love   ləv/

noun: love; plural noun: loves

1. an intense feeling of deep affection.

I’m gonna start these in a little different order than what I posted on our Instagram. Mostly because the longer I work on this project, the more important love becomes. Be it the love I have for this path, the love of my uber-supportive wife, or the love I’ve been receiving from those around me who’s continuous cheers of encouragement drive me forward. The song lyrics say it all: “Love is a many splendored thing,” “Love is all you need,” “Love is just a four letter word.” I figured I’d share a bit about myself and my experiences with these characteristics I’ve been sharing.

I am incredibly grateful that I have a plethora of examples of times in my life that I have loved and been loved unconditionally. Numerous times, those moments of unconditional love didn’t appear to be love at the time. Or rather, they didn’t look like love on the outside. I think that’s very important to designate–love doesn’t always look like what you’d expect. I grew up in an awesome two-story house in the suburbs of Los Angeles. It was a good-sized house, one with so much room that we had to designate a “Family” room and a “Living” room. In the “Family” room, which was the first room you walked into when you came through the door, we had this huge sectional couch, and the back of it created this kind of aisle way along the front windows of the house. Needless to say, I was a very curious child, and one day sometime within my third or fourth year of life, I discovered that if I pressed on the back of the couch, it moved. There was some kind of space in there. That was exciting. Space inside the couch?!? I had to see what was in there.

So, I took a steak knife from the kitchen….

How ominous the start of that sentence is, huh? I can almost hear the gasp from mothers everywhere reading this.

So, I took a steak knife from the kitchen, and being courteous as well as curious, I cut a small slit in the lower corner of the back of the couch. But, apparently, it’s dark inside couches, so I widened the hole just a bit, so I could get a bit better look. Eventually, I decided that there really was no other option of ever knowing what went on inside the couch, so I decided to get my head all the way inside there.

And that’s when my mother walked into the room…

Almost as ominous as “so I took a steak knife from the kitchen,” huh?

And, that’s when my mother walked into the room. Now imagine yourself in that moment. Expensive couch. 3/4 of a toddler’s body sticking out of a gaping hole in the back of it. A knife within easy reach. It’s a tough choice for a mother to make. With every ounce of restraint in her body, she physically removed me from the couch and the next thing I remember I was in my room with the door shut.

Now that’s as middle of the road as I can describe what happened. To hear my side of the story, I vaguely remember being taken up by the ankle by SheHulk and thrown from the living room, up the central staircase into my second floor bedroom and the door somehow slamming shut behind me when I landed. Mom’s version is a little different. When it came up in conversation some 30 years later, all she would say about it was, “That’s the closest I’ve ever come to child abuse.”

Here I sit, nearly 40 years after the fact, writing about love, and unconditional love at that, and this is the story I decided to share. Why? Because at that moment, against all that rage and anger, she chose love. And like I said at the beginning, it didn’t look like love at the time, but it was. She looked into her heart, and figured the most loving thing she could do at that moment was to remove me from her sight. But it was love. That’s what the power of love can do for us, it can stave off the strongest emotions, like anger and rage. Now luckily, most of us never have to have emotions like that directed at our own child who caused us several thousand dollars worth of property damage. But how often are those emotions directed at the cars in front of us on the road? You know, that guy who did nothing more wrong than to drift into your lane without indicating? The guy who is so wrapped up in his own rage-spiral that he keeps changing lanes and getting more frustrated each time? Don’t be that guy. Find the love in the situation. It keeps your blood pressure down, and your mind clear.

As always, in life, in love and in spirit, keep pushing for that positive forward motion.

~ Bear

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When brothers agree,
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