Go toward the love.
In navigating life online and off, these four basic words feel like a beacon, a welcome mat. For me, going toward the love means putting my energy, efforts, and resources toward people, projects and organizations that I believe in and that value me and my contribution in return. It reminds me of the game “hot and cold” where the closer you get in proximity to the hidden object, the “warmer” you are.
This week kids are filling out TO and FROM dozens of times on 3.99/box valentines. While some of these perforated rectangular missives serve as mandatory box-stuffers, others take special care with extra-neat handwriting, the cherry (best!) lollipop, or a bonus full-sentence to a true friend “YOU ARE OSUM. I LIK YOU.”
This Valentines Day and this LTYM audition season I’m seeing our stories as Valentines dolling out love. After all, what is a blog if not a valentine to our children, to our creativity, to a season in our life, or to our passion? And these essays we LTYM directors and producers (and eventually live-audiences across the country and global audiences via youtube) witness, each one speaks of love in one of its many languages–whether in humor, in mourning, in hope, or in prayer.
While the genesis of LTYM grew out of my desire to give a Mother’s Day gift to my community, it just as easily could’ve been described as giving my neighbors a Valentine–a collage of words sewn together–an offering presented at the podium, an invitation to approach our hearts.
A couple of years ago, another friend gave me this heart stone in appreciation for helping her through a difficult time. A week ago I took it off my nightstand and now keep it close to me. I worry on it and it now makes a physical reminder for me to go toward the love.
As you write and speak your stories and consider sharing them at an LTYM audition–as you pass out your valentines– imagine them landing in warm, loving arms. Go toward the love. That’s the space LTYM aspires to create, and the reception your words and work deserves. If your story doesn’t find its home with LTYM, keep sharing it until it does. Like a song I still remember that we sang in my pre-school: Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more…