appreciate them. In other words – show them some love. You may be one of many that love them, or you may be the only person in the world that loves them. Does it really matter? To them it will. Who doesn’t like knowing that they matter to someone – even a little.

Try showing even a stranger a little love. I promise you it makes a difference. Whether it’s picking up the tab for someone behind you in line at 7 Eleven, helping someone with their bags at the grocery store when you see they’re overwhelmed, leaving an anonymous letter somewhere for someone to find that simply says “You’re Great!” The smallest things can have such far reaching effects – we can all make a difference. And here’s a secret: Helping someone you don’t even know – can even help make you feel happier! Where can you start to make a difference? Where can you take an extra five seconds to give a stranger a smile or hold a door for someone who’s hands are full? Who can you cheer up? Where can you spread a little more kindness, a little more softness, a little more love in the world? Where can your presence lend a little more grace and goodness to the world?

Sometimes, the biggest thing we can do to lift another, is letting them help us. Is there somewhere in your life, that you could let someone help you? It can take a little stress off of you, it makes them feel trusted and important, and can make both of you happy. When someone offers help, instead of declining out of hand, think about it. Would helping you help them too? Do they maybe just want to be able to be a part of your life for a few minutes more? Do they maybe feel unnecessary or unwanted? Saying yes, might change that.

It’s not always about what you do or don’t do. It’s about how our actions and words affect others, from those who are most important to us to the stranger we pass without even noticing. It’s not always the big things we do that make an impact on people. It’s not the once a year charitable donation. It’s not looking good at church on Sunday. It’s choosing to be kind instead of first. It’s choosing to help instead of hustling by. It’s living as though every thing you do matters. Because it does. Small everyday things often times have the biggest impact. Some of the things you do that may have the biggest effect on the life of another, may be things you never hear about or even gave a second thought to.

Applying love to our life, in all it’s wonderful and varied forms, should not be something for just one or a handful of days a year. It should be something we live and breathe everyday. Where can living and breathing love improve your life and the lives of those you care about? How can we start seeing more angels and fewer demons?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stacy
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 23:31:59

    I Love You!

    Reply

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