5 years ago, when someone asked me for my favorite book, I’d list off some books that stuck with me over the years, most of which were for adult readers.
But with three little kids, I have a slew of new favorite books. Some of them are classics that I grew up reading, like Goodnight Moon. Others have found a place in my heart because I’m reading them as a parent now, like Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You (parents, brace yourselves for the emotions this one will bring up).
But one book in particular caught me by surprise: Love Monster.
It sounds like a kid’s book. It sounds like something quirky and funny. But the lesson this book shares is miraculous.
The story is about a monster who is looking for someone to love him in a world that is full of very different things (“you know, cute, fluffy things”). Things that people have no trouble loving. So, he decides to go on a mission to find someone who will love him just the way he is. He looks everywhere but only finds his shadow or a reflection, nothing real. He gets tired and feels defeated, so he “gives up” and goes home. But right at the end, when he feels all hope is lost, he finds another love monster, just like him. It ends with a powerful line: “Sometimes when you least expect it, love finds you.”
Like I said, it’s a cute kid’s book with a very big lesson: sometimes when you least expect it, when life seems to be as hard as it could possibly be, when things seem too dark, things shift. The light appears. Your opportunity presents itself. Whatever you’ve been searching for shows up.
If you go at life with others’ definitions of happiness and love, you will likely be disappointed. But if you realize that you are unique and just right as you are, you will be open to finding people and life events that fit the real you. You will tap into the love that is in you and doesn’t need anyone’s approval for you to access it, appreciate it, use it and share it.
Reset your brain for the power love holds. And I don’t mean this as solely a romantic kind of love. I mean self-care. I mean kindness. I mean looking out for the welfare of humankind.
One of my all time favorite quotes I found when I was planning my wedding over a decade ago holds amazingly true today: “Right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”
Create your fairy tale out of what you have and who you are. After all, this is your fairy tale. You get to invent it in a way that is right for you.
Who knows. Maybe your story starts by being a love monster.
Shift your mind. Lead with love. See the opportunities that appear for you when you let your mind be open to the possibilities. Because the truth is this: a mind geared toward kindness regularly sees kindness. A heart open to love regularly finds love. So be open because these can happen in the most unexpected of places.
Consider reading Successfully and Intentionally Raising Little Humans