So the only thing that matters is to incline one’s own heart to love, because the person who loves is by nature lovable too. Yet if we love only because we want to be endearing, we succumb to the error of expecting results for our efforts. If an action is worth doing, then it doesn’t lose this value, whether we get results or not. We don’t love as a favor to another or to get something. We love for the sake of love, and so we succeed in filling our hearts with love. And the fuller it gets, the less room there is for negatives.
I came across this quote the other day within an article about the Four Highest Emotions. It seemed applicable to what I feel i need to write about today. Over the past few months as Alex, the girls, and I all spend time together, each girl, in turn, has turned to one or both of us questioning our capacity to love them as much as we used. The affection that Alex and I show for each other may be new for them to experience because they may not have seen or remembered affection between their birth parents. Affection between 2 adults, one of which may be a new partner, can be unsettling for a child because they think that there may be only a certain amount of love in a Mama’s or a Papa’s heart: “If that Mama or Papa is showing affection for someone else, does that mean there is less for me?” Children are already insecure about love and emotions after a divorce. They question the stability of love because that love disappeared between their parents: Could, one day, they stop loving me, too?
After noticing this was beginning to happen, I made a mental note to try and make a tangible, inclusive example for them. Sometimes, ideas just need to bubble up at the right time and usually pictures come to me in dreams or flashes when I see something. This Multi-Media project began formulating a few months ago as I found different “pieces” of the puzzle. My concept: that everyone has a place or piece of my heart and there is plenty of room for everyone. Just because you care about a new person, does not diminish the love I have for you.
For Valentine’s day, I included a puzzle piece with their names on it in their little heart boxes along with their wire heart rings. The next time we were all together at my house, we would take the time to place our “love” inside the big heart. When they saw that there was so much room inside the heart, they understood and no one felt left out. They felt part of creating something bigger than just one person. It is a visual reminder that the heart has so much room to grow and stretch when exercised! The more you love others, the more love you feel grow inside you and your heart just expands outwards. Now, isn’t that what peace is all about? Having and spreading love as far as you can?