Love Liberates

Effie and Lorien Clemens at the performance of "Angels In The Architecture", photo by Glenda Clemens, 1990

Effie and Lorien Clemens at the performance of “Angels In The Architecture”, photo by Glenda Clemens, 1989

“When someone else’s happiness is your happiness,
That is love.” — Lana Del Ray

I know that the photo I’m using for this blog post is not the best quality, but it is one of my favorite photos of all time.  Effie Clemens, my mother-in-law, and my daughter Lorien are two of the great loves of my life.  Today I listened to Maya Angelou, talk about love as a liberating force in her life.  Now you and I know that not everyone feels that way about love.  Many see love as an ownership and we even speak of those we love as ours—my wife, my husband, my daughter, my mother-in-law.

“Love is that condition in which the
happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
― Robert A. HeinleinStranger in a Strange Land

When I think of those people in my life who have loved me enough to allow me my freedom and my own way of being, I begin to understand what love really is. It is that essence of being truly who you are because you delight in seeing those around you being who they truly are.  It is the liberation of need to control another that opens our path to love.

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
― Dr. Seuss

So why is it so hard for us to allow each other the space and freedom to live our lives as our life spreads out before each of us–everyone different and no one the same?  We continue to strive for sameness, for unity of thought and behavior, for having our stars firmly on our bellies.

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”
― Maya Angelou

But if we can liberate ourselves from the crowd and love ourselves just as we are, we just might be able to liberate each other and love each other as we do ourselves.  How liberating can love be?  It can inspire a young woman to follow her grandmother’s or her mother’s heed and live her life according to her inner spirit and write beautiful affirming plays or poetry, help others in need and become the stand out person she was intended to be.


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