Fall in love with beautiful places, with beautiful people, and with moments. Fall in love with the smell of bonfires in the fall, your nephew’s belly laugh, and the way your heart races with the windows down and music loud. Close your eyes and breathe moments in. slowly and deliberately. Realize that you will never experience a moment exactly like the one you’re participating in right now.
Falling in love isn’t just for your own benefit. Love wants to change you. Love wants to strip bitterness, judgment, and prejudice and exchange them for understanding, compassion, and joy. Love wants to rip down walls of insecurity, hurt, and fear and reinvent us into creatures whose nature is to fight FOR each other instead of against. Love begets love.
Don’t hold love back. Together we can be a force for good, but it’s only possible when we stop gripping our love so tightly. The world desperately needs more people to be generous with their love. So sprinkle it, everywhere and on everyone.
Another thing: Don’t be frightened to give your love away. Don’t think that to give love away means to use it up. Don’t buy the lie that if you are too generous with your love it will run out. It won’t. You don’t have to ration it or hold it tight to your chest. Loosen your grip. Every time you choose to give love away your capacity for it grows deeper.
We work so hard to keep our hearts from getting hurt. We stay in our hometowns so as to guarantee we never love a new place. We become attached to routines that leave no room for our hearts to get involved. And we keep our hearts hidden from people we want to love. By playing hard-to-get-me games with the real intent of protecting our own hearts. By relying on our technology and our comforts to keep us from stepping off a maybe-scary ledge. We choose judgment and apathy over love because it’s easier. It’s less risk. But it’s bullshit. We have spent our lives believing lies.
Somehow we’ve been convinced that we are protecting ourselves, that life is better and easier by holding tightly to our love. Sometimes it is easier. But it is never better. And sometimes it takes making a choice every day, every moment, but it’s worth it. Choosing the thrill, the vulnerability, the self-abandonment is always worth it.
So wherever you are, be all there. Put your technology away, drop your judgment and allow your heart to get involved. It wants to. Intentionally experience empathy. Feel sad when you see people hurting. Laugh, even when you’re supposed to be quiet. Choose joy. Ask hard questions and listen to the answers. Get to know people deeply. Don’t close your heart off to being tender. Or even to loving someone who doesn’t love you. Love was never meant to be hoarded, it was meant to be given away.
Because while we may fall deeply in love with places and things, people are the pinnacle of God’s creation. People are the most lovely.