Thursday, February 10, 2011


As Lennon and McCartney said, "All we need is love." As the holiday of love approaches, it seems appropriate to reflect on this.

Simple, maybe. But certainly not easy. No matter how much we love someone, there are plenty of times when it doesn't come across. We want the best for our loved ones... our idea of what would be best. So we let them know in words and deeds. It feels like our love has strings attached. "I love you when...." They do something we appreciate and we smile or thank them. When they are doing other things, we let them know we are upset or disappointed. This may feel like we don't love them.

How do we give the message of unconditional love. If anyone had the definitive answer, we wouldn't be thinking about this right now. Clearly, love is not easy. Loving takes lots of effort. We work hard to communicate that our loved ones are precious to us, no matter what. What might this look like?

       We give her a hug when she has just broken something precious to us.
       We attend his games faithfully, no matter what else we might have on
       our agenda.
       We remember a special personal holiday or anniversary.
       We try hard to not yell when we are upset, and we explain reasonably.
       We forgive all the little things that can pile up and feel like one big

Now there are plenty of times when loving is easy. They can be so adorable or sweet or funny or kind. Loving during the hard times is how we really communication our unconditional acceptance of them. And there is also the consideration of doing too much for people in our attempts to be loved by them. This can take us into the dangerous territory of co-dependency.

"All you need is love." Of course, this is way too simple. We want our loved ones to know that we care about them. We want the best for them. We believe in them. We accept them just as they are. And we will be here for them through it all, good times and hard times. Love isn't all we need, but it certainly can make the journey a little less bumpy.

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