How much love can one heart hold? I think of Mother Theresa, ministering to the poor and forsaken, asking for nothing in return.
I think of friends I am blessed to have in my life who also exemplify this giving, no strings, spirit. I struggle myself to meet such high standards. I try to offer verbal or written encouragement when possible. I guess that’s the best I can do. Yet in my mind, there is this scorecard. Trying to reciprocate the good deeds and thoughtful gestures of others is next to impossible.
In answer to my original question, “How much love …?” I offer this thought. Endless.
I believe love is more than a feeling. It is the acts we practice daily. A phone call to a close friend. An unexpected gesture of friendship, like the special birthday cake my kind neighbors walked over to my husband and me a couple of weeks ago. A surprise box of candy from relatives across the country.
These acts speak love to me in high decibels. A good friend picking up the tab at lunch for no particular reason. A hairdresser letting me blather on and on about my life.
Fortunately, there was still hair on my head by the time she and I were done, while she twirled me in my chair to admire the finished product. I did throw in a few “How are things?” to break up my rant. But she was indulgent to the nines, and I tipped her accordingly for her incredible listening skills.
Love is a noun. But it is equally, if not moreso, a verb. It packs a punch with physical contact, hugs and kisses for openers. For sure, as the pandemic ebbed and flowed its way through our world, physical contact was hampered to a regrettable degree.
But, ever so slowly, we are on the comeback trail, while opportunities to demonstrate our love for others are everywhere — volunteering, grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor, sending out that Hallmark greeting, or making long overdue connections with friends and family we may have lost touch with.
It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving to give thanks to a dear friend. It doesn’t have to be Christmas to send a surprise floral arrangement to a neighbor. And it doesn’t have to be New Year’s to wish the store cashier a great day.
How much love can one heart hold? To overflowing when we choose to seize the many opportunities for demonstrating our love that are all around us. It warms the cockles of my heart just thinking about the abundant love we all might share, should we choose to, long before the parade of holidays arrives!
Lynne Farrell Abrams has a bachelor’s degree in communication. She has been a writer and editor, an adult education writing instructor, and a substance abuse counselor. A resident of Citrus County for over ten years, Lynne is now happily retired.