About a year ago, I was at the dinner table with my kids when my younger daughter, then three, taught me a valuable lesson.
To give a little background, my kids are very eager to get taller. They have a wall marked with measurements and they love to check it. My sister (their primary caregiver) had begun telling them that they “need food, water and sleep to grow”, in part to encourage them to nap – after all, it helps you grow! So, at this particular dinner, my two daughters were talking with their father and myself and the youngest one pipes up, rather randomly, “I need food, and water, and…and sleep to grow, right?!?” Before I can reply, their dad jumps in quickly with “And love!” which of course made me smile. My daughter however didn’t miss a beat: She replied “Oh, I HAVE love! I love Mommy, and Daddy, and Ana and Connie and Nanen and Grandma and Grandpa…” and on she lists all the people she loves, while I struggle not to burst into laughter. That wasn’t what Daddy meant at all!
But later I got to thinking about it. And I realized…she was right, and we were wrong. You don’t need the love coming from others to you. What you NEED is to have love in YOUR heart for others (and for yourself, but that is another story…)
The more time went on, the more I realized what an insight this truly was. When you’re feeling lonely, or upset, or afraid, just look into your heart and realize, love keeps you warm. Not the love coming in from others, but the love you radiate out into the world.
How many people do you love?