I was asked what I think of the concept that “Expectation is the root of all heartache”, and I replied, and now am bring my answer here. I wrote “There is some truth there, but I don’t know about the “never”. Nevers and always’s are a stretch… There is humanity in all of us. There is a need to believe that something good is on our horizon. I have studied the words “expectation”, “hope”, “belief”, “faith”, “trust” extensively. There is no clear line between them. Without some expectation there is no trust or faith. I think the key, and the hardest thing (in everything) is balance. To me “expectation” implies a specified outcome, whereas hope implies more only a positive outcome. Certainly heartache may be found where hopes have continually been unfulfilled, even where no specific expectation exists. But I would never wish to live a life without hope. Again, I think the key is finding a balance… and hoping for life to bring balance as well.
I’ve had this saying for several years now “When all else fails, love more.” Now many may think that the “love more” is hoping to affect change in that which is loved, and certainly that hope exists. But really, the hope is more that the loving will affect change in the person doing the loving, as in the last stanza of the poem I wrote…
I don’t know how to do else but love
Nor am I certain why I’d want to
When loving warms a lonely heart
In ways that nothing else might ever do
Loving more may never change the outcomes, no matter how much one might wish it to. But realizing that no matter what the outcome, it is the love itself that is the most dear is what may make all the difference.
Love conquers all. That is what I set out to prove four years or so ago. What I hoped to prove to myself and to the world was that regardless of what other conditions existed, that if love was the primary motivator, the primary force at work, that love would win… and I haven’t exactly proven that. But what I have proved is that love conquered me. I have realized, without question, that no matter what the situation is, no matter what the outcome might be, that loving my way through it is what I want to do, is all I want to do. If love does not lead to the “right” outcome, then no other course of action would have led to a better one – of that I am convinced. And that is the basis upon which I want to build my life, each day going forward. And that is also the thought that I hope to communicate, in all that I do, to the best of my ability…
2018 will be a year of persistence. In actuality, for me, every year since 1955 has been that. The nicest thing my mother ever did for me – is “throw away” into my care, a paper she had of Calvin Coolidge’s quote on persistence, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” I think persistence was destined to be part of my makeup. Chronic illness and autism pretty much decided that. But I have hung on to that quote, and though I lost the paper, I have never lost the thoughts that it provoked. It has often been hard for me to credit myself with the understanding that just surviving my life has been an accomplishment – much less to actually have accomplished what I have. Perhaps I was not destined for greatness… although, perhaps it still awaits me. Perhaps, as some, my potential “greatness” will not be known until after I am gone. But whether or not any greatness in me is ever recognized, and though it seemed to go unrecognized by my parents, I take pride in knowing that through the hardships my life has offered, and though the scale was perhaps typically unbalanced, I have tried to see the good in life, I have tried always to believe in wonderful things and people, I have held fast to love, and though I have wavered, I have never let go of faith, hope, and dreams.
As an autistic, a writer, and someone who struggles with relationships, words have held a certain fascination to me. I often look up their meaning, in the attempt to understand and discern what people are trying to communicate. But, what I have found is that words quite often do not follow their dictionary definitions in usage. Words only mean what they are intended to say (adding an entire dimension of complexity for someone literal like me). Love is a word that I love… and yet its meaning is so widely varied in usage. So many people I have known bristle when it is used toward them, taking it as meaning there is a romantic attraction. Yet others see it as the all-inclusive binding of the universe. But the meaning of love is found only… entirely… in the intent behind it, and it is only in understanding that intent that the word finds its meaning. I am love. I hold love in my heart for all of what is. Yet there are certainly things and people for which/whom the word holds special meaning as I use it. I love clouds, and I love bees (for we certainly need them), but the evocation of those two thoughts holds different meaning. I love my daughter, as well as the next stranger I might pass on the street. But again, the context is different. However, I think the goal, for each of us, and for the benefit of the universe, is to work toward that context in which love is closer to being simply that which binds us all together. Love, as the heartbeat of the Universe.
Judgement: The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.
Judgmental: having or displaying an excessively critical point of view.
We all judge. It is only human nature to do so. And in judging, we typically form opinions about things and people. But it is how we react to those judgements that is key. Are we hard-wired to those judgements, letting them be inflexible, and not readily subject to change, as more becomes known about a subject or a person, or are we flexible, allowing our impressions to change to reflect new realizations? But more importantly – which comes first – judgement or love? When judgement overtakes love, when we allow our criticality to blind us, that is when we deprive ourselves and others of the benefit of our love. It is only in letting love come first – in not being blinded to any of what we might know, but to balance that knowledge in the realization that there is no perfection on this planet, but that which our hearts acknowledge in love. Love first… always.
I am in a group that is reading a book by Simon Sinek, called “Start with Why”. I am not mentioning that to promote the book, but to promote my WHY. My why, for everything I hope for, dream of, and plan – anticipate – doing in my life is love. It is as simple as that. The why is that everything that is not love – in my life, and in the world, is not working. Everything that is not love has historically not worked. We need to recognize that universally. That’s why my unofficial – or maybe official motto, is “If all else fails, love more”. LOVE MORE. That is as simple as life should be. Look at the world around us. What is failing in the world? There is division, hatred, bigotry, loss of life, loss of habitat for those creatures that inhabit the world with us. Loss of the lush greenery that adds so much to our lives, and helps to sustain us. If we do not understand – soon – the importance of loving more, it will be too late. Too late not only for us and our friends, not for our children, or our pets, but for each person, every living creature on the planet. Certainly we cannot all give our attention to each and every person or cause that requires love. We can’t… no matter how much we might want to, or wish we could, we simply cannot. But what we can do is live our lives from a posture of love. Make love our foundation in everything we do. We can recognize that when something – anything – is not working, that the ultimate solution is very simple… love it more. Just love more. Realize what loving it really means, and do that. This is my credo for life, and the one I have worked SO hard to build in myself and build around me for the past several years. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS (or perhaps even before that)… just LOVE MORE!