Be the one
“I met one woman in Georgia who has been married to her husband for over 60 years. After being asked for her best relationship advice, she paused and then said, ‘Don’t be afraid to be the one who loves the most.’ ” — Nate Bagley
It seems to me this is the one piece of advice we don’t hear very much. We are warned repeatedly, and with some justification, to beware of being taken for granted, taken advantage of, hurt or mistreated. And all these things really do happen to people who love, far too often.
But the big truth is often overlooked: it is giving love, not receiving it, that makes us happiest. It’s true that loving brings great risk, but not loving is also risky, and miserable.
Taught from birth to value equal rights and opportunities for all, we sometimes confuse this with thinking everything else should be equal, too. We prize getting a good bargain for what we pay, and investing our time and money in ways that are likely to bring equal or greater return. But that policy doesn’t work well for connecting with others.
In truth, it’s likely that very few relationships are completely reciprocal. Just as people differ in the ways they tend to show their love, they also differ in their capacity to love others, and that’s really okay. The important thing is that we all keep moving in the right direction– that of loving more, always more– and not stop to compare ourselves with others or keep some sort of emotional ledger that has to balance to the penny.
This Valentine’s Day, I invite you to celebrate the honor and privilege of loving more. Join Jeff and me and a cast of millions as we all go on, “Dancing in the Minefields.”