Back in the 80’s, I had a nice little solo career playing piano and singing in piano bars all throughout the tri-state area. One of my popular request songs was “I Want to Know What Love Is” by the band Foreigner. When I was singing the song back then, I never really thought about the words - I just loved to belt out the chorus and get everyone to join in with me:
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS
I WANT YOU TO SHOW ME
I WANT TO FEEL WHAT LOVE IS
I KNOW YOU CAN SHOW ME
I recently just heard it again on a classic rock station and this time, the words got me thinking... - “I want to know what love is”...hmmm….
Do I really know what love is? Or... is it possible that I just have an idea of what love is? Maybe we all have an idea of what love is but there is so much more to love that we are not aware of? I’m not talking about a romantic love - which is temporary. I’m talking about a love that defines each of us. A real love that is within us, connects us, surrounds us and never dies. A real love that is safe and eternal.
But, in our society, we receive mixed messages in the name of love. Especially when it comes to loving ourselves. We aren’t taught to look at ourselves in a kind way. We aren’t taught to respect and honor ourselves without judgment. When we look in the mirror, do these words reflect back to us?
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love rejoices with the truth.” So what is the truth? What is real love? Is real love loaded with drama? Is real love so complicated? Is real love somehow tied to fear?
Love and drama sure seem to go hand and hand. I recently had a crisis in my family that led me to see a vision of this perception.
In December, my 90 year old mother fell in her house and was in the hospital for almost a week. She had no broken bones but was very dehydrated and weak. While waiting to be discharged, she tried walking without her oxygen, collapsed in a chair and stopped breathing. This all happened in a matter of seconds. I called the nurse and within a flash, my mom’s room was filled with a team of nurses and doctors to the rescue. She was resuscitated very quickly and recovered.
While driving home, later that night, I broke down, sobbing and shaking and praying to God, please get me home alive. While hysterical, I prayed to the inner guidance within me and I began to calm down. And that’s when it hit me. I was reacting in fear. I was shaking and sobbing - because of fear - not love.
At that moment, I realized that my mother and I had this entanglement of love and fear all our lives. Since I was very young, my mother had this abnormal fear for my safety. This fear is still with her. Now, it was my turn to fear for her. I was fearing for her safety. When I saw her almost die, I felt like I almost died.
And then, it became very clear to me - I saw my mother as a reflection of who I believed I was.
My mom’s close brush with death was a trigger that woke me to the thought that I was seeing myself and the world around me through the eyes of a confusing mix of love and fear. Like my mother, I believed fear and love were somehow connected - you were supposed to fear for yourself. You were supposed to fear for your loved ones. You were supposed to fear for your spouse, your partner. You were supposed to fear for your children.
This crisis was my opportunity for me to learn that fear has nothing to do with love.
And it was also an opportunity for me to shift my perspective from seeing myself and my world from the eyes of fear...to the eyes of love.
To be cont.