Yesterday morning, I woke up to a text from a friend that read, I want to know how to love.
My first concern was whether or not I should have an answer for him, seeing as I write about love so frequently, but in all honesty, what did I know about knowing how to love? Is knowing how to love and loving the same thing?
Same with knowing how to drive and driving. Some drive just fine but always fail to pass the test. Some are horrible at both. Some pass the test but have been driving for so many years that if they were to retake the test, they wouldn’t do so well. And then there are some that have no problem with either. Some, not all, but my question is, if one drives just as one loves, is one obligated to know the answer to the text I received? Is one able to teach what, in life, they repeatedly do?
Truth is, I failed the permit test the first time around. Not a big deal. The second time, I missed 5. Three more and I would’ve failed again. However, during the behind-the-wheel exam, I only missed one point. Now I currently tutor a girl my age in this subject. Keep in mind this was about 2 years ago. We got two sessions in and I haven’t been called back since. Is it safe to say I drive better than I know how to drive? No offense taken, after all, I have my license.
But the bigger truth is I love, sometimes more than I care to admit. Although, I never thought about how I know how to love, mainly because, like driving, everything has become natural to me. Like, if I want to move into a right lane, I signal, look over my right shoulder, and if it’s safe, I slide on into that right lane. When I see something that reminds me of someone, I let them know. When I love someone, I let them know. When I need someone, I let them know.
But does letting one know you love them the answer? How does one know who they love? How does one know why they love? Do we need to know the answers to all these questions before we can say we love let alone know how?
How to love (after hours of contemplating):
- Make eye contact. When you look into someone’s eyes, you share their vulnerability. For some, making eye contact is not easy, so when you see someone, you won’t realize it but for a split second, you see all of them.
- Stare. No, not the rude kind, but the easeful kind. Look at a tree, the meticulous detail of its bark. Notice how no two trees are exactly alike for specifically for this reason.
- Appreciate art. Artists capture that same detail in trees. And not just trees, in people too. Be an artist and make art with your differences.
- Admire at your reflection. We make ourselves too busy being mesmerized by every inch of another persons skin that we forget to value our own. We forget that our body is more prominent than the one we always choose to take better care of.
- Chew your food.
- Walk, don’t run. (Unless you’re running a marathon, then by all means, run to your hearts content.)
- Don’t read just to read. Read to remember. (What’s the point of reading a 400 page book if you retained nothing of the story?)
- Take things slow. (The quicker you love, the easier you are to break. The quicker you lose weight, the faster you gain it back. The more hurried you are to get somewhere, the more hazardous the streets become.) Allow enough time for everything. Love will always exist so long as we do.
- Lay on the floor and gaze at the ceiling. Listen to your heartbeat. Feel your chest sink into the floor with every exhale. Empty your mind and breathe. Just breathe.
- Choose to BELIEVE. Always believe. Believing gives us strength.
- Stretch. And don’t EVER forget to make that feel-good groaning sound. That, in my opinion, is the best part. Acknowledge your limbs with deep and high regards for those who rock life without them.
- And lastly, begin again. Every single day, choose to begin again. New beginnings offer the most intimate of all loves and once you realize that, you will construct a greater confidence in overcoming some of life’s grandest struggles, so always, always choose to begin again.
And that is how you love, or at least how I love. More specifically, how I love life for all its beauty, depth, and opportunities. And as I close for tonight to begin again tomorrow, I ask you this,
How do you love?
Until next time,
Be seeing you. xX