Decide to Share the Love

ccakejcocina

Photo courtesy of J Cocina.com

If you believe in magic and good food, then there is a magical good food place in DC called Creme and one of their most magical foods is a coconut cake. So after a long day of discussing power, language, the written word, and inclusion I made sure that before I called it a night I went to Creme. I ordered two slices of cake, one for me and one for the honey blonde Black woman who was my cab driver.
She’d never heard of Creme and like a true foodie, in my shock I went on and on about all of their food but especially their coconut cake. When I first had the cake I told her, the server, a male, said while his current relationship status was single and not seeing anyone…the coconut cake would be his wedding cake. I was in love with that cake.  I love supporting small businesses, and I love sharing good stuff and spreading a little $8.00 slice of happiness.

Love shares. That’s what it does, because it’s not selfish. It doesn’t fear lack so it doesn’t need to hold so tightly to things, people, or relationships. It trusts that sharing, giving, partnering out of a place of love, that all will be well and that love begets love.

There is a freedom in love that has the power to ground us in a deep knowing that should we decide to not only live from that place, but to share it, we won’t be uprooted or unraveled. We won’t be any less, but quite possibly more. More loving, more fulfilled, more gracious.

Our conversation in the cab gave way to our love for various types of food , family traditions, restaurants to visit during my next trip, gentrification in DC. It gave way to knowing and being known. Love desires to know (intimacy) and be known (vulnerability).

Photo courtesy of Who What Wear.com

Photo courtesy of Who What Wear.com

We parted ways. I made my way to my fourth floor vintage hotel room where as I started to settle in for the night received a call from someone I loved, my mother. You could hear the tiredness in her voice. We talked about her day, and that weariness led way to sadness as she shared her colleague’s son died from a blood clot. She cried she told me. She cared about her friend and could only imagine the pain the family felt. She shared in the pain as she could. Living from a place of love does that too. Oh it shares in joy but also shares in pain, in loss, in hurt, and in weariness.

My hope for you is that as you live in the love you have decided too be in, as you have defined it, and believed it, is that you share it. May the love you cultivate be one so freeing that you wholeheartedly share it whether through buying cake for a cab driver, sharing in the sorrow of a loss of a colleague, sharing hopes for a new job, fears about a relationship you really want to work, and dreams of that new business in the area of the city being revitalized (but not gentrified). xxoo

Photo courtesy of Pinerest.com

Photo courtesy of Pinerest.com

For Lovers Only xxoo

verymojolovebelieves

Photo courtesy of Very Mojo.com

The past couple of years I have taken great joy in creating craft corny valentines. It started four years ago and it’s a tradition of sorts I like to maintain and a few friends and family members have come to expect. This year I wished folks sweet valentine’s days with scratch and sniff stickers. Local friends will receive sweet treats with corny messages like “Someone’s (pea)nutty for you,” complete with fun size peanut m&m’s. Another has a message that says “You make my days lighter and brighter,” and they got air heads. I love spreading  love. Making sure people feel loved is my thing. It’s why I keep in touch, send packages, notes, and text messages to encourage people, make them laugh, and remind them they are thought of and cared for. Doing that as often as I am able matters to me because I believe people deserve to be loved and know they are loved.  As a lover (one who loves) my decision to love is connected to my beliefs about love. So today, I’m sharing my love beliefs and maybe in the comments, if you’re a lover, you’ll share some of your own. xxoo

