Love Everybody. Everybody? Everybody.
I’ve been on a quest of sorts lately. A mission, if you will. I really want to learn better how to truly love well. I mean, love everybody, like really well. Seriously. It seems like one of those things you know how to do, but maybe you don’t know… you know?
At least, that’s how it is with me, if I’m really honest. Which I spent some time doing recently, pondering, pretending to plan my life. The results were rather shocking, but more on that in a minute.
Food, Fluffy Animals, and Paul Rudd
I had an experiment hatch prior to this honesty incident. Lately I’ve been trying to stay generally disconnected from the internet while I am out and about or during my free time. So, the disconnect has been pretty neat and has resulted in being more aware of the needs around me and not quite so focused on who replied to my Instagram photo documenting the meal I just ate. Honestly, food pictures are the best. Second only to pictures of tiny fluffy animals and almost any photo of Paul Rudd.
Anyway, this experiment landed me on my couch one day. I had the house to myself and I was disconnecting from media. I was deep into some intense daydreaming. The kind where I pose random questions to myself about pretending I know what my future will be like.
All of a sudden, in the midst of my seemingly innocuous questioning, God metaphorically opened a can on me. All of a sudden, I started realizing a dirty little secret about myself. All of a sudden, I realized that pretty much all of my questions and comments were surrounding one subject. All of my thoughts were about me.
What Did You Call Me?
Now, I don’t like to name call because it’s pretty stinkin’ lame, but I am finding that no matter how much I say I love others I really look out for myself mostly. I am actually really selfish. I’ll give myself the partial benefit of the doubt here, it’s obviously okay to really love the woman God has created me to be. Celebrating yourself ain’t all bad! But there are a lot of other people in the world and I genuinely think they deserve love and attention. It’s been a rough look at myself lately.
My little heart is vibrating just about to burst through the surface with new life. There’s some sloughing of dead stuff and it’s starting to look just a tad bright and cheery and [WHAT’S THIS!?] here’s this gross part I missed. Ew. I am super self-seeking.
Now, I’m not one to sit on my arse and let this dead stuff linger. Although technically I probably stayed on my arse on the couch for awhile asking God the hard follow-up questions. Questions that I couldn’t really articulate pristinely, which is probably all the better. I thought I already was loving people well, so what the flipping heck? What needs to alter in order for me to break through the surface?
Make Lists, Not Friends
Well, I set out to make a list, you know, like anyone who thinks they get it but probably don’t quite yet. It’s funny because I love lists, but I almost always lose them before I use them. Except grocery lists, I don’t mess around when it comes to food, mkay. I could probably start writing life lists amidst the grocery lists but then I’d for sure lose the grocery part, too and then ain’t nobody happy! But to revisit the topic at hand, I began to plan a list. It will be neat and pretty. I’ll use my fancy art pen and make up special fonts. It will rock my face (although I never really understood that sentiment) because I will know exactly how to help love others.
Blank stare from God.
At least, that’s what it totally felt like. Like a blank stare through my freaking soul. I could make a list but do I really think a list will help me love?
I mean, it might be a rough guideline of ideas, but probably more an excuse to waste time doodling. Which is totally cool, because doodling is for winners. But if I am serious about loving people then what am I going to actually do about it?
Well, funny you should ask, self. Because I think I am drawing (no pun intended) some conclusions and ideas. If I use what God’s gifted already, then channel it outwardly and not in, then what kinds of things can we do/make/be/say/give that will change the selfish nature to grow out of itself, for crying out loud?
I do, in fact, have some ideas. So, stay tuned and maybe you will see some of that in action. Maybe, too, you’ll get some ideas for yourself to share. Afterall, this really isn’t much about me at all, and I think I’m truly starting to figure that out. What a crazy relief.
In order for new life to grow, the dead things need to be removed. So, the process is painful, difficult, at times frustrating. There’s vulnerability. Then eventually what’s revealed is clean, new, baby pink skin. Be free, selflessly!