If you’re anything like me, you sang that subtitle. For those of you not like me, here’s the song reference:
Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway ask the heartbreaking question far too many of us have had to ask of people whom we thought cared for us. We looked for it in words and in deeds only to be disappointed by what we’d found. Some of us looked for love in all the wrong places. Heck, some of us looked for love in all the right places, and still found ourselves in lack, instead of in love.
I grew up in a loving environment. I had parents and siblings, and an extended family who would go to bat for me without fail. We rarely said the words out loud, but we lived them daily. I had friends who quite literally would fight for me, and I didn’t recognize that as love either. I had starry-eyed admirers and a cute boy around the corner who wrote his phone number in my yearbook. As much as I wanted that to be love, it wasn’t. So I kept searching. I looked for it in books, and in boys, in magazines and in music. (I thought I’d found it in Luther Vandross’s voice, and in Maya Angelou’s words. I thought I’d found it in the arms of a boy who held me close when no one else was watching.)
Maybe it was love, maybe it wasn’t. It was lots of things: beautiful and tragic, hellish and holy, magic and mundane. But none of it felt right. Because I really was looking for love in all the wrong places. I was looking outside of myself for something intrinsic the entire time. When I learned to look inside of myself, I started finding love everywhere. It overwhelmed my senses. It overtook my sensibilities. It changed everything.
I know what it’s like to earnestly ask the question “where is the Love”? And now I finally have an answer at the ready.
Here’s to hoping you never have to ask that question again. But if, by some chance, you find yourself wondering, here’s a friendly reminder that the answer is in you.