a big beautiful mess

How do you Love?

How do we love in times of crisis?

How do we love in times of chronic discontent?

How do we love in times of hatred and polarizing media and the facebook echo-chamber of opinion and fear and speculation?

How do we love when we are betrayed?

How do we love when we betray?

You hear a lot of talk about unconditional love, and I’m not a parent, but I believe that almost all love is conditional. Almost everyone has a point at which they’ll leave. And I guess the condition is – as long as you love me back.

And a corollary to the condition — in a way that I understand as love.

Because as the 5 love languages teach us, there are different ways to love, and different ways to feel loved. And I believe there are many more than 5.

There are those who love by saying nothing, even when you want words of reassurance.

There are those who love by condescending, because to say that they love is to be too vulnerable.

There are those who love by hurting. And there are those who love by being hurt.

When times are hard and love feels far away, I try to remember the ways I love. I love by saying it. I love by showing up. I love by listening, by always having tissues. I love by sharing the places and books and ideas that make me happy. I love by being peaceful and quiet. I love by laughing too loud.

How do you love? How do you show love? When is it hardest for you to love? How can you remember love in those moments?

Love,

Ruth

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