Love is my four letter word.

January 14, 2012

For the past week, I’ve enjoyed seeing I Won’t Give Up sit at the top of the iTunes most downloaded songs, and in such good company. I’ve also been floored by some of the covers already gracing the pages of the internet. Like the beautiful freakies at the bottom of this post.

 

That song, along with the World As I See It, are the first of a dozen you’ll soon hear on a new studio album – an album about love; what one does in love to make it work, and what one does in love when it’s time to let go.

 

Since it’s inception I’ve referred to this collection of songs as the makings for “the Love album.” I’ve held onto a love inspired image for the album cover for the past two years. The image hangs on my wall. It’s etched onto my water bottle. It’s inlaid into a stone path that connects my home to my studio. It’s even painted on the side of my house. And over the past two years the concept and compositions have managed to collage them selves around the image. Thankfully, my vision board, to the best of my ability, is complete.

 

Music is the medium I use to recover from life’s often deafening blow. I constantly reawaken thru music. The act of making music is how I tune in and/or tune out to solve life’s puzzles, trying to make the most sense of that which I can’t seem to stop questioning. In life there are problems. In music, if not a direct answer, comes a divine perspective.

 

On this album my intention was to sing about what love is. The giving. The receiving. The Ups and Downs… And at first that seemed a fairly simple task. Almost every song I’ve ever written is about love or because of love. In some ways I thought this album would be easier than others to manifest.

 

But as I dove deeper, defining love grew a daunting task. What did I really know about love? Who am I to be so bold as to take this on? Ah, there’s the rub. Do you love yourself enough to be okay in every situation? So much so that no matter what you say you can have no attachment to how It and you are received?

 

After much exploration, listening, learning, letting go – A voice inside offered “Get out of your head and into your heart. Go be of service. In service you will find love. In service you will BE LOVE.” These are the thoughts that led me to tour again in 2011. By combining live shows with outreach and adventure, one gets his own greatness from others’ smiling faces.

 

In my travels I asked many what Love meant to them. For some it meant being love no matter what – expanding one’s capacity to love, regardless of circumstances – never giving up – loving what is difficult to understand – serving – accepting.

 

I began also to view love as the language everything speaks in the natural world. The essence of all there is. The sun for instance is perhaps our greatest source of love. It gives and gives and gives and never burns out. When a tree grows tall and its leaves reach for the sun, they too are sending their love and gratitude right back out into the world, paying love forward to others. Trees give us and many creatures food, shelter, and warmth. Animals, like humans, continue to serve and protect and share with one another. And so on goes that circle.

 

“There is only love. Everything else is our resistance to it.” – Terces Engelhart

 

Birds fill the skies with their complex music while dolphins and whales keep the seas flowing with their songs, which some consider to be the songs that contain the recorded history of the earth. All have a message to all. And at the root of every thought, is love.

 

To me, any creative act is love. Ever since the big bang, the universe, this earth, this civilization, has been some version of Love expressing itself. The word I use so commonly – Love – is so much smaller than what It actually is. It’s one of the greatest forces in the universe – yet it can’t be measured, let alone defined – yet that which propels us forward in thought, in action, can only be this One thing. (and still “One thing” sounds so small, when in fact “One thing” is everything, the sum of all parts.)

 

Child Educator & TV legend Mr Roger’s tried to warn us at a young age when he said, “understanding love is one of the hardest things in the world.” Thanks for heads up Fred.

 

I am happy and in love with who I am today. I found what I needed in myself to sustain an experience of love no matter where i am, no matter who I surround myself with. Whether I’m alone or among hundreds in a crowd, I am present to the power of love and the impact it has through all of life.

 

Love is life.

 

And now after two years seeking, celebrating and sorrowing, I finally have a record to share with the world. And what I figured out in the end is that Love isn’t always a pink heart on a valentine’s card. It’s also what breaks you apart when someone passes away as you lose the opportunity to share your eyes and adoration with that person.

 

Love is and will always be multi-faceted. It’s comedy in the face of tragedy. It’s romance on the deck of a sinking ship. It’s where the sacred meets the silly. It’s having compassion for your enemies and being nice to the dining room table after you’ve stubbed your toe. It’s what turns you inside out and makes you go nuts, like having a song stuck in your head for months, but you know it’s not a song at all. It’s your life.

