We can do this now. A video we make of a gesture can find and touch millions of hearts, as this video did when it was posted on Facebook six months ago. A man asks a choir to sing Bruno Mars’ hit song Just the Way You Are to his wife on their anniversary. His wife, as it happens, is chair-ridden from advanced multiple sclerosis. He does this because he wants, he needs, her to know how cherished she is, and he needs to do it in some undeniable, public way.
If you haven’t seen it, or even if you have, I want you to consider a few thoughts before you watch it now…You’ll have to let this video buffer, and I suggest you do that with the sound down while you make a cup of tea and read this post…by the time you’re done, it should be ready to play straight through…
First, for all of us out there who think that saying I love you because of who you are, not in spite of it is an option…it’s not. If you feel unconditional love, then you need to show it. I’m not saying you have to hire a choir and set up a presentation in a city park with hundreds of people watching on. I’m not saying you have to engage a skywriter or blubber about on national television. What I am saying is that you have to have the courage to make sure that your loved one knows. Not just in what you do (yah, yah, I know that actions speak louder than words, but that can be a bit of a cop out). Have the guts to say out loud after a stupid fight, “I’m sorry. I love you. Just the way you are.”
Second, if you’re that person out there who is dying to hear those words, and not sure if your loved one has that unconditional love for you or not, maybe it’s time to ask. Maybe not wanting to ask is a form of cowardice, too. We think what we don’t know can’t hurt us, but actually, it can, and eventually it does. The truth will out. So…when you’re ready, if you don’t know, you might consider not waiting until your loved one decides to tell you…maybe you just ask. And see what you receive.
Not asking and not saying means there’s not a lot of real talk going on. No real talk means a lot of unshared love. Lost opportunities to make unclear things clear, or to experience moments of great enlightenment, or joy, or sadness. Life is short, man. Don’t waste time waiting around to know something that important. Because there are lots of partners who, when faced with this diagnosis of a partner, don’t have that unconditional love. They do walk. If you don’t believe me, read the hundreds of stories told in those 45,000 comments attached to this video. Wow.
My mom was sick for a number of years before she died, and there were those who said my dad should put her in an institution and “get his own life.” What they didn’t understand was that she was his life. And “in sickness and in health” weren’t just words; they were a commitment, a promise. A show of unconditional love.
Just Do It
If you’re blessed to have a mutually unconditional love relationship, treasure it. If you don’t, or you don’t know, isn’t it about time you found out? Maybe start by expressing your feelings, and asking for a truthful response. Because all of us deserve to have unconditional love from that one person we choose to call mate, partner, significant other, husband or wife. The rest of the world can be critical and count our every flaw, but we all need that one person who, no matter what, will have our back. And who loves us, just the way we are. Maybe it’s time to ask yourself these questions: Do I love this person unconditionally? Can I? If the answer to both is no, then ask yourself why you’re still in the relationship. You can do better, and they deserve it. But if you are, and if you can, then make it real. Celebrate it. If nothing else, make sure they know.
OK, is your tea ready? The video should be just about finished buffering. Start it at the beginning again, settle in with a box of tissue, and think about the loved one in your life. If your heart isn’t warmed, and your eyes aren’t wet when it’s over, well, maybe your heart needs some unconditional love. When you’re open to it and can give it, you’ll be amazed what you get in return.
Ask & you shall receive,