I was talking to a friend a week or so ago about whether the concept of using Story in songs is possible. He thought lyrics with action were important and that just having a song about loving someone was not a story. For example, a famous song says, “sucking on chili dog, outside the Tastee Freeze.”* Eating chili dogs is action! To compare, he said there was a song he knew of that went something like, “The world can fall apart; I’ll still be loving you.” He thought this showed the world was happening beyond the song and the only verb in the song was “loving.” He thought that meant there was no action.
I have a different take. I think love is a verb that requires a great deal of action. A great deal of attention. A great deal of intention.
On an individual level, the world can fall apart. It’s nice to know we have people that will still “be loving” us at those times. Especially when we are the ones that caused the chaos. That happened to me this weekend. I made a choice in my relationship that challenged my partner, hit his triggers. He started out very angry and hurt and slowly turned it into a learning experience for both of us. In the meantime, we both did the work of love – we stayed connected, we looked at our actions and our reactions, we considered our triggers. We talked about it. Then talked some more. We took care of each other in new ways and in reliable old ways so we showed we are still on the same team. We took steps to clear the anger and fear. We focused on small things that helped us feel joyful so that the gears of the Universe could shift. We made it through with a great deal of action. We were still loving each other. When we focus on what we want and find joy in small things, we heal our own lives and create a space for peace.
When the bigger world around us is also falling apart, this work we do with each other is even more important. Every time we connect to each other on a deep level with kindness and compassion, we heal the world just a little bit. When someone comes at us in anger, how do we react? Do we see their hurt? Their wound? Do we treat them gently? Or do we allow their anger to open our wounds and let it escalate?
I am not perfect. I am far from perfect. What if, even in my imperfection, I choose kindness? What if I can choose compassion? What if I constantly seek and live in as much joy as I can? What would the world look like if, even when someone wronged us, we can still be loving them?
I can see that world and I like it very much. Let’s do our work (which thankfully includes following our joy!) so that we can shift this world. Focus on love. Focus on joy. React in kindness. Whatever you do, I’ll still be loving you.
*Lyrics from “Jack and Diane” by John Mellencamp