What Love Means

Photo: The fingerprint of LoveLove

Love means cultivating an environment in which every member thrives.  Everyone gets to experience being delighted in, being seen and known, and being respected.  If any of these things are not happening, the conditions of our little greenhouse must change.  Immediately.

Love does not mean suffering each other's sharp edges in silence.  Love means we brave the truths that are hard to speak, we gently dismantle the defenses that raise, and we muddle through our misunderstandings until we find a way to ensure we all feel safe.  And heard.  We can love one another's sharp edges because we know we're doing all we can to protect each other, and because we know we can shout "Ouch" when we need to.

Love means the only silence is that which is freely chosen. No topic of conversation, complaint, request, opinion or question is "off limits".  Even if your question is about tampons.  And you're four years old.

Love means that excessively worrying about another does not equal care.  It means trusting each other, even in areas in which we are prone to be afraid.

Love means it's safe to tell the truth about how much we mean to each other, and sometimes, about how much we hurt each other.  Love means we keep the door open for making ammends and giving or receiving affection.

Love means we are keepers of the treasure--our own and each other's.  This looks gentle sometimes, but it can also be fierce.