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Learning to Love

Updated: Mar 7

My grandmother passed away recently and it got me thinking about the lessons she taught me through her life. She was a lively and loving woman who valued care and connection to others. Both of my grandparents were openly caring and would often take people in as family who didn’t have a place to stay. My grandmother in particular loved to have big gatherings with lots of people, food, drink, and music. She loved to sing and dance and this connection to the larger community was a big part of their marriage and life.

An old growth tree with massive roots and a big canopy has the sun shining through it's branches.
Photo by Jeremy Bishop

In my meditation after she passed I received this message of living life with an open heart. It connected deeply with the values I strive for. I thought about how I’m actively trying to do this in my life and where I’m falling short.

"In my meditation after she passed I received this message of living life with an open heart."

So much of the time I find myself entering into interactions with people with a certain level of skepticism and even fear about who they are, what they want from me, what I want from them, and if they’re a trustworthy person to open up to. I’d like to change that story. What would it be like if I approached situations assuming the best possible outcome? What would it be like to lead with an open heart and assume the best in others?

"So much of the time I find myself entering into interactions with people with a certain level of skepticism and even fear about who they are, what they want from me, what I want from them, and if they're a trustworthy person to open up to."

Sure, I may be disappointed sometimes but I doubt more than usual. I actually have a feeling that my changed outlook will change the outcome in certain situations. It’s amazing how when given the chance many people rise to the occasion and play the role you’re asking them to play; whether that is hero, friend, or foe. This outlook will require boundaries so I can fully connect with and see the good in people without allowing their, or my, wounded parts to poison the relationship.

"It's amazing how when given the chance many people rise to the occasion and play the role you're asking them to play; whether that is hero, friend, or foe."

Currently my life is really not bad. I have good friends, mostly good relations with family, and pleasant interactions with strangers. But what level of connection and belonging am I missing out on because of my unprocessed fears and judgements? A small change in perspective could lead to a big switch in my overall happiness and well being.

"What level of connection and belonging am I missing out on because of my unprocessed fears and judgements?"

This is the gift I’m giving myself in honor of my grandma. I’m committed to doing the work on myself so I can live with an open heart and enjoy more loving connections with others.


*In honor of Aleen B. Sutton 1931 to 2022


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