Marnie Weber | Sr. Technical Product Manager in Seattle
I’ve done a ton of soul searching in my 53 years to date. I’ll do more – because I don’t believe we can understand much of what happens to us let alone what’s going on in the larger world, or the universe for that matter. It’s just too vast. I am happy to say I’m mostly stupid when it comes to such things.
That’s not to say I haven’t tried. It started when I was around 8 years old. I had a strong feeling – a knowing – that I was supposed to do something important with my life. I felt full of my Self (with a capital S!) and thrilled that I could be of service to something larger than me. Yes. I felt these things at that young age. Many do, I’m sure.
Now, at that age, we’re still mostly unaffected by the world. And I was no different. Trauma had touched me by then, but I wasn’t aware of it to a large degree. Those memories would affect me greatly, but not until later when my awareness was broader. At the time, I was an innocent and felt blessed in a nondenominational sort of way.
I fell in love with love and was sure that had something to do with my calling. As I got older – puberty, my teen years – I wanted children. Four to be exact. I ended up having five, which felt right. But after two divorces and another difficult long-term relationship, I stopped throwing my hat into the love ring. I came to believe I had gotten the love thing wrong. And that changed everything.
With no love interest, I was free to love everyone – in more of an agape way. Agape refers to a love not of emotions or feelings but of the will and of choice. This type of love can be defined as the steady intention of the will to another’s highest good. It’s an ongoing benevolence—willing what’s good or best for another.
After some time and courage, I admitted that love was my superpower. Out loud. To other people.
I told and showed people I love them. Not just people I’ve known for a long time. People I’ve just met. If I feel love, I let people know. Not always with those three little words – I might tell someone their outfit is stunning, or that I feel inspired by their smile. Some people probably think I’m a little strange, but most seem genuinely happy to be seen.
I’ve seen love work miracles. I’ve loved people to the point where they got their dream job. Or they started to love their existing job again. Or they felt happier, inspired, motivated in a new way. I’ve felt it’s potential to change the world. It’s the real thing.
If you want to be happier, share your Self-with-a-capital-s with people. Your whole self. Take a break from overthinking and really look at someone and let your heart open. We all want the same things, to have our suffering eased, to feel less alone. Love has the power to do those things.
If you want your team to be happier and more productive, love them. Don’t try to save them, don’t cross boundaries, but allow yourself to see them as a beautiful being worth your affection – and show it. It will change the workplace. And together we could change the world.