love is a many splendid biblical thing of loving ourselves so that it ripples out into the world
What is love…amor…agape? It is a word that is tossed around a lot by many…It is used to inspire and incite people…It is used to ooo and awww people. However, que significa? What does love truly mean?
One definition for love is: An emotion and an action; you feel it and you do it; it is a balance of both the lovey-dovey mushiness along with embodied actions of solidarity. ¿Pero que significa amor en nuestra vidas? How do we take this deeper?
If we ponder over Scripture, we discover that love has a multi-vocalic richness of schizophrenia in its biblical manifestations. There is not one clear love but various representations and incarnations of loving others. Everything from seeing the good in creation…to a GOD who is jealous and punishes, redeems and saves…to the sensuousness holy eroticism of Song of Solomon…to Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross for all of humanity…to Paul’s description in Corinthians of patience and kindness.
How do we take the smorgasbord of imagery and live out amor? It is a knee jerk reflex to externalize and speak of loving actions, such as in our romantic relationships of not running away when our beloved poots in front of us or or in terms of a lived agape expressed by advocating for the dignity and needs of the marginados y oprmimidos.
But what about starting with us…conmigo…yo…with me? Many argue and sermonize about the importance of loving others to the extent that we neglect ourselves, perceiving ourselves as worthless or undeserving of affection and care. To care for oneself and to love who we are is not an act of selfishness but of celebrating the beloved creation made in GOD’s image.
We cannot give what we do not have. It is essential…vital…urgent…necessary…human…to first love ourselves. To eat chocolate…to pray…to sing in the shower…to laugh at our quirks…to practice healthy selfcare…to embrace the divine within. To first feel and embody love for ourselves so that we are able to embody and express love for ourselves.
It is reminding ourselves that the Gospel mandate to “love each other has I have loved you” includes us…from this place of loving ourselves in our complex wholeness can love ripple throughout the world, setting all ablaze with agape-filled solidaridad. Than and only than, can we live, make, be, cultivate, and give love to the world. Que asi sea, blessed be!!!
(feature image found at: http://keturahweathers.theworldrace.org/?filename=og-love)