Thursday, June 9, 2011

je suis amour

One of my best friends has a tattoo on her wrist. It reads:
be free
be happy
be love
For readers that don't understand French, and didn't look it up already, the title of this one translates to "I am love." Though I may not think of that saying everyday, like someone who has it tattooed to their wrist might, I still feel as though I have melded this saying into my persona. After all, who shouldn't be free? Who shouldn't be happy? Who shouldn't be love?
There may have been days when I have come up with people who, at the time, I thought didn't deserve to be one or any of those. Realistically, however, I am sensible enough to admit that each and every individual truly deserves all three of these idealisms toujours.

We should all be free to feel the way we feel. Whether it's what we want to feel or not, we are all human and can't always control our feelings. Others should be able to accept that. It is okay to be sad. It is also okay to be happy. But at no point in my life should I ever have to be either. We should all be free to express ourselves however we want. You may not agree with me, but you may feel free to express that as well. Each and every individual should be free to make mistakes! What better way to learn? We should be free to talk, free to listen, free to walk, free to christen, free to love... Free. to. be.

I have heard, often, that it is okay to cry. It is okay to be sad. Its okay to grieve. And it is true, that is all okay. But how rare is it to hear, to read, to understand that it is also okay to be happy? I love this phrase for many reasons. It contradicts the norm. It gives an optimistic spin on life. This phrase frees one of the burden of feeling as though one has to acknowledge and/or represent the moment when things go wrong. This phrase opens up a world of happiness where others may have felt it wasn't yet appropriate or okay to move on.
Lesson learned: there is no right or wrong time to grieve. Even when sad things happen, it is okay to be happy.

Further, it is okay to love and be loved. From this, I conclude that it is important, essential even, to be love. This is a free and open phrase. It can mean many things to many people. To me, love is a happiness felt in your heart. It's knowing that somewhere in your life, you or someone close did something so right that your connection to yourself or that person can constantly change your life for the better. And even when it feels like it may be changing your life for the worst, one day you will realize that those feelings were still "character-building" and you still turned out to (as you always will) be better off.
So to be love, in my opinion, is to be that happiness in a heart. It can even be in your own. I know that some would still disagree when they hear, "better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." But in the most minimal of ways, you should at least love yourself.
You don't have to be selfish, cocky, and/or arrogant to love yourself. This simply takes a little appreciation. Sit down and think about it. What do you like about yourself? Maybe you do something for others, maybe you like the way you look, maybe you have an incredibly optimistic point of view. These are just three of millions of reasons to love one's self. You should be able to come up with at least one. Why? Because you will be a better person for it. Because, if you can't love something as simple and approachable as yourself, you will never be able to appreciate that which makes life worth living. And without that appreciation, even if your body is still alive, you are not truly living.
In order to love others, I'm sure you've heard, you must first love yourself. And why bother loving others? Love is such an important communicator between two human beings. It doesn't have to be between lovers to be important love. Just as loving yourself is necessary to appreciate life, loving others opens up that many more doors to the opportunity of appreciating that much more in life. I feel so passionate about this that I'm sure this subject will take up more than one blog. I'll save that for another day, though. But just know that, in the words of Kimya Dawson, "Love is common destiny."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

même des artichauts a du coeurs

A friend from the Gump recently quoted another friend on Facebook. It made me think of another thing he said that deemed quote-worthy. He, mimicking a popular childish saying, said, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words may break my heart."
I got to thinking about that today and about the original saying ending, "but names will never hurt me." What are we telling kids to say? If you really want to hurt me, start throwing rocks?
Are we trying to raise kids to be unaffected by the words of another human being? Sure this saying is originated to apply to foolish childish torment but what does it say about our society? Like my friend mentioned, words can burn much deeper than physical pain. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes we need another person's insight to realize that we are becoming something we don't want to be. Sometimes we need a critique that burns deep in our chest to drive us to succeed. If we say that words, or names for that matter, don't hurt us we are just saying that we've finally cut off a communicative tool that makes us human and that motivates us to change, teaches us to be better and encourages us to appreciate praise.
Words can hurt. We should teach children that instead. And, even when the words are aimed to dig deep and hurt, they can counter-intuitively lead the victim of said words to progress.  It may just be a song but there are plenty of real life instances where these lyrics from Dirty Head's "Check the Level" ( can apply: "she didn't know that the things they said that left her hurting would actually turn out to make her a better person". It's just a little lengthy to say "sticks and stones may break my bones but those mean words you say can turn out to make me a better person so watch what you say."
In the end, I like the way my friend put it, "words may break my heart." This encourages thought and apathy. It appeals to our morale rather than our drive to hurt others. It explains that we are human and that language can be a very effective tool. It can motivate us to chose our words carefully, to engage our brains when we move our tongues. Overall, it reminds us that we are all human and that we all have feelings and, at some level, we care about what others think of us.

<3 *the title is a quote from Amelie, an amazing French movie. A rude, often crude and stubborn, man is calling his employee a vegetable and someone chimes in that at least he (the man, not the employee) could never be a vegetable, because even artichokes have hearts.