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Thursday, June 14, 2012


I want anyone reading this to do a word association exercise with me.  I'm going to say a word, and I want you to make note of the next word that immediately pops into your head.  No skipping over words you think are "ungood" or words you deem "unrelated," we are aiming for complete honesty, here.

1.) Happy
2.) Calm
3.) Flustered
4.) Angry
5.) Awe-full
6.) Awful
7.) Unfaltering
8.) Abandoned
9.) Mercy
10.) Compassion

Okay, I'm going to assume you remember at least a few of your word associations.  Is there an underlying theme with the words the above list elicited from your mind?  The answer is yes, by the way, even if you are struggling to piece it together.  And that underlying theme is--you guessed it--L O V E.

You may be thinking that there is no way every word on the original list is encapsulated by the word "love," and rightly so.  After all, it's not often we think loving thoughts toward someone or something or some situation that has left us feeling angry, abandoned, awful, etc.  It's easy for us to see the love factor of the words happy, mercy, calm, and the like, but it's darned near impossible to see love manifest itself in a way/word traditionally thought to be "negative"

Again, I'm going to draw on my most favorite example from my personal life, miss Lucy InTheSkyWithDiamondsMae Doss.  (You knew it was coming, didn't ya??)

In any given day, Lucy can elicit all ten of the feelings/states listed above, and to be frank I'm sure she causes me to feel upwards of 20+ additional feelings on most, if not all, days.

For instance, when I walk up to the porch after a hard day at work, almost nothing compares to the happiness I instantly feel when I see my little puppy's face looking up through the glass, imploring me to open the door.  Earlier on that same day, it is very likely I felt "abandoned" by my puppy when she snapped at my fingers as I was trying (and failing) to lure her into her cage, after which she never fails to show me those puppy dog eyes that then fill me with compassion and mercy and before I even am aware, I've forgiven her and am out the door.

The reason I feel comfortable saying Lucy can stir in me nearly every emotion I can name (and probably many I can't), is because no matter what emotions have run their course through my veins regarding her, I love her unconditionally.

Which, in my opinion, should be the subtext for today's word.  I personally don't think you can have conditional love.  Conditional like--absolutely--but love does not operate on conditions.  When we adopted Lucy almost a year ago, we didn't say "Okay, we'll adopt you and love you IF you...a, b c, etc." We simply said we'll adopt you and love you.  Period.  The end.  No questions asked.  We may not always like everything you do, but you are ours to love.  Furever.

The reason I'm elaborating on this aspect of my relationship with Lucy is because it is a smaller scale version of the commitment Rog and I have made to each other throughout the past 5 years as a whole, but on a greater level, the commitment we made to each other for the rest of our lives on our wedding day, 4 days shy of a year ago.  When I look at Rog, even if we disagree (which we do, just as every couple inevitably does at some point(s)), even if we don't fully understand exactly what the other is saying 100% of the time, the one constant in our marriage is love.  I know he loves me, and I know I love him, and we have each assured the other that our love is unconditional--it is not set on parameters of what we "think" the other should do, be, or anything else.  We love each other.  Period.  End of story.

Which is why, a couple of weeks ago, I took possibly my favorite picture ever.  In this picture, you have the two beings I see on a daily basis that I know love me unconditionally, and whose unconditional love I reciprocate earnestly and wholeheartedly.

God bless,


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