How big can our love be?

Love

Love

I often wonder.

How big can our love be?

Does it stop with ourselves?  Is our love only for our individual human self, our Kathy, our John, our Diana, our Lee Ann, our own precious being wearing this human flesh?

Does our love shine fuller, brighter?  Does it encompass our friends, those who think like we do?  Does it beat swifter for those who seem like us, who resonate, who agree?  Does it wrap its loving blanket around our pals, our best friends, our dear ones, our companions?  Is this sweet love how we recognize the world?

Love

Love

Does our love include our dear families?  Does it weave a song around our brothers and sisters who perhaps think differently but are connected by blood and DNA and history?  Does it include our mothers and fathers and grandparents and children and grandchildren?  Does our love reverberate with those who share our common threads of family, no matter what beliefs and opinions?

Or does our love move outward in circles upon circles?  Does our love circle outward to include those we don’t know?  Does it reach into our community?  Can we expand our love to include the butcher, the baker, the owner of the local restaurant? Does it include the father screaming at the basketball game, the woman with plucked eyebrows and opinions?

Does our love keep zooming outward to include those who differ from us?  Can our love recognize the commonality of those with different skin colors?  Those who act differently than we might act?  Those who fail according to our standards?  Those who lie homeless, who wander addicted, who respond differently than we imagine we might respond?  Those who speak differently, who think differently, who live differently.  Can we see past the differences into what connects us?

Does it include the Democrat, the Republican, the Libertarian?  Does it include the one who publicly flaunts our beliefs?  Does it include the one who can’t or won’t love?

Love

Love

How wide can our love go?  Can it surpass the boundaries of our communities?  Can it fly over imaginary boundaries of countries?  Can it see beyond?

Can it truly see beyond and beyond and beyond?

Or does it stop with what it understands?

Does it stop with what it imagines it knows?

Love

Love

I look inside myself and notice where love seems to stop…and then try to see what limits I’m assigning.  We’re so often assigning limits in our love.  They’re often unconscious limits, unconscious walls, unconscious barriers.

Are we willing to keep loving outward in larger concentric circles?  Or will we stop with borders, boundaries, skin color, misunderstandings?

I don’t understand a love that wants to limit itself to a single person, to a family, to a community, to friends, to a country, to an earth.  Yes, they are all magnificent shining loves!  But true love always wants to keep moving outward and outward.  It keeps wanting to see the next seemingly unloved being as love itself.

I often wonder.

Are there places where love simply shouldn’t go?  Where it can’t go?

(And aren’t those places exactly where love might make the most difference?  Where love might shine in the complete darkness and illuminate that which seems most lacking?)

How big can our love be?

This is what I wonder when I see people limiting love.  When I see myself limiting love.  I wonder…

How big can our love be?

Love

Love

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in January, 2019 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to How big can our love be?

  1. debyemm says:

    There is a love that is simply love and not limited. I call it unconditional. It extends beyond and beyond differences. I do my best to stay there and I won’t claim 100% success, lest I be shown where my limitations limit love.

  2. sybil says:

    I wonder if how big our love CAN be is the same as how big our love SHOULD be ? Knowing we SHOULD love everyone seems right to me. I don’t feel I CAN … a small part of me just holds back. I suspect I’m gonna have to keep getting re-born until I CAN. Sigh.

    • Kathy says:

      Sybil, there is a wisdom to recognizing what we feel is true–right now. Maybe that’s more important than the *shoulds*. I am honoring the wisdom that you express with your Being. xoxoxo

  3. Stacy says:

    I believe love can expand, like the Grinch’s heart. But I also believe love is conditional. ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Maybe it’s a paradox, Stacy. Both/and. I keep sitting in the Mystery of it and noticing the questions mostly. The answers are less forthcoming. 🙂

  4. Shirley Khodja says:

    Very thought-provoking, Kathy, especially these days, when nothing much inspires love but my immediate family.

    • Kathy says:

      Shirley, it’s so good to see you here. Yes, these are challenging times we’re living in. Our families are so precious to us. And then I keep wondering…how big can my love be today?

