|Mumford & Sons|
'Sigh No More'
Sometimes a song I've listened to multiple times will suddenly stand out for me. Either it suddenly fits with how I feel or I appreciate the lyrics in a way I hadn't before. In the case of this song it was the latter.
The beginning is rather slow and I actually often skip the track entirely. But about halfway through the song has a shift. The music picks up and these are the lines that are sung.
And they are true.
Someone once told me, "Love comes in so many different flavours."
I believe that's true. There's the love I have for the colour blue or the love I have for what I do for a living or the love I have for my favourite pair of shoes. These are different flavours of love with varying intensity.
But then there is genuine compassionate love. Also known as unconditional love. It's often described as the love a parent has for their children and I think it's too often believed that this is the sort of love that can only happen in a parent for their child.
I definitely have absolute unconditional love for my darling little fur-baby. She may wake me up with her meowing at three am because she wants to go play outside and she may regularly bring home frogs that need rescuing and small furry creatures that require skill and patience to catch and release, but I never stop loving her. And it's an immeasurable kind of love. It doesn't come in degrees like my love of certain foods or for different shirts in my wardrobe. Like, I love onions and oranges but I love onions more or I love my pink shirt and my blue shirt but I love the blue one more.
Genuine, true, compassionate love is something so much richer and deeper than that. It's not a clinging or grasping but a huge expansive opening of the heart - encompassing all of a person or animal no matter what.
The 'no matter what' bit is what makes it so different. When we love someone no matter what it means we accept all of who they are.
We love them when they're at their best and brightest and we love them when they're at their lowest.
We love them when they are kind and we love them when they are cruel.
We love them not despite the fact that they may have done something seemingly unforgivable but because we respect that they are just as confused, complicated and unknowable to themselves as we are to ourselves.
We love them because we are open to the complexity of another because we see that same complexity in ourselves.
And when you love like that - fully, utterly, completely - it's liberating. Because you don't have to like someone to love them that way. It doesn't excuse bad behaviour or poor choices but it recognizes the reasons behind it. It doesn't label a person as just one thing because of their actions but allows them to change.
In short, to love this way is good for the heart because it shows us our heart is big enough for it all.