I have talked about opening the love letters. Specifically I was talking about the many letters and cards people had written me over the last year or two which I had kept closed and locked away in a “special place” where I could not see them.
Out of sight, out of mind. Isn’t that how the saying goes?
This idea - that of opening the love letters - applies all over the place. I’ve been seeing it everywhere since I wrote it.
I have found myself saying more and more often this phrase: Look for love where it is not where you want it to be.
For example, if I was looking for love everyday in the mailbox, I will find it rarely. But if I look at the compiled evidence of love, I find it daily.
The same with God (who is my Higher Power). The same with spouses, children, angels, friends and other family members.
There was once a few years ago that I was struggling in my dance with depression. I call it a dance because sometimes I lead and sometimes depression does. In 2009 I was struggling to move my feet as depression led me in dizzying circles around the proverbial dance floor.
I turned to a new crutch (candy bars) until an old crutch (theater performing) presented itself. I must have been bad off, because my husband encouraged me to be in - not one - but two plays a the same time. Which meant he would have to watch both children on his own for quite a while every night after work.
We had quite a mess in the first production - a Shakespeare - and I had been asked to be the stand-in Musical Director for the second, which was a beloved Sondheim Musical.
I remember one particular night that I came home and I must have brought some weird gunk home with me because my husband sent me straight to bed saying, “You are acting weird and I don’t want you projecting it on me. Go get some sleep.”
I beat myself up in my journal. I beat myself up in the mirror and I beat myself up on the scale. I even beat myself up in my prayers. Until the last few seconds before I fell asleep on my knees, tears still fresh on my cheeks, and I finally spoke to Him. I don’t recall the words, but I know it had something to do with love.
I woke the next morning to another bright, shining, sun-soaked July day. I thought I would be sick. Birds were singing. It was warm and people walked about the place with grins plastered to their un-depressed faces.
I got to rehearsal and a few more little things fell apart. I was feeling utterly useless and forgotten.
Then I heard the thunder.
I looked out the window and saw thick grey clouds, complete with a platinum lining, pouring rain upon the thirsty ground. I love the rain so much.
And I knew it. I even said it out loud, “Oh! God loves me!”
A woman in my cast overheard and said, “He must not love me; I hate the rain.” And she laughed.
Ever have those moments when you just know something?
I have. And this particular time I knew that the rain was a sign God loves me. It could not have been more clear if He had walked in with a dozen roses.
Similarly, on closing night of the second production, my husband brought me a delicious mango smoothie. He picked up the children and he went home. This bothered my castmate.
"Isn’t he staying to watch you?" she asked in a snarky tone.
"I don’t think so," I say, smiling.
"Didn’t he bring you flowers or a card or anything?"
"Yeah, he brought me a smoothie."
She rolled her eyes and grimaced, “Not much of a closing night gift, though. I mean, doesn’t it just make you mad that he doesn’t support you?”
I laughed. I mean a giant, shake the rafters, throw back my head and just laugh laugh.
"Wait," I said when I could catch my breath. "Which part of his actions is un-supportive? When he encouraged me to be in these plays? When he takes care of the kids for hours at a time so I can rehearse and perform? When he has to spend his days off without me because I’m HERE? Or when he brings me one of my favorite treats that would not interfere with my performance?”
She was stunned. And so was I.
"Wow," I said. "I don’t think I realized until just this moment how much that man loves me."
I suggest we make a list today, just sometime on a scrap of paper somewhere. And list all the evidences of love in our life.
I sincerely believe you’ll be surprised at the answer when the question you ask yourself is, “How am I being loved?”
You are. Perhaps you’re just looking for it in the wrong places.