Between January 10th and January 27th I sent out 186 Facebook messages that started like this:
“I have been focusing a lot on Love in my life lately. It is powerful indefinable and unique to each person. I’ve decided to do an experiment. I’m telling every one of my Facebook friends why I love them. Why they are a part of my life. This is not some lame meme that is being passed around. This is me genuinely sending you love.
So the reason I love you is:”
Each one was finished with a few statements of how/why I loved that Facebook friend. I had been thinking about our concepts of love and how, as a society, we are always trying to label or define it. Also how we are scared of it and how we limit it. I actually tried to not have any expectations when I started this experiment, though that is not completely possible. I had a few rules for myself. The message of love had to be honest, what I truly feel. It could not be just what I think the person wants, needs, or can hear. Sometimes this would end up being how I saw the person, or memories we had, or what our relationship has done for me. The next rule was I had to send one to every friend, no exceptions. This meant I sent messages to people’s pets, bands, businesses, people I had only met online, and people who were more famous then I perceive myself. Every person is on my friend list for a reason and I needed to discover that reason. The last rule was that I was going to keep notes, finish the experiment, and write a result blog. I could not have predicted the many amazing experiences I would have.
It was very interesting to see how difficult it was to open up and express love to people. I don’t perceive myself as someone who has difficulty expressing emotion, but I hit many blocks. I would find it hard to express love to certain people I still held resentments against or had judgments of. It was actually very healing to turn my perception on its head and find the places these people had blessed my life. I also was worried about expressing love to men on my list. I had fleeting daymares (that’s a daydream that’s a nightmare) of their wife or girlfriend yelling at them for receiving such a message or of my message being misunderstood. This also ended up being absolutely ridiculous as I’m sure you could guess. I also had trouble expressing to people that present a “hard” image of themselves. I was afraid they would be unable to receive a message like this or would roll their eyes and cross it off as meaningless fluff. This is where I was dead wrong. The few on my list that fall into this category responded with deep gratitude and love.
I had not thought about receiving messages back. I was so focused, nervous, and submerged into what I was feeling and expressing that when I received my first message back I was shocked. What was more shocking was the beautiful message it carried to me. It was full of love, gratitude, and words that honored me and my path. About half of the people that got messages took the time to write me back, some were just a simple Thank Yous, but most had much more. I was told time and time again that my message had arrived in Divine Timing for those who were feeling down. Many soaked up the words with gratitude. Most of them shared their view of me and what I have done for them. Every message sent and received was a delicious healing. Here is something else to note; not one person deleted me, was angry with me, or wrote me back in a hateful or even combative way. So why do we not share and express love to all the people in our life all the time?
I was surprised as I went through the list how many things I feel and think but never express that are positive and loving about those in my life. It felt like work at times. I hit a wall in the middle of the list and had to slow down on the amount I was doing per day. It was like I was running around naked, which was freeing at first, but soon I was realizing what a vulnerable state I was in. Whether it is my fear of rejection, of being seen as silly, soft, or weak, I tend to hold back my expressions of love. I think I fear that if people know how much I love them then I have given them some kind of power over me and, to keep myself safe, I withhold love. Here is the amazing thing I discovered; by sharing the love I have for 186 friends I know how much love they have for me. I discovered how much I was honored, celebrated, and held in people’s hearts and memories. It was empowering and overwhelming at how much affect I have had and do have on others. By seeing others with love and compassion and showing that to them I was seen with love and compassion. Most of all I saw myself with love and compassion. I could probably fill a book with the insights and experiences I had doing this experiment, and maybe I will. As is it is this blog had to be edited down a couple times. I am truly grateful and deeply blessed by this experience and all those who were a part of it. I hope this inspires you to be brave and share love.
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