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Love is Not a Cookie Jar

My nephew was born this weekend.  Okay, disclaimer, he’s not really my nephew.  Not by blood anyway.  His mother and I have been best friends since we were two.  I have no memories pre-Jolene.  We grew up together and went to college together.  I have a standing invitation at her parent’s house and her Aunts’ house whether she’s there or not.  She is my sister from another mother and therefore, I reserve the right to claim this new little bundle of amazing-ness as my nephew.  I am Crazy Aunt Kat and I come armed with pirate onesies!

Despite the fact that I have not yet gotten to meet him in person and hold him, I am so in love with this little boy.  My heart melts every time I get a new picture, and I am not one of those people that generally gets all mushy over babies – puppies yes, babies no.  So for me this is a very new thing and got me thinking about the very nature of love.  How something so small, whose only accomplishment/contribution to date is being born, can elicit such fierce emotions so quickly.  In fact thinking about him makes me feel so good, it bubbles over into the rest of my life.

Then in contrast I saw this extreme jealousy today, because someone paid attention to one person instead of the other.  It was almost as if by paying attention to Person A, it meant that Person B wasn’t loved.  I seriously think that there are people out there who believe that love is a finite thing.  There is only so much to go around, so you better Bogart all you can when you have the chance.  I know people like this, I’m sure you do too, and I just want to grab them by the lapels and shake them into better senses.  But that’s not really an accepted form of dealing with other people so I restrain myself, and instead would like to say to them:

Love is not a cookie jar!

Let me explain.  I think that there are people out there who believe that love is like a cookie jar; I will use a completely fictional person named Jill as an example.  Jill started out life with a cookie jar, chock full of cookies, and every time she showed someone love she had to give them a cookie.  As a child she gave love freely, her jar was full, there was no conceivable end in sight.  But as she grew older, and discovered that she had maybe given out some of those cookies to people who didn’t deserve them, she became more covetous of her cookies.  She realized that she would eventually hand out her last cookie and then what would she do?  So people had to earn her love, they had to work for their cookies.  Worse yet, she became jealous when someone that she loved gave a cookie to someone else because that was one less cookie that they could then give to her.  So Jill sabotaged those relationships until the only person left for her significant other to give cookies to was her.  She hoarded her cookies and congratulated herself on the fact that her partner only gave cookies to her.  Life was good . . . except that it wasn’t.  Life was actually very lonely because she had driven most everyone away, despite the fact that she still had plenty of cookies in her jar.  The sad thing is that if Jill had simply taken the time to look inside of that jar when she pulled out a cookie for someone, she would have seen that no matter how many cookies she took out there were always some left.

I truly believe that love is not a finite thing.  It is not something that can run out.  For every person that I love, for every person that I show compassion towards, I get some of that back.  Sometimes I might not get back the same amount that I gave and sometimes I might get back far more than I gave.  You never know, but the point is that you always get something back.  Love is infinite and no matter how many times you dip your hand into that cookie jar you will always come out with a cookie.  The more that you can give truly and freely, the more you will get back, until that jar is overflowing.  In my mind, that is how love works.

So I guess that love is a cookie jar.  It’s just happens to be the best damn cookie jar that ever existed, because there will always be more.

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