Driving through Compton, my boys, knowing just enough about the area, questioned a billboard boasting, “We love Compton” inside a giant red heart. Baffled, they asked– “Why would anyone love Compton?” The organic opportunity to explore and share my thoughts on love in the moment was pretty sweet– that love is not just for people and things when they please us or make us feel good– That just means we enjoy them. The billboard is communicating that there are people who care for Compton and are contributing to better living for the families of a struggling community. Laughing, I added- “While I always want what is best for you, you don’t always make me feel good, nor do I always enjoy you. But, I do and always will love you.”
I of course love my children, dogs, my friends, and boyfriend, but that does not mean I am always kind to them. I am human, a single mom, working full time and embroiled in painful family dynamics. A good friend asked “Do you hate your family for what they are doing?” I thought for a moment. Do I love them? Do I hate them?? I want the best for them. I do not accept the way in which I am spoken to and about. I am hurt by their behaviors and efforts at this time, in the same way I have been for most of my life. I hate what they are doing. I hate what is happening. I do not hate them.
Researching and thinking a lot about love lately, for a definition that works for me, that feels authentic and sane. I don’t love burritos but they are one of my favorite foods. Just as I don’t hate Mayo but would do almost anything to avoid contact with it.
To me, love is kind, love is protective, nurturing, loyal and only wants the best for another. I do hate cruelty, abuse, dishonesty, disloyalty, and unfairness. People are not for hating. It is not why we are here. Love is always the answer.
Without GOD and self-love, I have nothing for others. To me, LOVE is much more than showing up for celebrations and emergencies. Life and love are what happen day in and day out. I am learning to love and be loved in ways that feel right. What is love? I will continue asking. I hope you will share.
I know! Wholesome Love is BadAss.