  1. Everyone deserves love. I absolutely believe that every single human being deserves love. Yep, even the people who have been a great source of pain in my life, I believe they deserve love. I also believe I am worthy of love, good, healthy, love.
  2. Love unshared is dumb. Not my most eloquent sentence, but I do believe that if you love someone, you should let them know. Knowing you are loved makes a huge difference as we all do this whole life thing.
  3. Love is powerful. It is a force to be reckoned with. It is truly love that allows women to go through labor and give birth. It is love that allows people to spend months at a time from their families to earn a degree and more money to support their families. It is what allows us to make sacrifices in order for the ones we love to feel, be, and do better. It is what allows us to hope, have faith that things will and we will be alright.
  4. Love forgives. I don’t know how you can talk about love and not say the “f” word-forgiveness. I don’t think you can love and not forgive. Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely forgive the abusive partner, love them, and still decide because of how you love yourself and or children, to end the relationship. Leaving an unhealthy abusive relationship is not not loving or unforgiving. It’s being safe, healthy, and love manifesting in a different way. Or you know, loving from a distance.
  5. Love does not harm. It does not batter, threaten, play mental and psychological games. Love does not blame you for another person’s decision to abuse you, themselves, drugs, alcohol, food, or gambling.
  6. Love can be from a distance. I know I just said that, but I want to say it one more time. I do believe you can love people from a distance, especially people who struggle to respect you and your boundaries.
  7. Love reciprocates. Don’t get that confused with score keeping or doing tit for tat. Love doesn’t do that. Love gives, and when you have a bunch of folks giving love that also means you got a bunch of people receiving love. Love is not selfish.
  8. Love understands. I forget who said it, but some wise person once said “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” I think it kind of goes back to that whole love not being selfish thing. Love hopes for and wants the best, so when things go awry instead of giving up or seeking to blame, or searching for the bad, love pauses, listens, examines, empathizes, makes room for clarity, and if the circumstance calls for it- forgiveness.
  9. Love binds and builds. It draws people closer and builds people, organizations, and communities up. Because love seeks to understand, to forgive, to give it makes the perfect foundation for uniting and fortifying. In our humanness we ar broken and we screw up on the regular, at least I do. But love moves me to make things right (sometimes slowly, I’m keeepin’ it real), to glue back together that which I broke (sometimes with cookies and sometimes through tears). Those who love me, when they screw up, they do the same.
  10. Love doesn’t give up. I don’t mean in a creepy stalker kind of way. I mean in a way that is patient, long suffering, and committed to the person(s) whom we love or the project. Seriously, it’s so easy when the business isn’t going as we anticipated or the degree is taking way longer than we imagined, it takes love for ourselves, our purpose, the people we ultimately want to impact with our ideas and knowledge to tough it out and hang in there.
  11. Love believes. While I don’t know that I’ve dated “the one who got away” I can say I’ve dated one guy who I believed loved me when he said it. I’ve dated quite a few guys but only one who I’d say I loved and believed them when they said they loved me. He is the same and only guy can say I’ve ever felt at home with. Love believes in love and believes in the ways it sees it being manifested.
  12. God is love. I do believe in God and that He is love. It’s His love for me, my belief in that love, that’s carried me through the past three decades. It’s His love that helps me love others, especially when it’s really really hard and they have earned my anger,  that has me convinced that every single human being on this planet is worthy of love because I believe in a God who believes that.

 

The Decision to Love

Photo courtesy of Dump Day.com

Photo courtesy of Dump Day.com

A little over a week ago my little town got its first big snow of the season- a soft, fluffy, white 22 inches of it. My plans to visit DC for the weekend to catch up with friends, go to museums, and eat great food were bitterly cancelled. The weekend at home did end up being pretty fantastic however, full of time to keep working on goals, cook and bake, clean house, and I still got to have some pretty amazing and necessary conversations with some of the great women in my life, including my friend Lola.
Lola and I video chatted for about two hours and before we waved goodbye Lola recommended and sent me an conversion of Jen Sincero’s book You Are A Badass. I quickly found myself on my sofa, blanket and cup of green coconut tea in hand and began reading. What stuck out to me in those first few pages and has been lingering in my mind all week has been five simple words she penned “It starts with a decision.”

Photo courtesy of A. Lieda

Photo courtesy of A. Lieda

A simple powerful truth that wasn’t new to me in the least bit, but one whose power I’d forgotten. When you make a decision you position yourself to fulfill it by all means necessary. While you may not initially have what you need or think you need to fulfill the decision, you do have the determination which breeds the courage, creativity, ingenuity, wisdom, and perseverance to access what you need. The decision gives way to the grit that a commitment to living well necessitates.
Love is a decision. Whether it’s loving yourself, family, partner, or cultivating a lifestyle you love, it is a decision. Deciding to love, lends itself to defining love. If you can’t define love it will be hard to recognize it, give it, or receive it.
I can’t tell you how much I look forward to exploring the ways we define love and the ways it’s been defined for us, especially the unhealthy ways. I am so looking forward to spending this month delving into just how important deciding too be is, especially deciding to love ourselves. It may sound a little cheesy but if you really think about it, loving yourself influences how you care for yourself, who and how you relate to others, what you tolerate at your place of employment or how you choose where you apply to work. It impacts how you save or spend your money, your time, and your energy. It’s powerful when you decide to love yourself, because the decision to love is powerful.

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