This past year “love always wins” has become my mantra and stronghold. It’s turned what should have been the most difficult twelve months of my life into a transformative, positive experience–bringing me closer to my best self. During the darkest days, I repeated these words–sometimes as softly as a prayer, others like a battle cry. So much so that my friends started repeating the words back to me–in conversation, in texts, on messages and social media posts. LOVE WINS. LOVE ALWAYS WINS. It was empowering to see the spark of these words ignite something positive and hopeful amidst what has been a trying time for many of us. But, what does it really mean, love always wins?
When does love win?
When someone screws up and we forgive them. Love wins.
When we let ourselves down but choose to focus forward in a positive way. Love wins.
When someone believes in something we don’t, but we respect their right to do so. Love wins.
When we do something for someone with no agenda or expectation of receiving anything in return. Love wins.
When we believe in someone when they’ve stopped believing in themself. Love wins.
When we protect ourselves by setting boundaries in a peaceful way. Love wins.
When we choose not to engage in vitriol, hate talk, or anything that erodes our self- respect and integrity. Love wins.
When another’s success doesn’t make us jealous but fills us with joy and inspiration. Love wins.
When we choose open-mindedness over judgement. Love wins.
When we choose to focus on what’s working, what’s positive, and what’s good. Love wins.
When hope prevails over despair. Love wins.
When we understand that endings are also beginnings. Love wins.
When we refuse to engage in gossip. Love wins.
When we choose to respectfully communicate and share rather than build barriers of silence and resistance. Love wins.
When we know that some days we will not be our best selves, that we are imperfect, we will say or do things we regret, but we love ourselves anyway. Love wins.
As I practice love winning, I notice that it becomes easier and easier–like any form of exercise, the more I do it, the stronger I become. Of course I screw up, that’s just part of this journey of being human, but what I’ve found is that I’m now much more aware of lapses and quicker to course-correct them.
My second discovery is the secret sauce: that love is winning far more than we realize it is. When we focus on the positive, we attract the positive and, truly, see things in a completely different light. A brighter light. When someone or something trips you up, take a deep breath, hit pause and take a moment to reflect. Consider how love would win, then make it so.