How many times have you prayed for love and then not been able to receive the answer to your prayers?

You might not even be aware of how many times because you probably didn’t even recognize it as an opportunity for love.

Because we have VERY limited notions of what love looks like.

And incredibly high expectations.

And just to clarify right away, I am talking about love the FEELING and NOT the act.

Love that makes your heart feel like it is going to burst out of your chest. Love that makes you feel like you are walking on air. Love that gives you so much energy that you feel like you could bench press a thousand pounds. Love that instantly reforms your state of mind from one that makes you feel bad to one that makes you feel good. Love that fills you up so much that it spills out around you causing people to look. Love that is so gripping that you have to remind yourself to breathe.

I have been on a lot of vacations lately because during the months leading up to this period of extended re-creation almost every single one of my initiatives, both personal and professional, came to a SCREECHING halt. And not just the new initiatives either. I was even being forced to reevaluate what my role of wife and mother was going to look like going forward (21 years and 4 children later).

I quickly recognized that I was experiencing what we call (tragically) a mid-life crisis. Tragically because calling it a crisis incites panic. My experience of this “crisis” however felt strikingly similar to the instinct I had in my twenties to start a family. Therefore I considered it more of a natural compulsion than a crisis and decided to use this admittedly uncomfortable time to learn and discover as much about myself and life as possible.

Since I wanted to gain some new perspective and because I was relatively free of other responsibilities, I took full advantage of the situation to travel.

Which brings me back to one of my many holidays when I was “aimlessly” walking around looking for signs about what to do with the rest of my life and also a good place to have lunch.

When all of a sudden I got the answer to BOTH questions at once:

Be Love.

This was not only the name of the restaurant that I was all of sudden walking past but also clearly the answer to what my future life’s work was going to be.

I kid you NOT.

The food was delicious. Not nearly as delicious though as it has been to since explore what it means to Be Love.

The conclusion of said exploration up until now being the following:

Be Your Beautiful Self.

Because You Are Love.

The manifestations of which I described at the beginning of this ode.

My first recollection of feeling Love with a capital L was when I watched a performance of the African Children’s Choir at a church in my community. Their Love inspired mine.

(For those of you who are wondering why I didn’t offer giving birth as my first experience of feeling Love with a capital L, it is for the simple reason that it WASN’T. And the point of this blog is to illustrate that Love can come from where you LEAST expect and allow for it. This being said, it is largely due to my experience of being a mother that I opened up to this possibility.)

An example of people being Love that I am currently witness to (and directly benefiting from) is my sister who has been consciously investing much of her time, energy and money into creating a beautiful and welcoming space in part of her home and garden that she now shares with those in need of retreat, re-creation and restoration.

Supporting her in this endeavour is her friend Greg who offers his skills in construction and landscaping because he believes in what she is trying to achieve.

I am sure that you know many people doing the same.

Being Love is simply a question of being yourself and of sharing what you have to offer, be it your time, energy, money, privilege, talents, skills and ESPECIALLY your attention, consideration, tolerance, understanding and forgiveness. And by sharing I mean with anybody and not just your friends and relatives. The ONLY obstacle we face to being Love, and it is a big one AT FIRST, is the FEAR of rejection.

I shudder to think where I might be today if those kids in the choir had decided not to perform because the church wasn’t packed out with people.

So don’t deprive yourself of your Love and equally important, don’t deprive others.

To conclude, inspired by “Walking the Wire” by the Imagine Dragons:

When I am afraid of falling, I don't look down
Instead I take the step, and I take the leap
And I’ll take what comes, take what comes

I’m walking the wire, love
I’m walking the wire, love
I’m gonna be higher, up
I’m walking the wire, wire, wire

So look out down below
Look out down below
Look out down below.

P.S. I have also been inspired, as a result of this holiday, to explore the possibility of becoming an Emergency Medical Technician. As I am sure that you can see for yourself, being Love only complements whatever other activity that you may do.