  5. dawnkinster says:

    I like to think love is limitless, like the rings of a pebble thrown into a still pond. Yesterday we attended the ceremonial swearing in of our new Congresswoman. During the ceremony a local high school choir sang. They were young people of all colors, mostly black and brown. They were playing to a huge and packed ballroom filled with mostly white middle aged folk who were on their feet giving them a standing ovation before the last notes died away. After everything was done and we were all milling around talking I noticed one of the young (very tall) male singers standing behind me. I turned around and told him how beautiful the music had been. He nodded his head respectfully, then burst out in a wide grin and swallowed me up in a hug. His love in limitless. I hope it always is.

  6. sherrysescape says:

    I love the way you view the world, Kathy. You are an amazing person.

    • Kathy says:

      No, Sherry, not me! I can’t really take credit for what comes through. Just questions. Just wondering. Living it fully is another matter altogether. xoxoxo (P.S. Thanks for calling yesterday!)

  7. Carol says:

    I agree with Dawn – I like to think love is limitless. Then I spend time with people I know who are genuinely devout Christians, genuinely generous people with good hearts – yet when they speak of the immigrants who have moved into certain areas, it is not with love or generosity – which completely baffles me. Where is it that “love they neighbor” stops? Is there an invisible line I do not see?

    • Kathy says:

      I feel the same way you do. I also look inside myself and notice where “love thy neighbor” stops. And I sigh…and try again. May we keep playing hopscotch over those invisible lines! So happy to see you again, Carol!

  8. Lori says:

    I once read in a spiritual book that it’s much easier for humans to say “I hate you” than “I love you.” (I think it was A Course in Miracles). Could it be because we fear vulnerability if we use the word “love?” Do we think that if we hate, we won’t be taken advantage of? Is it possible to love and still keep healthy boundaries in family/friend relationships, in work relationships, in world relationships?

    Just a few more thoughts to add and ponder.

    Thank you for posing the ponderings of love. 😀

    • Kathy says:

      Such wisdom, Lori. So much vulnerability comes with the word “love”. I ponder these healthy boundaries, too. How can we firmly say “no” when our spirit urges? There are many times when a friendship certainly no longer serves, when a relationship fails to grow instead of encourage growth and love. I am pondering along with anyone reading this post, for sure!

  9. dorannrule says:

    To allow our love to grow beyond what we understand is the ultimate challenge and I believe the route to world peace. Thought provoking post for sure.

    • Kathy says:

      These questions kept arising in me yesterday,Dor. I agree they are the ultimate challenge and yet may lead to so many doors opening if we but keep following.

  10. Elin England says:

    Nice one! First thing I thought of was the BeeGee’s song, How Deep is Your Love (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpqqjU7u5Yc). And then I thought of Rilke’s poem:
    I live my life in widening circles/ that reach out across the world./I may not complete this last one/but I will give myself to it. Random associations. Love is limitless, deeper than the BeeGee’s could have known in 1977 (or deeper than I could have known, singing along to it), wider than Rilke’s ever widening circles. We ARE love. How could there be anything bigger than that?

    • Kathy says:

      Elin, I am late responding to comments (seems to be a pattern these days, smile) but am pondering those ever-widening circles that Rilke points toward. It’s possible to keep opening up to those rippling ever-expanding circles. xoxoxo

  11. Ok – more synchronicity today. I raced to my dance class this morning because I love the Monday teacher (yes, love). At the end of the class we all sat lotus-style and she read a poem she’s just found that she said she was going to live by all week. It was about LOVE, starting with the person we ‘love’ as spouse/significant other, then going on to our family and friends, to a teacher and co-worker, and then on and on from there until finally Oliver’s poem talks about love for a tree and the moon and the sun. I was in tears by the end of the reading. Love is ALL (if we open our hearts to it). Love you, my blogging friend.

  12. Barb says:

    I’ve read this many times, Kathy. I have no answers – only questions. I like to think a perfect love is possible, but I certainly haven’t achieved it… I do think showing kindness (love) in the inner circle can send ripples outward to others.

