In its poetry, a woman told her love to stop his affair with another. Without knowing those lyrics, I adapted my own interpretation from six words in the chorus. To stop in the name of love was to stop negative actions, like: feeling and doing regretful things and flinging hurtful words at loved ones instead of working issues through. It was also about stopping blasé routines from plateauing into mundane, cesspools of lethargy, and keeping relationships from reaching a new “settle”-ment called Nothing-left-to-do-land.
The chorus’s prepositional phrase, in the name of, carried a deeper meaning for me. I recall playing, “Cops and Robbers” with neighborhood friends as a kid. We’d yell, “Stop! In the name of the LAW!” like the police used to say. In the Supreme’s song, they exclaimed, “Stop!” but “…in the name of love.”
Love! The song gave love authority! Worth! Power! Love finally mattered. It became a character, practically demanding to be taken seriously, like a law needing to be honored and respected. It grabbed my attention, thinking, we should stop, in the name of love.
Here are four inspirational ways to S.T.O.P.:
S: Share your time together doing something you both love. Create dates that suit your interest and ones for your partner’s. Honor each other’s joys, even if it’s not your thing. Appreciation begets appreciation. If there are things you must do individually, do them, but make the time to do things together, for each other. When you both find something that you love together, embrace it, and do more of it! More time together doing something you both like builds on positive energy, great memories and delici ous, satisfying time together.
T: Take time, to make time, to spend time, to celebrate your together-ness. Yeah, I know. We’re all busy. But as easy as we wipe a tush, bathe a babe, drive to work, dial a phone, text a client, and run an errand, it’s that easy to steal a moment to call, email, or even mail your love, to your love.
I leave nutty song-y voicemails on my husband’s phone. Today, I was a rapper (I beat-boxed horribly). I text him occasional love notes, which took a fraction of a second to dial. I send pictures of something funny to him to give him a feeling that he’s with me, when he can’t be. In my busy day, after putting out fires and running errands, getting a card in the mail, or a text from him saying, “Love you, ‘Nita.” just because, made my days better. Keeps us together.
He stopped. And I stopped. In the name of love.
O: Offer yourself. Stop waiting for someone to do some thing special for you. If you want someone to have your love, then give it. Give your love, love. Give your gift with no agenda or expectations. Offer yourself through your thoughtful and positive actions. You will upgrade the value of love’s definition and open doors to wonderful places in both of your hearts.
P: PLAY! Who invented the crazy rule saying that when we become grown-ups we have to stop playing? As kids, most of our lives were occupied in playing games. We pretended, played in our yard and the park. There were board games, dress-up, cushioned forts, shadow puppets, and water balloons. I can go on. When we grow up, play is replaced with serious decisions, big words, constant responsibility and taxes.
I’d rather catapult a water balloon.
As grown-ups, we’re inundated with life’s seriousness, and by the time there is any room for love, the kind of joy and simple pleasures that can bring us good feelings, are lost.
After decades of living the adult life, I realized that playtime should not be just for kids. Grown-ups can use jungle gyms, Play-Doh and fun zones too. And to play with my partner in life? Well, that’s way more fun!
Start considering more playtime for two. Board games, cards, snowball and water balloon fights. Take on a new game and experience. Build couch-cushion forts, bed sheet tents and shadow puppets. Keep discovering new joys for the two of you.
Stop, and play together, in the name of love.
Guest post by Anita Myers