Who do you love?

(Who do you love?)

It’s easy to call to mind the people we love and the people we have loved. Most of us are blessed with at least a short list. If you were questioned, there would be absolutely no problem in stating for the record that your list, short or long, contains people you definitely love. But whose name is missing from that list? Over the years I have asked more than two thousand people to make a list of the people they love. Not one of them in all the years has added their own name.

When I point out this missing person, most people respond with some variation of “Oh, of course I love myself. I didn’t think I had to write that down.” The rest of the people just sit with a “Wow, what does that mean to me?” look on their face.

We all know how vitally important it is to tell those we love that we love them. We know that just assuming they know is a recipe for alienation. So, do you want to feel alienated from you? The big question is: can you feel comfortable looking in the mirror and saying “I love you”? It feels weird and funny and more than a little creepy like trying to say it to another third grader. But, pursue this and pretty soon it gets easier. The words flow more easily. Now and then there’s a smile and finally there’s a smile and a wink. No, it doesn’t mean you’re going crazy. It means that you are okay loving you and all of a sudden it becomes okay for other people to love what you see in the mirror.

If you had a dear, dear friend who you really, really loved would it matter how they looked? Of course not. You would love them anyway and probably tell them often. You may want them to make some changes but it doesn’t affect your love for them whether they do or not. Can you be that loving to you?

Next time you pass a mirror, send a little love your way.

(c)2013 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


Leave a Reply