The L is for Love
“How deep is your love?
I really mean to learn
‘Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be
We belong to you and me.” the Bee Gees
I cannot hear these beautiful lyrics without dissolving into a puddle of tears, they so deeply resonate for me -to this day. Really, what is Life without deep LOVE? Love unites -we belong to you and me. Love cushions and soothes ‘cause we’re living in a world of fools. Love is a balm to weary Souls that are repeatedly broken down and not let be. Love is a beacon of bright light when one is lost in the Abyss. Love is inside and all around us. Sometimes it is palpable and obvious, other times it is frustratingly elusive, mysterious and ineffable. Love prefers that you not chase it, “Let me come to you,” it whispers. “I promise I’ll be worth the wait.”
The I is for Integrity
“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” William Shakespeare, Hamlet
With each passing year of life, it becomes more and more clear that integrity is crucial to a well lived and deeply satisfying life. It gets more challenging to bear The Mask as one matures. You simply do not possess the wherewithal and patience to carry the weight of conformity, pretending to be and do that which you innately are not. There is a part of us (the inner child, the soft still voice inside) that yearns to be true, to be free, to be consistently you in all circumstances and with all people. There is indeed this indomitable push to just be You – no matter the cost. Yes, be assured, cultivating integrity will cost you in effort, time, money, people, etc. Still, it is an investment that will pay unparalleled dividends to many and do so indefinitely.
F is for Faith
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
These words are my favorite in the Bible, the words I come back to repeatedly when I desperately need to access my Faith. I often wonder how Life is navigated without faith in something or someone. So much transpires every day that defies logic and renders us in numb disbelief (think 9/11, cops beating on a man while he cries out “I can’t breathe!”, tsunamis, war, etc). How does one remain human, soft and open when one is relentlessly bombarded with distressing news? Faith. Faith (in all its various permutations) buoys and grounds. It is the root, the start of everything else that is meaningful in life.
E is for Enjoy
“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” Mother Teresa
Reading these poignant words by Mother Teresa (wisdom made flesh), I recall a conversation I had with a person of great influence in my life just a few days before graduating from college. “I am not happy,” I shared, nervous and near tears. ‘Life is not about happiness,” was the curt response I received. Ah, but it is I have since learned. Life is meant to be Enjoyed. Joy is not frivolous nor is its pursuit a sin. Joy is a powerful magnet, a net of love that draws us ever closer to our essence and to each other. There are few more delicious experiences in life than to wholeheartedly surrender to joy. Think about holding a baby or a puppy, a child’s unbridled laughter, eating warm bread or creamy ice cream, strolling a deserted beach on a beautiful summer day, watching the sun rise and fall, a full moon on a lake – all joyful and to be fully enjoyed.