I had such huge crocodile tears popping out of my eyes and landing on the polished concrete floor … There was simply no way to hide them. Especially when there was a little puddle forming.
I was sitting in the middle of a Prisoner’s Wives Club meeting and I was supposed to be the lead encourager. And there I was… melting down in tears.
My good friend, Nancy Frampton and I, along with a troop of volunteers, brought these women together from all over the state of Texas every month. To encourage them, make them laugh, and most of all, to let them know that they were not forgotten.
This particular month, we decided to have popcorn and a movie in the afternoon, We were showing “Joyful Noise.” I had never seen the movie, and all of us had laughed throughout it! We were watching the part where Dolly Parton was remembering and singing with her deceased husband, Chris Kristofferson. It was one of the sweetest, most moving songs I had ever heard. (Click here for a link to that segment in the movie, and you simply must watch it!)
As they sang the words to one another, perhaps it was the melody that squeezed tears out of me. Perhaps it was the beauty of the love they portrayed. Or perhaps it was because I longed for that kind of love.
The lyrics were priceless to me:
I want you to know you can always depend
On promises made and love without end
No need to wonder how faithful I’ll be
Now and on into eternity
From here to the moon and back
Who else in this world will love you like that?
Forever and always I’ll be where you’re at
From here to the moon and back
I cannot think of any sweeter words on the planet.
I had somehow missed out (up until that time) on the popular saying “I love you to the moon and back.“ Shortly after that, I looked the phrase up to find its origin. It was very interesting to find that so many people had demeaned the saying. They had stated that from here to the moon and back was only 238,855 miles. And somehow it had been calculated that it indicated that the kind of love in the saying would only last 40 years.
I had to laugh, because I knew hundreds of couples in my office had wished love could last even a full year!
People often ask me what is the greatest thing that drives people to therapy. Although they don’t use these words, I find that most often it is people’s need for love.
Yes, we all have the need for love and connection. It’s one of our four basic survival needs. We have four survival needs, and three needs that must be met in order to thrive. The only difference in all of us is what order of importance those four survival needs fall in.
Whether it’s your first need for survival, second, third or fourth .. It is a need. Even people with connection disorders need love. However, they are the ones who refuse to give, and/or are unable to accept love. Their lives are quite lacking, and often miserable.
We all need love. The Beatles saying all we need is love, and there’s certainly some truth in that, but regardless of that… We all need love in order to have a totally fulfilled and satisfied life.
The richer that love is, the greater the fulfillment. Most people would feel quite blessed to know that someone loved them from here, to the moon and back.
Giving love and receiving love has become a dilemma in our world. Best selling book titles confirm the need for love:
Finding the Love You Want
Keeping the Love You Find
The Five Love Languages
Love Magnet Rules
Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them
Strong Women and the Men Who Love Them
Research says more songs have been written about love than any other topic.
The Power of Love
When A Man Loves A Woman
You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
I Will Always Love You
The truth is, we all need love. We all also need to give love. Of course there are various kinds of love. But today I want to talk about simple love. The kind of love that loves someone from here, to the moon and back.
Most of us give and receive that kind of love through pure innocence as children.
As we experience hurt, mistreatment, and unpleasant relationship circumstances, that sweet, simple, innocent love becomes less and less available. Due to trust issues, unresolved hurts, and unfair treatment, we begin to withhold love, and to reject love offered.
My message to you today is pretty straightforward and simple. Do not allow those who have hurt you, unfair life circumstances, or anything else to steal that beautiful, innocent, love you to the moon and back kind of love!
I understand hurt and it’s real. I understand betrayal, and it to is real. I understand devastation and how it leaves us so very wounded.
But the greatest healer of all times is love. That pure, sweet, innocent love.
Is it hard to give and receive after you’ve been hurt? Yes. Unfortunately it is!
But can you crush those hurdles? Absolutely you can! I know.
I know not only from research, but from personal experience. And I’d like to share with you a few things that you can do to begin to give and receive that simple, precious love again.
1. Stop looking in the rearview mirror. You are dangerous to yourself and to others when you’re always looking in the rearview mirror. If you must glance there to do some healing, make it short and intentional. You cannot experience love rehearsing the hurt. If you need healing time, give yourself 15 minute segments a couple of times a day to look in the rearview mirror. The real beauty of pure, innocent love is in front of you. You will miss it looking backwards.
2. Be grateful for the love you have in your life. I was doing a “Power of Purpose“ workshop on the Gold Coast of Australia. In the midst of it, I asedk for a volunteer, and a beautiful middle-aged woman came to the front. She was clearly broken. Her heart had been crushed. I was sharing this step with her, and she said that there was no love for her anywhere. I challenged her and said, “Do you mean there’s not a person on the planet that loves you?” She said, with a bit exasperation, “Well of course my nephew, Joey, loves me … but he doesn’t count.“ I asked her if she would say that if he were in the room with us? She said, “Of course not!” I encouraged her to practice gratitude for his pure, innocent love. Because gratitude for his love would multiply that same kind of love in her. She introduced me to her new fiancé on my next trip back to Australia when she brought him to the same workshop.
3. Find someone to give your pure, innocent love to that is safe. Many times the safest place is a child. Sometimes people are quite surprised at the depth of closeness I have with both of my nieces and both of my nephews. The truth is, over the 16 years between the birth of my first niece, and my last niece, with two nephews between them… I was going through a difficult time with each of their arrivals, and chose to pour out that pure, innocent love on each of them. They each represent very healing times in my life. And my love for them remains pure and simple. From here, to the moon and back!
4. Realize that withholding your love because of past hurts only hurts you! So often when we get hurt, we act as if withholding our love is worthy of some sort of trophy. Why on earth would we want a trophy for something that hurts us and deprive us of one of our needs for survival? Do not allow people or circumstances who have hurt you to hold you hostage to withholding love, and missing out on your “to the moon and back” love experiences!
5. Celebrate love. Do so in whatever way works for you. I normally do it with music. If I’ve been hurt, I listen to wonderful music about love that is hopeful and soothing. And another way I celebrate love, is to remember God‘s great love for me. Celebrating love invites more love into our lives.
I really could not stop the crocodile tears watching that movie, and there was a little puddle around my feet. But I looked around, and I wasn’t the only one. Most of the prisoner’s wives were crying too. Although they were married, many had not been able to embrace their husbands for 15 or more years. But the movie gave them hope, to keep loving. To love their husbands from here, to the moon and back. I wish that experience of loving to the moon and back for every single one of you reading this.
Some of you are in a relationship where the magic is gone, and you haven’t looked into the eyes of your partner and said something so intimate as loving them to the moon and back in quite some time. You go first! Say it, mean it!
No matter how you’ve hurt in the past, no matter how you may be hurting right now … that sweet, Innocent, pure love will come your way again. You will hear the words again and say the words again: I love you … from here to the moon and back! And when it happens, it will have been worth the wait.
I LOVE YOU! From here, to the moon and back!