LOVE Mural by Wiley, Houston

Welcome to the first post of a new year, one which I hope in some way will set a tone for some of the amazing things that we can accomplish across this calendar if we set our minds to actualizing our goals and put in the leg work to make it happen.

I returned to work today after taking a personal vacation (alongside securing some great new places to showcase this year for the blog). I don’t know that I was ready for what was thankfully not as horrible of a return as I had built up in my mind, but also not as productive as I might have wanted. I am jumping the gun on getting this year started and  some of the work that has gone into successfully making it this far; as a blog, as a business owner, as a parent and honestly as a person.

I left 2019 on a note of searching for something. And I don’t think that I had an epiphany of finding a centralized destination in my travels. But, something that has calmed my busy mind is focusing in on the life that I am working to embrace; defining, trying and refining as needed.

I selected something of a topic of sorts that songwriting musicians have penned their entire lives trying to define as well as audiences near and far. Love as a whole can be an elusive and fickle concept. It is something worthwhile when you find it, and heart wrenching when it fades or is clouded by distractions.

I spent a great deal of time in an around churches as a teenager and well into my twenties. Possibly, one of the most often quoted bible verses is 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 which defines attributes of love. I am sure it has been read at a wedding you have attended. It goes a little something like this;

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

In sitting with wisdom of how I wanted to start the year, I know that I want to be a person that confidently believes in love, in it’s various forms and adaptations. Love for self and love for others. Sometimes that looks like humility and gratitude for where we have come from. Sometimes it looks like making a place for being open to self care both physically and emotionally. Sometimes it means just stepping out of our own way.

I am not, nor do I claim to be an expert on the matter. However, what I have contemplated as driving across some of America’s interstates and back roads is that in order to be the kind of person that I claim I want to be, I cannot erase the concept from my life. Love takes patience, humility, appreciation, trust and perseverance.

The mural painted by Houston graffiti artist arrived in my sights many a month ago as I just needed to take some time away from my regular job and capture a fresh shot exploring the City. I have long admired Wiley’s work as I have seen his “LOVE” tag for years around the City on walls and even slender boards nailed to power line posts. I have reached out to add to my personal empty spray paint can collection with a commission from, and I am hopeful we can work something out.

The track is Collective Soul’s “Shine”, which I think drives home the idea I resonate with making a space in our lives for love. I am a believer that speaking through the lens of love changes the way that we perceive the world and our place in it. Maybe that means we start respecting things in a more intentional way. And while The Beatles fan in me was tempted to use “All You Need Is Love”, I think love is a start and a reasonable goal to reach in 2020.

Love as self care. Love as an act of respect for others. Love as patience, humility, gratitude and trust.

And here we start off the year, with each day an opportunity to practice and reach our goals.

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