“Love, Love, Love. All you need is love.” By Nancy Sharp
by Writing Workshops Staff
A year ago
Thank you, John Lennon, for saying it so simply and well. All we need is love, and for me at least, the sentiment rings truer and truer with each passing year.
The more I live, the more I love.
I no longer confuse love with steamy sex and romantic folly (even though I’ll always be a sucker for a great love story). It’s just that today I know that love is so much deeper and more nuanced. It blooms within us and all around us if only we choose to see it.
Some might argue that love is a mystery. I disagree. We just have to expand our lens.
Love is telling my 21-year-old daughter Rebecca “you got this” every time she doubts herself and laughing at how her twin brother Casey mysteriously programmed Siri to acknowledge me as “Wonderful Mommy” and “Birthgiver.” Love is watching the video I once made of my beloved grandmother and remembering how we used to celebrate our birthdays together each year. “At my age you don’t buy green bananas,” she loved to joke. She died at the ripe age of 96. Love is trusting that after losing our first spouses to cancer, my second husband Steve and I deserve happiness and a lifetime of adventure. Not someday. Now. Love is helping my friend Bill complete the most important letter of his life after he suffered a spinal cord injury following a freak pickleball accident. What does life mean if we can’t show up for those we love?
Love is what I feel when I stare at the Rocky Mountains—small amid this vast landscape that stretches farther than my eyes can see. I still can’t believe I took a leap of faith and left Manhattan for the sunnier, wide-open skies of Denver in 2006.
Love is the way I have learned to trust my voice. I know who I am and what I am. And no person or circumstance can ever change that. It’s taken me many years to fall in love with myself—and to recognize that love of self is what makes us capable of loving others.
Love is universal, timeless, and essential to the human experience.
Ready to fall in love with yourself all over again? Or someone else? Or to look at love in an entirely new way? Here are four prompts to jumpstart your love quest this year.
- Complete the prompt “Love is…” Without hesitation or self-censorship, simply free write what love is to you. Is love, for instance, a person, a place, a color, a scent? Try and think about love using all your senses.
- What is your favorite love story? The film “Sleepless in Seattle?” Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice? Or something more personal, like how your grandpa courted your grandma for four years before she finally said yes. Maybe your favorite love story has nothing to do with romantic love at all. Perhaps it’s about holding your newborn child or a conversation with a favorite family member or caring for a loved one who is ill.
- When it comes to love, what do you regret, and why? Has regret kept you stuck in your life, or led you forward in some way?
- What is the greatest lesson you have ever learned about love? How did you learn it?
Interested in probing this theme in greater depth? Join us for the popular class “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” starting February 13th. Chances are good that the topic will complement an existing writing project or jumpstart a new one. You might just find the answer is …everything.
Nancy Sharp is an award-winning author, speaker and trainer who helps people cultivate greater resilience by telling and owning the stories that have shaped who they are and who they want to become. Nancy teaches Guided Autobiography workshops nationwide, including the course What’s Love Got to Do with It? She also works with private individuals and groups to help clients write Life Letters that convey the most important family history, lessons, stories, and values for themselves, their communities, and future generations. Don’t miss the Life Letters Retreat this April at the famed Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. Nancy authored the award-winning memoir Both Sides Now: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Bold Living and the children’s book Because the Sky is Everywhere. Her work has been published in several essay anthologies, and articles, essays, columns, and letters by her have appeared in The New York Times, Katie Couric's Wake-Up Call, Next Avenue, AARP’s “The Ethel,” The Huffington Post, journals for the American Academy of Psychotherapists, and elsewhere. Learn more at nancysharp.net and writeyourlifeletter.com.