“You don’t know what love is.” That’s what Jenny said to Forest in the movie “Forest Gump.” At the end of the movie when he told her, “I do know what love is Jenny,” we all knew that he did.
“Love always shows up.” That’s what someone said to me years ago when I was questioning another’s love for me. That person didn’t show up for me and so I had my answer.
But, Forest did for Jenny. He consistently loved without the question “what’s in it for me.” Instead, he boldly loved, without guilt or need, because he knew himself and was clear about his intent and purpose.
I once gave a sermon called “Disguising Ourselves As Human.” But, we disguise ourselves in many more ways than just as a human. We disguise ourselves as our jobs, our past, our family, our race, and our sex. The list is endless, and every one of these disguises keeps us from completely showing up for those we love. When we show up for other people as part of our disguise it is often not love, it is escape.
Life gives us moments that we can seize to learn more about boldly loving instead of escaping to “good deeds.” Once, after twisting my ankle, I had to shuffle along and even sit down all day and let Del take care of me.
It was hard for me to do. I am used to getting up, doing things, keeping busy, helping out, seeing what others need, and in general escaping in my disguise as efficient and caring. Letting Del take care of me revealed my disguise to myself—I am sure he already knew. Now, I know a little bit more about how to show up for myself and others without all the disguises.
When I was in my early twenties I read a quote by Dag Hammarskjold, the Secretary General of the United Nations, that I have never forgotten, but often forget to apply.
Mr. Hammarskjold was awarded the Noble Peace Prize posthumously in 1961. I tell you this so there can be no misunderstanding about his meaning. He said, “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses”.
We make love complicated. We escape from this kind of bold love through our disguises and in our “duties” to mankind and others.
We mistake big events as something important and miss out on the small events that mean so much more. Loving boldly is about loving consistently in everyday life.
Mr. Hammarskjold also said, “The ‘great commitment’ is so much easier than the ordinary, everyday one—and we can all too easily shut our hearts to the latter. A willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice can be associated with, and even produce, a great hardness of heart.”
It is oh so easy to hide in the excitement of a big plan. It is oh so dangerous to forget that real love is simple, powerful, effective, and consistent. Love is a bold choice. Love always shows up.
Look into your life. Is it what you meant it to be? Do you know who loves you? Do you love boldly and consistently in the little things? Are you making choices based on success measured by money, fame, or guilt instead of love?
When we face situations, both large and small, it is a focus on the boldness of love that will heal any situation.
Boldness that stems from the principle of Love does not begin in fear. It flows from an unshakable awareness of its ultimate power over all that does not appear as love. If we are not afraid for ourselves, we are not afraid for others.
Showing up as Love is what we will do because it is a part of our being. Focusing on what is true Love, we can clearly see what is not. We will demand that it be corrected within ourselves first. As a result, we will not accept anything less than true bold love from others.
We will stop making decisions that are based on fear, greed, or personal need.
Forest may have said, “Life is like a box of chocolates” but his love held no surprises. He lived boldly and consistently and acting from love, he always showed up.