Abundance of Love
“Sometimes you love people in a way they cannot understand.” Unknown
At 12 years old, I figured out what it means to love. So obviously I told my mom of my miraculous discovery: “Whoever I marry needs to know how to cook.” That’s how my mom showed love from the time I was very young. Every time I felt overwhelmed or would run away from my problems or hide away in my room, she would make something delicious and coax me out of my room. I would sit down and eat. I’d talk about my day and we would connect. That was love.
So when I was in my 20s, I was living with my first partner and a year and a half into it we were arguing constantly because not only did she not cook but she was not willing or open to even taking cooking classes with me.
I tried bargaining with her. I said I’d cook some days. I would cook for four days and she would cook three.
Six to one?
Just make breakfast?
I stormed into my mentor’s office and announced; “There is no love in this relationship. This is insane. It’s not fair. Isn’t a relationship supposed to be made of compromises? Aren’t we both supposed to stretch and learn and grow and figure out what the other person wants and serve those needs? It’s not fair, man. She doesn’t love me.”
With great concern, he asked me what was wrong – what had happened. I explained about the cooking and the problems it was causing in our relationship.
My mentor shook his head and smiled and told me two things that changed how I see love. It also made me realize the abundance of love I actually have in my life.
He said “She’ll always fail. No matter how much she’s open to cooking, she’ll never cook the same as your mom. It just won’t be the same because that’s not how she shows love.
“I don’t want her to be my mom…” I replied
Without missing his beat he continues:
“What is much worse is that you think there is no love in your life because you’re so focused on the way YOU need it. You’re missing how SHE shows it. And so, she feels like she’s always disappointing you and she feels like she’s not enough. You feel like you’re not loved. She shows love in her own way and you’re blind to it.”
I remember sitting in his living room overcome and completely embarrassed. He was right.
We have all had those moments when someone close to us says “You don’t love me.” We are usually blindsided by this because they don’t see the ways we are showing love. Maybe you show love through hugs and they want words or gifts. There are many ways to show love.
I remember coming home after that conversation with my mentor and announcing to her, “I don’t care about cooking. I love you. We’re just gonna spend time together. And if we have to hire a chef, we’ll hire a chef.”
Her jaw was on the ground because for a year, we had been arguing about cooking and I just let it go.
I let go of the fact that I needed to have people show me love in the way that I grew up with. It freed me to see how much love there actually is in my life. And it’s beautiful!
But, I’m not perfect.There’s a lot of times that I’ll snap at my mom or my brother, and I’ll feel that they don’t love me because they’re not showing up in the way that I want them to. But the more I’m slowly letting go of that and opening my eyes, the more I notice how full my life is of love.
So if you feel like there’s no love in your life, maybe you’re just not seeing it. Perhaps you are focused on how you want it or on how you were shown love in the past. So much so, that you’re missing what’s all around you. It’s okay. I miss it too. So this week, let’s practice together seeing the profusion and bounty of love that we have in our lives.
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