What's in a word? What does that mean, anyway? Lots of things are in a word. Words evoke emotions in us and can spur us to action or lull us into inaction. ie: emotions and actions such as love, anger, regret, forgiveness, anxiety, excitement, comfort, sorrow, laughter...
A favorite word of mine is "amae". It's a Japanese word (pronounced ah-mah-ay), which means "the expectation to be sweetly and indulgently loved" Is that beautiful or what? And isn't it really what we all wish for?
I came across this expression and the ideas that accompany it years ago in a magazine article. I wish I could remember what magazine. At any rate, the article discussed the way we in America put such a high premium on "independence", how we're taught to strive for the supreme acheievement of being able to stand on our own. Not that that's an entirely bad thing. But, it does close us off somewhat to the possibility of being "sweetly and INDULGENTLY loved". The way a baby is loved, the way we love our babies. The way nearly every woman on the planet dreams of being loved by her husband. The way women so often express love for one another in time tested and time worn friendship.
What's in a word? In the word "amae" I see hope. A vision. A way of loving to aspire to.
I watched my daughter sweetly and induldgently love her husband last night. It was so touching. He had surgery yesterday and was in such pain... he suffers from anxiety and his pain meds made his heart race to the point that his anxiety, coupled with the side effects of Lortab, kept him up all night. She put a cloth to his face, rubbed his shoulders, helped him take deep breaths, repositioned his newly pinned and wired leg on pillows... she spoke softly, played his favorite music for him, and gave up sleeping herself to see him through the night. When she came dragging out of the bedroom this morning, it was to bring him some juice and fresh fruit, to call his doctor for guidance in how she could bring him more comfort....and to mow the lawns so he wouldn't worry about it not getting done while he was laid up.
I've watched the way he sweetly and indulgently loves her since the day they first met. He has been the answer to a mother and father's prayer that their daughter would be protected and cared for throughout her life. They have come to depend on one another for this exchange of tenderness. They each feel precious and cherished. They experience amae in their lives.
So... what's in a word? In amae there is fulfillment, peace, and contentment.
Spring Clean Up in the Garden
6 years ago