Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Love Actually: Watch your Mouth

Let me begin by saying, I have never seen the movie "Love Actually". Okay?! With that out of the way, for the past two days it seems that the word "love" has come up in different conversations. What seemed to be a sacred word, now, seems to be one which is used for everything and anything. It has no real meaning anymore. All too often words are treated like old rags, used with no thought and thrown around with no care.

Words are all we have. They create the World around us, the World in which we live. For you to read and understand what you are reading words had to be used. Words shape everything. Words are all we have. When we use them without thought or consideration of their affect on others that alone creates a World of confusion. With the events of the past months, the death of Michael Jackson and the conversations (not connected to that), it just seems that we have lost the significance of the word "love". Heavens, people are sliding down walks because they "loved" Michael, a person they have never met. People say they "love" a certain ice cream, movie, car, house, color, China pattern, and so on. Are you kidding me? Love actually.

Love actually, is a choice. Love actually, is action. Love actually, is a relationship. Love actually, is a connection. See, from my vantage point, love is not a word to be used without thought. Not to be thrown about without clarity. Love is powerful. The word is powerful. In my World, the use of the word love is like holding a loaded gun, when you shoot it you cannot take it back. If it hits the target things are changed forever. In relationships, people too often do not look at what love really is, or confuse it for lust. Yes, lust. The fluttering of your heart, the sweaty palms, and the presence of pheromones are all physical responses that you do not have control over. That is where the mind can make a difference. Love actually.

The mind makes a huge difference because love is a choice. You do not "fall in love", if that is true please have the police start patrolling for these potholes and stuff people keep falling into. Maybe we need a whole division dedicated to that alone. Anyway, love actually is a gift you give someone else. When you care for someone and want to give them a great gift there is lot of thought that goes into that gift. You think about who they are, what they mean to you, their likes and dislikes, the thing that will make them smile, and then you consider the cost to you, what you can realistically afford to purchase, and then, make the purchase. Yes, it takes something to choose to love someone, but it should not be taken lightly. There are ways of being when you love. Love actually.

With all this said, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 13, usually called the love chapter in the Bible. What I did may make mouths drop, but too bad. Instead of quoting the verse, I took the time to revamp it. Yes, revamp it. How? Simple, too often we speak of what something is not I just flipped it. Only verses 4-8(a) are a part of my translation. Love actually is:

Love is patient, love is kind. Love is confident and content, love is modest, love is humble. Love is polite and respectful, love is giving, love is calm, it allows for new starts. Love rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love prospers, grows, and produces.

With that in mind, the next time you choose to give the gift of your love think about it. The next time someone asks "do you love me?" think about it. The next time you get ready to use the word love, stop to think if that is what you really mean because it is a gift you give, not lightly, or without thought. I have learned to be careful with my words, they make a difference. I have learned to think before I speak, it brings clarity. And I've learned that love is special, not to be tossed about; at least not by me. Love actually.

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