You are loved. Whether you feel like it or not. Even if your hair actually looked like that today or the weather was lousy. Even if you’re too tired to think about it after work or to even receive it. You are loved.
You didn’t do anything to deserve it, by the way. I mean, not really. But that’s ok. That’s the point actually. The love is there anyway.
It makes your day a bit different, doesn’t it? Knowing that? You thought you had to earn it. You thought you had to deserve love, to work hard, to change. You do need to work hard…at becoming kinder, at making the world kinder, at graciously putting up with other people’s flaws, at graciously putting up with your own. But you don’t need to work hard to receive love. No, you don’t need to work hard to receive the love that’s already there, waiting for you to bask in it, waiting to be returned, waiting to be spread.
Think I’m being too soft? Think about it again. You are loved, but there is still suffering in the world, right? There’s still a lot of gunk you have to deal with--like the fact that you pass by a homeless woman on your way to work most days or that a man limped in front of you at the metro because that was the only way he knew how to walk. See, the love doesn’t make everything perfect. Love doesn’t erase that pain, that injustice. But see, love makes it bearable. It means that, even if everything is going down the toilet and things are ugly, an infinite love exists that prevails over it all—though you didn’t do anything to earn it, though you didn’t really contribute at all. The fact that something so beautiful and generous exists makes you blush and wonder at the very thought. And this realization helps you get by, bit by bit, day by day, bird by bird.
I guess what I’m trying to say is stop trying so hard. Stop feeling guilty. There’s nothing left to do. You are loved. Period. You don’t need to lose five pounds or have your resume put together to receive it. The love is there regardless. It exists whether you take advantage of it or not. And nothing you do will detract from its brilliance.
But this does not mean you get to give up. This does not mean everything is smooth sailing or that you get to do as you please. No. In fact, this love is a challenge, an invitation. What are you going to do with it?
Because love is not stagnant. It never tires. Love brings us out of our self-made muck and elevates us. It makes us reach up to the very top of the shelf on our tippy toes, where we’ve hidden our best selves, and dusts us off. Love reminds us of whom we are meant—called—to be.
So if you truly recognize this love, I mean really, there is no way you can ever stay the same. Your life will change when you encounter this love. And it will be beautiful. The moment when all of this truly sinks in will be beautiful.
You are loved. Use that knowledge. Share it. Because unused love is tragic.