After reading a thought-provoking article on Buzzfeed the other day about the movie Titanic, I decided to re-watch it. The love Jack feels for Rose, a love where he’s willing to put his life on the line for her multiple times, moved me, as it did millions. That sort of love reminded me of a poem by Daniel Ladinsky who wrote:
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,
With a love like that,
It lights the
I want a love like that, a love that lights up the whole sky. And I don’t mean only in the romantic sense, although that would be nice too. The work for me at the moment, maybe all moments, is the relationship with myself. My therapist reminds me over and over again I must give to myself internally what I want externally. And furthermore, I must give from a place of abundance and surplus. That I fill up my own cup first and then give from the overflow. Thus, in order to experience a love like Jack feels for Rose, a love like the Sun feels for the Earth, I must turn the focus toward me.
Have I mentioned self-love is hard? Because it’s hard. When we talk about self-love, usually people mention affirmations, as if saying “I love you” while looking into the mirror is all it takes. I wish. Love is setting boundaries, saying no, practicing integrity, and thinking beyond the short term. It means not eating a gallon of ice cream because later you know your stomach will hurt.
I have to believe the more I love myself, the more other people learn to love themselves, and we create a ripple effect until eventually we are lighting up not only each other, but the whole sky. This is my last post of 2017 and I’m writing it on Christmas Eve, which feels appropriate. I’m not Christian, but I appreciate Jesus for the loving, kind, compassionate being he seemed to be. I’m happy to celebrate the birth of someone like that, who embodies those characteristics, and I write this post a harbinger of what I hope will come for us all.
In the new year, I’d like us all to feel loved and cherished. I want us all to work together, to survive our version of the Titanic, steering toward an iceberg we are powerless to miss. I want us to take each other into our metaphorical lifeboats, and literal lifeboats too. I want us to make space for all our siblings, not because it’s the “right” thing to do, not because we “should,” but because so much love spills from our hearts we can’t do anything else.
I dream of a world where we’re taking care of each other, where we’re lifting each other up. A world where we practice deep, real love. A love that is generous, a love that moves us to sacrifice some of our comfort in service of someone else. A love so big and beaming, it lights up the whole sky.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.