“Be Love” is a bold declaration. It’s about choosing kindness over being right. It’s about cutting out the conditions in which you might think are required for love and going straight to the source, or rather, being the source yourself, that which is Love, unconditional. ~Jason Mraz
Back in November of 2010, Thommy and I were fortunate enough to meet with one of the film makers of “May I Be Frank”, an extraordinary musician & artist, Conor, who proudly wore the words “BE LOVE” on his forearms. Thommy and I have both been toying with the idea of tattoos for a long time and as soon as we saw Conor’s declaration, and his subsequent explanation of all that these simple words stand for – we knew what ours would look like. Mine would go on my right wrist, as a constant reminder through my everyday activities, and especially with a pen in my hand… “Rhea, today, speak with love.” Thommy would get his on his forearms, to remind himself of the true power as he embarks on his new career of massage therapy and Reiki… “Thommy, today, heal with love.”
Humbled by the thought of joining a prestigious community of “lovers”, we were thrilled at the prospect of oneness and connectedness that these tattoos bestowed upon us – we were also quick to want to personalize them to our own deeper meaning, to broadcast our special circumstance to the world – so we decided to get them done in each others’ handwriting. (You may or may not be able to tell the difference – 7 years together and our penmanship has formed a special union all its’ own.)
The tattoo artist, Kim, jokingly declared our partnership as “sickeningly sweet” and a chorus of “you guys make me sick” carried us through the procedure. It was all in jest, and to be honest, Kim is a super-awesome, super-amazing artist who is undeniably LOVED (in capitals) by those transformed under her sacred needle; you see, Kim spends one Friday of each month tattooing women recovering from breast cancer & surgical reconstruction. When we started looking around for a tattoo artist, Danielle was the first to mention Kim, and as soon as we learned about her RN background and the special kind of work she does, we knew she was perfect. And she was. The symbolism of having each other write out our own unique brand of “Be Love” is probably pretty obvious. Since 2004, we’ve been teaching other what love looks like, the lengths it goes to, the hopes & dreams for the future that it shares – we got to this point in the journey by loving each other, in every conceivable way.
In the video, Kim responds to my declaration that the tattoo pain is “not that bad” by inquiring if I’ve had worse pain in life. Yup. We all have, but my response is that we usually don’t have anything to show for it, physically anyway, except scars… which are beautiful all on their own, to be sure. Laparoscopic surgeries, spinal taps, oral surgeries, seemingly endless injections and blood draws… those hurt. Afterwards, I’m left with scars and stories….
Scars and stories.
I am in constant awe of this story. It’s amazing how the sentences create paragraphs that turn into chapters- in all these seemingly inconsequential moments, breaths, flickers… the way everything keeps adding up to create my wildest dream, it is all breath-taking.
A friend from college wrote me on Facebook the other day, asking about my past abdominal surgeries and any advice I might have for a friend of hers who was about to go through a similar situation. Previously, I’ve bristled slightly against such inquiries, not because I didn’t want to help, but because I always thought myself unknowing or somehow inadequate. Lately though, I’ve learned that our experiences are maps we’re given to help others navigate their own journey. It all fits perfectly in with this idea that the road is indeed life and not only can we communicate brilliantly with those starting out on paths we’ve already ventured but with those headed down entirely different paths as well.
That communication, that openness, that partnership is what BEING LOVE is all about. It’s what we’re meant to be.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be love.
What do you need to give away so that you can attract more of the same? Love.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not always easy. We are human and we are imperfect, but we’re learning and creating it as easier every day. Even before we got the tattoo we were gently (ok, sometimes sarcastically) reminding each other to “be love” when we found the other person to be engaging in mean-spirited or less-than-lovely speech and/or action: getting cut off in traffic, being interrupted, waiting in long lines, having to repeat ourselves to those not fully listening, making up stories about what perceived slights mean… these are all exercises in being love. Loving others and loving ourselves. Jason said it, “it’s about choosing kindness over being right” –
Every single second we are choosing what to attract: let’s not forget the strongest magnet is love.
Lots of love to YOU! And thanks to the “BE LOVE” community, all those seen and unseen.
With gratitude … and love…