Friday, July 29, 2011

Love. Actually. Is All Around Us

Friendship.  Love. Purpose.  All these things are what create the world around us and make things pleasurable.  Why, then, do we not hold them in higher regard?  Why do we not see we are not alone, even when we feel the most alone?  Why do we cling to what is bad instead of good?  Losing faith in ourselves and others?

This week has been particularly difficult.  Aside from problems at work and in the day to day grind we all somehow create for ourselves, I then dealt with more than the average unforeseen problems in my week.  By mid week I was having trouble sleeping from stress and the feeling that I am stuck.  Stuck at a job I hate.  Stuck in a city, nay state, I wish not to be in.  Stuck in the grind of life that keeps me from the freedom to have fun. 

Just stuck. 

I confessed to a friend that I would not be able to attend an event we had been planning on for some time at the last minuet and then to another I had to decline a further invitation.  Understand, I wanted to attend, but life circumstances sometimes dictates our schedules.  I was shocked when one offered to help in a situation so that my life circumstance would not dictate my fun.  She left me a note, after my battle to accept her help that stated simply, “Just because I love you.”  I don’t like to cry, especially in public, so I was thrilled that I read the note at home, alone.  I literally broke down…which never happens. 

As I am sitting in my room, solitary and quite, processing what just happened, my kid brother (who is serving abroad) happened to IM me. He never had very good timing, but in this case, he out did himself.   He asked how I was, and as usual, I told him.  Not two minuets into my conversation we traded roles.  Usually, I have been the one to encourage him, hold him accountable and uplift him.  But that day, he did that for me.  He reminded me how loved I am, how appreciated and how much I effect other people’s lives for the good.  (I enjoy an accolade like the rest, but please don’t take this as tooting my own horn).  Then he said something I tend to forget, “Just because you don’t get to see everyone all the time, doesn’t mean they do not love you.  Sis, you are loved and one day God is going to open big doors for you and your talents and skills are going to make a big impact.”  When did he become the big brother? 

All this was going through my head when the following day a co-worker brought in a small treat from Starbucks, nothing fancy.  On the top of the carrier box she wrote, “Just because you are wonderful…enjoy a touch of happiness in your stressful day.”  Then today, my little niece called just to say she loves me and ask me to attend a show with her because “I want to be able to sit on your lap.” 

Funny how these little instances of love and friendship can do more than wonders for a soul.  The problems of the week and the struggles we fight through sometimes blind us to the love all around us.  Love really is all around us, whether we are married, in a relationship or single.  Why do we not open our eyes more?

I then thought that perhaps the reason we blind ourselves is because we look into ourselves instead of out towards others.  Our focus is so self centered we turn ourselves into arrogant prats with “Why me?” forever ingrained on our lips. 

The world is so lost and lonely because they have forgotten where to look and how to act.  We look into ourselves.  We act for ourselves.  We endeavor after our own desires.  No wonder the biggest complaint on Americans’ lips is not the economy but how lonely we are.  We are lonely because we do not invest (as I spoke about last week), but we are all the more depressed because we fail to recognize the small touches of love from others daily. 

This week I challenge you all to stop.  Breathe.  Enjoy the sunshine.  And at the end of the night, when you lay in bed going over the events of the day, as you recollect the sorrows, stresses, and inflictions others have placed upon you (as we all do whether we care to admit or not), make a list of all the good things, the small favors, kind words, touches of love that has blessed you throughout the day.  For every bad, I bet there are two good deeds done or words said.  Let’s start changing the world and those sad statistics by changing our focus from inward to outward, seeking the good and savoring those memories instead of clinging to the bad.  


  1. Funny you should mention taking a moment to think of what we're grateful for in a day. At night before bed we've been asking Abby what she liked about her day, I started asking her so I could incorporate it our nightly prayers... But now it's just about finding something to like about the day. She's started telling Josh and I we have to go first... So now I am forced to take a moment to reflect on my day, too. It's really changed my outlook!

    Ps: I really enjoyed what you had to say, too. We often fail to see the love around us because we're so caught up in the trials of the everyday. A can't see the forest for the trees moment, if you will. Also I love how God showed you Allen the love you needed to se this week, those little love notes from God (through friends) is a beautiful testament to a God of the small things!!

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  3. Mrs. B. Thank you. So glad you have the opportunity thrust upon you to reflect on the good. It really does change our outlooks. Little Abby is SO smart!