I am having a hard day. I miss my kids. I miss going to meet friends. I miss just being able to walk around a book store (one of my favorite things). And I am finding the longer this quarantine and stay home order lasts, the toll it can take on our relationships.
As we are home, all together, all hours of all the days, some of us may find this harder than others. For those that are like me, who need alone time, this time could feel claustrophobic, caged in, overwhelming and these feelings are not very conducive to creating a loving atmosphere.
So this has me thinking about the ease of love. How easy it is to love one another when we have some space, other activities and things to take up our time. When we have escapes if you will with our friends or colleagues. When we see new and different things out in the world that we can bring home and share. When we seem or our partners seem more interesting. And while there are tough times in all relationships, I think this moment in time has magnified ALL things. And some of these are tough, not so great.
We are not getting breaks. We are not seeing other faces. We do not have a random story to share when we come from work as we work from home all week. We are stuck together with those we may choose or not choose to be with. How do you keep loving in the midst of this time? How do you let this moment bind you together and strengthen you rather than weaken?
As I struggle today, have a headache from too many tears, I am reminded of the love we have in our faith. I have been listening on repeat to songs that bring me hope, encouragement and strength. I am reminded that Love casts out Fear. We have this time to build rather than tear down. We are getting a gift; although it does not feel like it every day.
Love as an emotion is easy. It says all the “right’ things, makes you smile and feel good. It doesn’t take any real strength or action to tell someone you love them. But I have always viewed love as a verb. It is more than an emotion. It has to be tough. It has to weather storms, battles and disease. It has to speak truth when your feelings are hurt. It has to share more than a kiss and hug. It has to accept sad and happy moments. It pushes through pain and sorrow and fear. It has to act in a way of honesty and integrity. If it has the power to cast out fear; then it has the power to bring us strength; to build, to render hope. And in this current season, it has an opportunity to shine through some hard moments.
Loving your family in an all day, everyday, feeling way is easy. But in this unexpected time we are living in across the world right now, it has required us to get very real with our actions. It has shown me how much harder this is to do when we are all together all the time. When each one is processing loss and sadness. When at times there are just too many people and meals and needs.
Each one of us is handling this time differently and we all have different ways we need to receive love. Today for me that meant pouring my grief, frustrations, pain all out on this man I share my life with. And him trying very hard to show me love back when I can imagine I was not that lovable. But that is what love does; it accepts all. All the ugly moments. All the good. And in this time of uncertainty and loss; we can choose to see the moments “stuck at home” as an opportunity to grow in our love. Love can handle the honesty, it can handle the sorrow and the pain. It can handle being quarantined if we let it.
I hope that wherever you are you are loved. I hope you have someone who holds you even when your eyes hurt to stay open because they have cried too many tears. I hope this time strengthens your relationships. And if alone, know that none of us are ever truly alone. We are all going through this human experience; we are in this together.
Keep holding onto love.