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, perhaps the heart doesn’t resonate to answers as much as questions. Perhaps. By the way, I am so enjoying reading your small stones each afternoon. Precious bits of love illuminating outward… So glad your tooth problem is being resolved… ❤

  13. Elisa says:

    Humans made up the word love as a container to hold the things coveted. I understand that allowing for a commonality in all things creates a sort of belonging and oneness, but who to to decide that was the ‘right’ thing to do? Someone decided that Hate was the right thing to do and look how that turned out. (always worry when i just share you will take it personally. I just simply love how I am prodded to ponder the things you share. It brings me joy.)

    • Kathy says:

      I love that these ponderings bring you joy. My heart sang when you said that! Who knows indeed? P.S. If I ever take something personally it’s an opportunity to love whatever feelings are triggered, not a reflection on something you might have shared. Keep sharing your truth, Elisa. ❤

  14. A post that really prompts reflection. Those boundaries of love always need to be gray, ever-expanding even when we suffer losses or hurt that make us want to close the gates rather than open them to the possibility of more.

    • Kathy says:

      Kat, how lovely to see you here! It’s been so long since I wrote this I am trying to remember what prompted this. But, really, every day in some way or another I try to relax this heart into opening the gates instead of slamming them shut. (Sometimes the slamming may happen anyway, but that’s another place to love…) ❤

  15. Joanne says:

    Oh the poignant questions you ask, Kathy! In my heart of heart, I have no limitations on love, I feel what I feel, beyond all the limitations you have considered here. However, I feel different levels of love. But I’m sure the purest, most complete, never-ending love is the love I feel for my children. And after I became a mother, I also realised I felt that same unadulterated love for my parents.

    My daughter became a mother for the first time last year, and she’s complained to me since – laughingly – that Aurora has turned her into a complete softy. She is emotionally affected now by inconsequential things she never would have noticed before. Even my son, the father of a two-year-old, jokingly calls himself ‘an emotional wreck’ at times. His emotional scale has hit the roof since he discovered the pure love of being a father.

    In my heart, even though I believe my biggest love is for my children, from that one ‘big’ love transcends more love, and more, and more … it carries through, at different levels, to so many other people and things. ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Joanne, thank you for sharing your thoughts about love. I understand so much about your love for your children–and am smiling to think about your own children softening in love toward their offspring. That is a special kind of love indeed. Imagining the outpouring of that love transcending more and more, wider and wider. How dear. ❤

  16. Reggie says:

    What a beautiful, stirring blogpost, Kathy. Deep and thought-provoking, as your posts so often are. When sitting in open meditation, opening to and receiving the beauty of the universe or source or whatever we call it, it is easy, almost natural, to feel the heart opening to a vast, unconditional love for all beings and all of life and creation.

    But then, when we encounter the darker side of human beings, and are faced with the long-term repercussions and ripple effects of breath-taking greed, vast webs of corruption, sheer staggering incompetence, and mindless brutality (towards the weak and vulnerable, towards our poor drought-ravaged farmers, towards our poached wildlife – rhinos, elephants, lions, etc…) it is sooo hard to maintain that kind of open-hearted loving-kindness.

    Our beloved country has been quite literally plunged into darkness again this week, because our electricity supplier (ESKOM) is all-but bankrupt. It is inconceivable how our elected ‘leaders’ have allowed things to degenerate to such an extent that the entire electricity grid of the country is on the brink of total collapse. We are hanging on by a thread. So that last picture – of the candle glowing in the darkness with the map in the background – is particularly poignant for me.

    I think a meditation would be a good idea right about now! 🙂

  17. Kathy says:

    The last time I tried to respond to your lovely comment, dear Reggie, our power abruptly went off. I am heartbroken to think about the challenges in your country–as well as so many other places around our world. You would think we all might have learned to love bigger and bigger and bigger but it feels sometimes like the exact opposite is happening. Big hugs, my friend.

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