I usually don’t use an alarm to wake up. I like to wake up naturally. You see, I have that luxury as an unemployed actor and freelance writer who, by the way, has made exactly $200 writing this year. YES!
The night before my 40th birthday in July earlier this year, I set my alarm. I knew precisely what song I wanted to ease me into my extraordinary year of 40.
I had forgotten that the song starts with a few measures of a brassy and slightly drunken sounding version of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, but since I’ve spent the last 39 years conquering insecurity, fear, and doubt, a triumphant war song seemed more than appropriate.
And then the vocals…
Love. Love. Love.
Love. Love. Love.
Love. Love. Love.
You gotta respect the bold simplicity of that lyric. The word “love” repeated nine times. And then this…
There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.
Wow. That gives me so much hope. I think that means that I alone decide what my limitations are. Sexy. It’s easy. So I choose none.
Then there’s this mind blower…
There’s nothing you can know that can’t be known.
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be. It’s easy.
Oh HO HO HO! YES! Here I am. Nowhere near where I thought I’d be just weeks ago. My path dramatically changed and yet, according to this, I’m where I’m meant to be. How about that?
And who has been by my side through all the unexpected change? The same person who was by my side at the Frenchman Hotel in New Orleans when I got my wake up call back in July. The same person who has been by my side for the last seven and a half years. The blue-eyed, hay-headed love of my life.
If you are participating in a committed relationship, I commend you! The active word here being “participating.” After my marriage failed several years ago, I told my parents that I didn’t think I was suited to be in a relationship. I thought it was probably too painful to try again and I feared more failure and heartbreak, so why partake? They convinced me otherwise. To be more specific, they said that idea was stupid and to get over myself. Tough love.
And here we are.
I have goals and dreams. I have strong desires to create, to write, to perform, to inspire change and evolution, and yet, I feel that my relationship with my partner teaches me more about myself and the world than anything else that I do. To be in a relationship; and I mean the active part of “be,” has been the great teacher of my life. We vowed early on that we would not take each other for granted, that we would actively choose each other every day. Would you believe it? We do. Do we fight, argue and sometimes get on each other’s nerves? Of course! But there is nothing sexier than throwing your preferences into the fire that burns between you. Hot! That’s just it. There is a fire between us that needs tending to, stoking, and fuel. A fire needs attention or it goes out. Sometimes we throw what is most precious to us into the fire to keep it going.
I had no idea when I chose The Beatles’, All You Need Is Love, to wake up to on my 40th birthday that it would become my mantra. Love, love, love… love nine times. I’m taking the time to acknowledge and tend to the fire, the love, burning between my partner and myself. I’m clearing my plate of busy-busy-busy-making in order to fully experience the heat of what we’ve accomplished together and what we will continue to accomplish and grow together.
The beautiful thing about all of this is that the fire I have with my partner helps me to better understand and grow the fire I have with my community and with everyone I come into contact with. This is a ripe time to be practicing love in every sense of the word. I actively practice love with my partner and then I have the tools and energy I need to practice love with the world.
All you need is love. All you need is love. All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.
Featured Art: Elaine Kehew