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02 February 2008

Heart unlovable people

Necco_human_heart_2 Love means to love that which is unlovable, or it is no virtue at all. G.K. Chesterton

Ah, Valentine's Day.

In the midst of the hearts and doilies and hand-rolled truffles made from rare Bolivian cocoa nibs with hot hot Argentinian chili powder and Australian wood opal rings from the Spirit of the Earth in Santa Fe and trips to Paris for the weekend (yeah, right) and small plastic vases shaped suspiciously and beautifully like Ivory dish soap bottles colored by the hand of a four-year-old and chocolates in the shape of bagpipes shipped for exorbitant sums from Scotland because a certain teenager has a certain BOYFRIEND who plays the pipes--in the midst of all that heartfulness, let's remember to love unlovable people, too.

It's so easy to love the lovable ones. And so much harder to love the unlovable ones.

This month, the fabulous Skirt! magazine has published one of my earlier essays to remind us to do just that. Who are the unlovable people in your life? How would loving them change them? More importantly, how would it change you? Love on.

[wonderful replica of a human heart made from tiny little Valentine heart candies, from here]

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Domestic violence survivors struggle with this aortic bifurcation everyday--in the eyes of the children they lost in order to stay alive.

See that woman sitting alone in the station wagon,gazing through chain link fence for a glimpse of her sons at a football game? She is loving the unloveable.
If you take your eyes off the game for a moment you might notice a man holding a crying infant. Unroll the window and hear him gulping "Mommy", stretching his arms toward the station wagon.
"Mommy is dead..she left you."
We know Patti, we know.

That's a beautiful essay; you've put into words what a lot of us feel about reconciling actions with the person. Really, really lovely.

And I just love the conversation heart heart :)

ah yes,
good to remember Agape and Philia on the day celebrating Erota in this culture.

Valentines is mostly a US holiday isn't it?
or do they play this game in Italy too, as the name may lead us to believe?

Thank God someone is speaking up for me.

husband those rare nibs...

I really connected to the article on unlovable people in Skirt this month...It was too much to believe- my favorite teacher of all time (Mr. Sleeper, in Guilderland, NY) also served/is serving time in jail for sexual offenses...He was arrested right before we were to have a huge multi-class reunion celebrating our "OUTDOOR CLUB" class that he ran. He taught us about self-sufficiency, co-operation, the outdoors, camping, running, gardening, building- you name it...I still have not dealt with his arrest and in my mind maybe it did not happen..Cannot believe such gifted people can really have a dark side to them. Anyway, I had thoughts of writing to him but could never get to that point of feeling comfortable with that and did not want to give the impression of supporting his actions. I know your article will help me process this in a different light.
Thank you!

This essay is particularly touching...they all are, but we just lost that 'unlovable' soul in our life....because she just could not feel any of the love that was sent in her direction.

thank you...

Good afternoon Patti,

I just read your story in the February 2008 Skirt Magazine called "Loving Unlovable People".

WOW!!!

As the mother of a young man who made a bad choice leading to a 15 month incarceration that affected our entire family I loved your article.

As the development director of a non-profit that serves people with criminal records and their families I loved your article.

You expressed so well what we are trying to help the public understand when you said, "I know that no matter what he had done, he is a living, breathing human and not simply defined by his crimes".

We also have to work hard every day to help many of our clients realize that they are not owned by their conviction. It was a bad choice they made, not who they are. If we can help them understand that then they begin to have hope for themselves and their families. And to see that hope flash across their faces is priceless.

Thank you so very much for writing this story.

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