how to tell if he loves you so

puts up with your bitchy irritability 

picks up your snot rags

brings you medicine and tea in bed 

leaves you sweet notes on the fridge 

takes out the trash 

….thats when you know 🙂

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Unconditional love

unconditional love: affection without limitations. no bounds. no conditions. no circumstances.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this term. unconditional love. I’ve  loved a lot of people in my life, not in the high school boyfriend sense of the term, but I mean really genuinely cared for another human being because of who they were, not what they did for me. I think that’s why I’ve always had a hard time letting go of people and relationships, because I’m not done loving them. Even when wronged and hurt, I still pray for reconciliation, because that’s what I’ve been shown.

When I think of unconditional love I think of forgiveness. I think of what Micah says about Christ having compassion on us time after time. How he will trample our inequities under his foot and throw them to the depths of the ocean. It’s almost as though every wrong we’ve done, every offensive word, every bad intention and harmful thought, is this barrier in front of us, blocking who we really are. And God takes all that shit and and buries it. The depths of the sea. I don’t know how deep that is but I imagine it is a place where nothing will ever be found or rediscovered. And I think that’s a beautiful thing. Because God doesn’t care about all the dumb shit we do, he cares about our hearts.

So God removes our inequities and throws them to the sea. And we, as humans, surely build them up again. We lie again, we think negative thoughts about people, we act selfishly, there is no escape from doing dumb shit. But God doesn’t care. And if God is love, then love doesn’t care. Love continuously forgives and pursues. How many people in your life can you say do that for you?

For me, it’s not that many. I’ve realized that for most people, in most relationships, love is a good that is given and withheld under certain conditions. And when those conditions are not met, love is not shown. I’m comforted by Paul’s words in Romans, he says he is convinced that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Not death or life, angels or demons, not the present or the future,  no powers no height in the heavens or depth in the sea. He says, nothing, nothing in all of creation can alter unconditional love.

I think some of the purest examples of this love is with our families. The kind of love that you can’t wash away with time. All the fuck ups and arguments in the world can’t come between my brothers, my parents and I. There is nothing I can do that will stop them from loving me. Sometimes that’s all I need to get me through the day.

but dont take it from me, Paul or Micah, Tupac really knows whats up

2013

I can’t believe how long its been since I’ve written on here. I had two months of nothingess and ….nothing. literally nothing. no thoughts worthy of writing down. Eh, thats not true, I’m just lazy. I’m back in the East Bay living with Kyle. We have the cutest little apartment in Lake Merritt, Oakland. I am here now after a long day, candles going, heater blowing, Lois Armstrong serenading me. I injured my knee a week ago playing indoor soccer, how ambitious right? Confined to a knee brace and crutches I hobble my way around, being stubborn and taking longer to recover.

There’s been a couple things on my mind lately, felt like now would be an appropriate time to commit them to memory, laying in pain on the couch, paralyzed by my own stupidity.

The first thing is work. I’m working back at the International Community School in East Oakland, where I direct an after school literacy program. Every day I drive down International Blvd I count the hookers on the corner, mostly counting how many blocks they are from the school. Sometimes it makes me angry because they inch closer and closer to my precious students, vulnerable and naive. Then, sometimes when I’m stopped at a light next to them, I get a glimpse into their faces and I see the emptiness. And at this point I don’t know whats more heartbreaking; that this is the life they’re living, or that it no longer phases me. If I was 18 I might pull over and try to help them, talk to them, listen to their stories, tell them they were perfectly and wonderfully made, that they are worth so much more. I at least would have made some crafty affirmational poster or something and placarded it on their corners….but now I’m 25. .. inching closer to 26. I’ve been a bit hardened by life, or maybe just becoming more of a realist. Now I read Machiavelli and indoctrinate myself with self-determination ideals, that people are free to choose their own fate, that they and only they can and should choose it. John Mill says, “you cannot set people free”. John Mill also probably would have kept to his belief in non-intervention if he himself watched the SS officers blindly follow orders, committing crimes against humanity. Sometimes I find myself conflicted with thoughts. With compassion and justice, with relentlessly pursuing my offender with the goal of reconciliation (patterned after Christ’s relentless pursuit of us)//and learning when to let go of people and situations, with intervention or self-determination. The difficulty comes in that I see Truth in all of it.

On another, more positive and assured note, I have the most amazing boyfriend. When I read 1 Corinthians, I can replace Love with Kyle’s name and it holds true. He is patient, kind, forgiving, protecting, trusting… Everyday he shows me a  love so beautiful and true that I feel unworthy. He teaches me a lot about how to be a better person, and I don’t think he is even aware of it. I wish there was a way to convey my adoration for this man.

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