I hate water balloons.
Remember that game where you and your friends filled a tub of balloons with frigid tap water? Once sides were chosen, you’d (lovingly) toss them at each other—laughing hysterically whenever someone got pounded and drenched by an exploding rubber. Good times, eh?
Except now I hate water balloons. Well, not the game as much as the metaphor.
I realized recently that I’ve been tossing love at people the same way I toss water balloons. I’d pour in a small dose of love and tie it up nice and tight. Then find a nice obstruction to hide behind and loft my little love balloon at my intended target—careful not to break it in my hands and make a mess of it all. Sometimes I’d see the love connect…sometimes I wouldn’t. All I knew is that I threw it—and, for me, that was good enough.
I’ve been tossing love at people
the same way I toss water balloons.
I recently realized that if I wanted to be serious about this thing called love, then I needed to stop hiding in the shadows. If I wanted that whole “love your neighbor” thing to be honest and genuine, then I needed to begin entering people’s spaces, neighborhoods, societies and cultures and find ways to personally and tangibly offer it.
And I needed to love people as they are and not as I might think they “should” be. Meeting people where they are…not where I might want them to be. Treating them like actual people. Equals.
It meant I needed to climb off the pedestals I’d created for myself, my religion, my politics, my whatever…and be willing to roll around in the mess of love. And I needed to be willing to dive right into that mess without caution, regret, boundaries or limitations.
I needed to love people as they are and
not as I might think they “should” be.
Otherwise, all I’m doing is just power-launching it from a distance to clear my conscience.
The Aperture Effect was just one effort to stop the charade…to replace all the talk with actions. Of course, it’s just the start. I have a long way to go. But maybe with your help, we can all stop tossing love like we do water balloons.