Noah Webster of dictionary fame said, “Language is not an abstract construction of the learned, or of dictionary makers, but is something arising out of the work, needs, ties, joys, affections, tastes, of long generations of humanity, and has its bases broad and low, close to the ground.”
Last night I went to a fund-raiser on behalf of an agency that provides counselling to men, women and children who suffer from abuse, or are abusers. The guest speaker was a young man, Justin Berry, who at 13 was lured by pedophiles into sexual performances online. At 18, Justin left the business and now 22, works arduously to speak out against online predators and the scourge of child pornography.
The language of Justin's spiral into a secret online life as a child porn star was broad and low, close to the ground. It was filled with the language of 'love' corrupted. Men loved what Justin could do. Men loved Justin's youth. Men fell in love with Justin's capacity to satisfy their needs and under the guise of 'love', men paid Justin well for what he did.
I wonder if any of it would have happened if we hadn't had a word for love. If a predator had to write to a child, "I am beautiful in my heart for you," would the child be as easy to lure into the web of exploitation?
Love is a many splendored thing. Love is.
How we use the word 'love' is another issue.
In the name of love husbands beat wives, mothers beat children, children beat each other. In the name of love wars are fought, lives are lost, hearts are broken.
All in the name of one word which, according to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, has many meanings.
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English lufu; akin to Old High German luba love, Old English lēof dear, Latin lubēre, libēre to please
Date: before 12th century
1 a (1): strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
(3): affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests
2: warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion
3 a: the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration
4 a: unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1): the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2): brotherly concern for others b: a person's adoration of God
5: a god or personification of love
6: an amorous episode : love affair
7: the sexual embrace : copulation
8: a score of zero (as in tennis)9capitalized Christian Science : god
— at love: holding one's opponent scoreless in tennis
— in love: inspired by affection
I was saddened by the young man's words last night. As I listened to him speak of blame and shame, of his loneliness as a 13 year old eager to connect in a meaningful way with a stranger online, I felt sadness in my heart. I wondered how many thousands of youth are sitting out there, somewhere in the dark quiet of their rooms, tapping on keyboards, their webcams eyeballing their every move, as they connect with unseen predators lurking in the nether world of cyberspace, eager to lure them beyond the safety of their homes.
As I drove home from the event, I breathed in. There are predators out there. And there is beauty.
I am beautiful in my heart for you. It is a feeling. An emotion. A warmth. A connection.
The world is a many splendored place. It is not the world that creates discord, abuse and terror. It is man and woman. When our hearts are filled with unease, when jealousy, envy, greed, fear, anger fill our minds, our hearts cannot know beauty.
I am beautiful in my heart for you pushes my feelings up into my mind creating balance on that 18 inch ribbon of emotion connecting my heart through my mind.
I am beautiful in my thoughts for you. You are beautiful. I am beautiful.
I cannot be congruent if my heart is out of sync with my thoughts. I cannot know beauty if my thinking harbours ill will towards you.
I am beautiful in my heart. For you. For me. For the world around me.
I breathe and let go of sadness for the discord in our world and move with grace and ease into beauty.
I cannot change the world with one thought. I can change the world by shaping my world with thoughts of beauty. I can change my world by holding myself accountable for my thoughts and feelings.
I am beautiful in my heart for you. May your day be filled with beauty, grace and ease. May you be beautiful in your heart. May you be Love.
The question is: Are you filling your heart with beauty? Are you the Love of your life?
PLEASE NOTE: This is moving weekend. I will not be posting until Monday -- and I'll tell you all about my adventures in moving! Have a wonder filled weekend. May your thoughts be beautiful. May your world be one of beauty. Nameste. Louise