Love, Love, Love.

I have been absolutely, unequivocally, mind-bogglingly overcome with love lately.

Regardless of where I am in my life – physically, geographically or emotionally – it finds me. At work, driving home, sitting on the couch reading – it will gently roll up onto me and suddenly I’m filled with all-out kick ass Love. Love! Nothing in particular brings it on, no memories of breathtaking sex or sleepy fantasies of vacations, no thoughts about anything grander than the checkbook I’m balancing, the wall I’m painting or the words I’m reading, none of which have anything to do with the love I start to feel. Still, it wells up in me – big and grand and very much present – and I’m here to tell you: it feels so fucking good.

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The love is not exclusive. It’s inclusion spans from the obvious – my rockstar children who keep me creatively on my toes around this place in my life, my awe-inspiring boyfriend; I could inflate a giant heart-shaped balloon the size of Texas with all of the tender thoughts floating out of my head about that guy. That’s just normal. Beyond that, though, I swell with love. I think of all that he gives to me – laughter, passion, conversation, allowance for growth, a difference in perspective; naturally, I could go on. As all of this runs through my head, the warmth of expanding love as it gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger is enough to make me giddy. I send him a text that says “I love you.”

More general ‘well duh’ love comes my way, but much more tremendous than what I’ve ever felt before. I read an email from my oldest friend, and I feel it again. I read her words and write my own back, and again am filled with gratitude and pride and love for this person who I carry around in my soul – it is breathtaking, these continuing waves of love. I feel so humbled by the fact that I get to call this person my friend – that she calls me the same – and that I get the privilege of dreaming about one day sitting on a porch with her in rocking chairs when we’ve reached old age, tin mugs of spiked coffee in our hands, dogs sleeping by our sides, maybe a shotgun laying over one of our laps for some reason. I can fantasize about this and know that it is an actual, real possibility for our future.

I think of positive, pow-shazam changes that I am making in my life and in myself, and another friend comes to mind. I think of my appreciation of her dynamic personality, her real-time giving and truth, the ability she has to achieve and to shoot straight and laugh and love and be fiercely loyal, all while swearing like a truck driver and rocking all of the worlds around her. I send her an email to tell her I think she’s great, because I literally cannot keep the love to myself – I have to let it out!

Then unexpected tenderness starts to creep in.

I walk around my store, straightening hangers and moving toys around, and I think of a customer who just had a baby. I feel an eagerness to meet the newest member of her family, and think back to all of the talks she and I had about this baby and all of the mixed emotions around it. I feel so much love for her, her strength and her willingness to share feelings with me that not all mothers would share. I feel so blessed to be so trusted and respected that she felt comfortable in opening up to me, of all people.

me and kidsI think about my kids, how funny they are, and as I smile I have to close my eyes for a moment to take it all in, a deep breath and immense gratitude for the sheer luck I must have to be able to hang out with these beautiful little people.

Suddenly I am remembering a brunch we recently ate with friends. Paulie remodeled their kitchen and bathroom, and they were kind enough to invite us over for an incredible, abundant, and delicious meal in their home. My appreciation for this gesture was there at the time, but in this moment it billows and expands and the warmth I feel from it gives me an allover glow.

It continues. Love for the woman who wrote the book I’m reading because I feel like it is somehow a personal gift, just for me. Love for the cat who purrs next to me and roughly licks my fingers while I pet her absentmindedly. Love for the Fleet Foxes Pandora station because it’s playing my favorite sweet and folky melodic songs by Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, Noah and the Whale, and of course, Fleet Foxes. I am so thankful for all of it.

I’ve never experienced this before, or anything beyond the small rush of emotion that comes when looking at the man I love, or holding my soft, puppy-smelling children in my arms, or waking up from an unexpected nap in a patch of sunshine and knowing as I stretch myself awake that I have the whole day ahead of me to do anything I want. There is a full-throttle rapture of passion and gratitude whirling around inside of me and practically shooting out of my pores with intention and a grace I’ve never known before, and I have to share it all.

Where is this coming from? Those more holy than I might say God. If I wanted to embrace my inner spiritual side more, I might say from The Universe. But when I get really still for a moment, letting the love cloud up around me, I realize what the source is. I recognize what it is, finally.

It’s Me, you guys. It’s me.

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