Love Starts with You

Meghan LawsonWritten by: Meghan Lawson

As my feet hit the pavement, I round the corner and breeze past the local laundry mat where the fresh smell of detergent engulfs me. A few steps later, I’m blasted by arctic air jetting out an open door. Heart pounding and winded, I sprint up the hill and past a few local bars. Greeted by the sounds of blaring pop music, I’m welcomed by a whiff of summer bites on the grill as I make a turn and prepare for my favorite part of the run. I jog faster, anxious to get to my treasured corner of our neighborhood when my eyes catch the city of Cincinnati.

It never gets old. I take a few minutes to behold it in all its glory. The tops of the buildings reach for a sleepy sky, sprawling out in a big stretch after a long work day. I take a deep breath and set course for the end of my travels, cross the bridge, and inhale the aroma of cheerful window boxes.

Feeling lucky, I see Sadie and Lucy, a couple of happy sisters, tails wagging, grins on their Airedale faces. As I catch my breath and put key-to-door, I smile, reflecting on the warm faces I passed during this quick run. Every person smiled kindly and made eye contact. It was as if we made a silent pact to fill our little corner of the world with goodness and humanity.

The truth is: There is so much good in this world if we look for it. But I’m finding that I spend a lot of time in my head. At times, it can feel like a dark alley where I shouldn’t be lurking alone. Other times, it feels like a rabbit hole. Thought leads to thought leads to thought and before long, I’m lost my thinking, uncertain of how I got here.

Let’s stop the glorification of busy. Let’s stop praising ourselves for a job well done only when we’ve given it all way and saved none for ourselves. A healthier world is going to require a healthier us. It’s going to require boundaries.

Let’s decide what is sacred and protect it. Is it that evening run? Friday night pizza? Listening to your favorite book in the car?

Protect what you love, give thanks, and pass along that joy. Give a compliment, write thank you notes, hug your family. Be the girl who smiles first. Spread love and joy and kindness at every turn.

Love starts with you. 

“Small things done with great love will change the world.” – Mother Theresa

You. Matter.