Big Love

Just when I thought Bones had jumped the shark by jumping on the polygamy bandwagon in last week’s episode, the show redeemed itself by getting back to its roots: the love between Brennan and Booth. Brennan and Booth are in love with each other and because neither would ever admit it, Booth, in a tragic plot twist found love elsewhere just as Brennan was admitting her love for Booth to herself. However, having just solved a homicide involving three sister wives, the two were sitting in a restaurant when Brennan turns to Booth and asks, “what if your true love, the person you are supposed to be with is gone?” Booth’s reply was: “they will always be there.”

So, I say Bones should leave polygamy to Big Love which does it in a much better, dramatic and truly amazing way, exploring the love between families, the exploration of that love and questioning what it means to love unconditionally; or to the real Big Love- Sister Wives on TLC (wow, I am obsessed with TLC these past two weeks.)

Bones needs to return to its love story because that’s what every good scripted television show is ultimately about at its core essence- the stories are just there to showcase the different ways in which we love each other. It’s why we watch the shows- take a look at your favorite shows and I defy you to tell me there isn’t a love story that keeps you invested in the characters. From Sam and Dean, brothers on Supernatural to the love triangle of Elena, Damon, and Stefan to Rachel and Ross on Friends. The core essence is always love- so is ours. The world would be a better place if we drew on that emotion a little more.

I shall digress no more and share the real reason I discuss love this week. And no, it’s not because it’s Valentine’s Day next week. The real reason is because I am leaving for Colombia this weekend to begin my month long volunteer work at rural healthy clinic sponsored by the medical school there. So, naturally I begin to question my motivation- is it the love for what I do? Is it to be able to see the joy in the eyes of the people I meet there- knowing I am there to simply help?

There is nothing more miraculous to me than seeing that relief in their eyes, the general sense of joy that they have in showing off their beautiful country, sharing a meal with you when they have nothing. I have been to places where the people are just so grateful to know you that I have shared their last bit of rice (yes, I know it’s simple carbohydrate, but when in Rome) or their last bit of cheese and very few words are exchanged simply because we don’t speak the each others language.

These people have sense of love for themselves and a sense of gratitude for whatever they have and for whatever they are able to experience. It is a breath of fresh air compared to what I face on a daily basis. We live in this land of extreme excess and extreme poverty and no one is happy. When was the last time a total stranger invited you into their home for a meal? (yes, we’ve all been taught to be afraid of strangers but isn’t that a sad commentary on how we live our lives?)

And, what hits me the hardest and makes it the most difficult for me is our insane relationship with food. What makes us not love ourselves enough to eat healthy? Why do we criticize people, or at the very least try to make them feel badly, who try to do the rights things? Yes, that is a big picture topic but the discussion has to start somewhere.

Who do you love more: yourself or that brownie; that piece of bread? Think about that the next time you have a craving. Better yet, think about that person who goes to bed hungry every night but its grateful to just have a roof over their head- barely. Try to find the love within yourself that will help you support your desire for a healthy weight, lifestyle and way of eating.

OK, OK – too much like Dr. Phil, I get it; but one last thing. I work with the United Nations on how to improve living conditions in developing countries and we have spent over 1 trillion dollars in Africa alone and where has the money gone? Whose life has been improved? Yes, there have been some improvements, don’t get me wrong- but certainly not 1 trillion dollars worth. So, the next time you decide to donate money to charity, think of a way you can actually physically do something. It can even be in this country. Love yourself and love others is all I can ask you to consider while I am in the jungles trying to avoid malaria and dengue fever (and you know I won’t use any drugs or even bug spray.)

Now, my favorite television quote of the week comes from a new entry, a show from ScyFy called, Being Human. One of the few shows where the US version is better than the BBC original, but I digress. It is a show about a werewolf, vampire and ghost (yes I know sounds like the beginning of a bad joke) who are stuck living together and just want to lead normal lives. The werewolf says to the vampire: “What’s the joy in joining Costco if you are going to kill all of our friends?”

Love is a many splendored thing, love lifts us up where we belong, All you need is love, I was made for loving you baby, in the name of love, you think people would have had enough of silly love songs- sung by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman in the vastly underrated movie, Moulin Rouge.

While I am away and there won’t be any blogs from me (yes I know you will all miss them) think about love, think about how it affects your relationship with food (are you replacing love with food) and try to make the right decisions for your health. And remember our mantra- RFT

Until next time…