I've been reading Bob Goff's books lately. My friend Tanya gently left “Everybody Always” on my kitchen counter a few months ago, neglecting to mention it might mess me up. Since then, I can't get enough. After devouring Everybody Always I moved on to Love Does...and recently, Love Does for Kids. I have been simultaneously moved and challenged by everything Bob has to say. I think if I were to simply read these two books over and over again for the rest of the year, I might actually start to understand what love is all about.
And today, as I sit at home in the company of my family, trying desperately not to feel off-balance by all that is going on outside our walls, I find myself reaching for these concepts, thoughts, ideas of what love really is as though they are the one place I can find my footing on a slope made of nothing but loose gravel.
Purely through Bob's influence, I started a daily habit a few months ago. I started asking myself:
"What will love do today?"
The question has been helpful. It helps me focus on the thing I really want my life to be about. It reminds me daily that doing love is not complicated. It has never once required me to do any mathematical equation. It doesn’t need me to have a big vocabulary, three university degrees or a big title.
Over the last few days, these 5 words have taken on new meaning for me. They are reminding me that despite the changes going on in the world, there are still more things that haven’t changed than things that have.
My family still needs hugs, meals, conversations and opportunities to grow.
They just need them at home.
My clients still need strong managers, an outside perspective, 1:1 coaching, and financial analysis. They just need these delivered remotely.
My spiritual community still needs to connect, process, laugh and pray.
They just need it through voices more than faces (along with BYO snacks…).
My neighbours still need to know they are part of a vibrant, thriving neighbourhood.
They just need to see it, hear it and dare I say…taste it, instead of touch it.
Today, love will send cards of encouragement to the two hospitals closest to us, filled with pictures of rainbows and flowers and an array of misspelled words.
Love doesn't have perfect spelling.
Yesterday, love impersonated Mary Poppins, when by all rights it should have been Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop. Mary Poppins botched up all her songs.
Love doesn't always know the right words.
On the weekend, love sent invitations for virtual drinks, "social distancing" walks, and virtual yoga. No-one said yes (yet).
Love isn't contingent on getting a response.
A couple of weeks ago, a dear friend of mine quit his job to spend more time with his wife...her cancer is slowly deteriorating their quality of life. He's scared.
Love doesn't play it safe.
Maybe this way of doing life comes naturally to you. In fact, I know some of you reading this and I can absolutely say that it does come naturally for you. I aspire to be more like you; to be someone from whom love flows freely, courageously, playfully. Please keep modelling this kind of love for me. I need your example.
I don't know what the outside world has in store for us over the coming weeks and months. After a couple of days of this forced simple life, I certainly have a sense of what the world inside has in store for me...it's gonna be a happy mess around here...
...a collection of savory, beautiful, inspiring moments sandwiched between frustrating, exhausting, Arnold Schwarzenegger moments.
As I continue to start with these 5 words, I’m reminded to tune in, to listen.
“Look up…” these words beg me.
“Pay attention…” they whisper.
Pay attention to all the beautiful already happening in the world. Pay attention to what love wants to do, and pay attention to the invitation to join in. The accountant in me thinks "If only there was a schedule. If only there was a list I could check off or a rotation I could follow. Can someone just make me a program??"
And then, I step back and remember…love has a life of its own. My part is to uncover what it is already pursuing. And that makes it simpler. Joining in will look different than it has in the past.
And even though that may seem like the hard part, it is actually the part that makes it love.
So tell me…what will love do today?