The first time I noticed being loved, I was a chubby seven year old little boy, dressed in my best cowboy attire.
There was a red bandana, a cowboy hat and from the days of realistic looking cap guns, a shiny six shooter holstered to my waist.
The plaid, Tough-skin pants from the husky department at Mitchell’s department store were not true to form but didn’t matter.
My parents were taking me to Six Gun City and I was losing my mind with excitement.
An older cousin had been describing New Hampshire’s fake western ghost town / mini theme park for months.
Amidst miles and miles of, “Are we almost there?”, “I can’t believe it!” and “Can I ride a horse, shoot a bad guy and get a big ice cream?”, I paused.
“Mom, are you happy?” I asked
“I’m happy when you’re happy, Jimmy” she replied
I’ve never forgotten that moment or the care behind those words.
The heart of love is not merely a feeling.
The heart of love is a mix of feeling and subsequent action.
Think of someone you love dearly.
Get a clear image in your mind.
Now, as if they were sitting in front of you, finish this thought;
I love you (say the person’s name) therefore I (insert an action that makes them feel uniquely loved as an individual).
Maybe you want to finish this sentence on behalf of several loved ones.
Perhaps you can list several actions for one person.
Now consider how serving someone you love makes you feel.
Is it a chore?
Is it an obligation that you are checking off a list?
Are you just going through the motions because you feel like you’re are not getting anything in return, or are you like my mom?
When she said “I’m happy when you’re happy”, what she was really saying is you are my boy, and I love loving you.
She was saying you are the apple of my eye and the heart of my heart.
She was saying If bringing chubby little you, to a fake western ghost town, way up in New Hampshire, feeding you ice cream and allowing you to engage in a fake gunfight with a fake cowboy is going to make you feel love, then lets go!
Whose happiness makes you happy?