 

Therefore, in summary, if you ask me what love is. I would simply say, in jest, and in truth,

 

Love is… a four letter word.

 

COMMENTS (49)
  • Avatar of lunarlove
    lunarlove said ...

    Thank you, Jason Mraz.

    For allowing me to feel close to you without even meeting you or knowing you personally. Your words, your sounds, your presence has resonated with me for years now. And after reading this post, it allowed me to realize that there are those out there who feel and see the universe quite the same.

    Like you, I’ve been on a journey to discover myself and this world. Some years ago, I was diagnosed with Major Depression and as much as I wanted to be happy I wasn’t and didn’t know how to be. And I’ve realized that this is a serious illness because my soul was dying. A year ago, I almost took my life. But something inside of me stopped me and urged me to get help and so I did. During my time in intensive therapy, I desperately sought for a reason to live. One day, a strange feeling overcame me that felt greater than anything I’ve ever known and I could only explain it with one word – Love. That became my purpose.

    Ever since then, I’ve been on this amazing journey, through so many experiences that allowed me to expand on this simple feeling that turns out to be more than simple. Like you said – it’s everything. And with the wisdom and compassion the world has offered me, I’m out to return the love the world has nurtured me with during my hard times.

    Your music has allowed me to stay afloat when I forget how to swim in the currents of this life. It has inspired me to help others see the light as you do with your music. I actually picked up ukulele recently and have been jamming out to your songs and just positive melodies and lyrics in general. It’s what motivates me to move with the groove of this time and space so I can fulfill my life’s purpose. And that is to love the world in everything I do. One of my biggest plans is to write this book I have in mind. I’m going to work really hard because this book isn’t just for me, it’s for the world. Just like your music is.

    So again, thank you, for being you.

  • Avatar of Sarah333eb
    Sarah333eb said ...

    Jason,

    I’m a new fan. Actually it was 2 year old son that discovered you. Yes, he’s two and he loves music. He tends to attach himself to songs and singers and it was your performance on Sesame Street that captured his attention. I purchased your Love album and We sing and we dance for us to listen to. Of course he requested I’m Yours to listen to for the first month. And I mean he knows the lyrics and sings them better than he talks. It was his fascination with I won’t give up that makes me write this tonight though. We started listening to it and the lyrics really hit home. I left the my husband (father of my kids) two years ago. It was a situation that required us to separate but I still love him and vise versa. I just didn’t really realize how much I love him until listening to your song I won’t give up. Our relationship is far from mended, I don’t foresee us getting back together in the near future but it made me hold to hope that we might one day make it through this trial. Thanks for your music. You’ve done a lot for the health of my family just by doing what you do. I wanted to thank you for that: maybe one days my family can enjoy your music together live…. Maybe… :)

  • agreed :)

  • Avatar of judy-d.
    judy-d. said ...

    today, 2-29 is my wedding anniversary. we met 2-29-84 and married 2-29-88. this is really my 6th wedding anniversary! I didn’t give up even when times got very hard. thank you Jason for beautiful music. L O V E
    is the answer!

  • Avatar of mrazfan17
    mrazfan17 said ...

    Jason when are you going to go to the quicken loans arena to play a few songs? I have yet to go to one of your concerts and im dying to go and see you perform in person! Anyway i think i speak for everyone when i see i cant wait for April 17th. I know it’s going to be a very LOVEly day.

  • Avatar of luv2purple
    luv2purple said ...

    Jason – We LOVE you and your muse-ic – THANK YOU for your joyful service. I was struck @ your recent gig @ Spreckles in San Diego that you began and ended with songs about LOVE……. In this complicated world we ALL need more of this…..”Whatever the question LOVE is the answer” “We can do no great things…only small things with great love” I’m working on a small creative gift of love for you…and will send it to you soon. Enjoy the gifts today delivers – that’s why this is our “present” Peace to you my friend…and again, much THANKS for the gifts of your soul and your music!

  • Avatar of MillieD
    MillieD said ...

    Thank You.

  • Avatar of johnvir
    johnvir said ...

    please do a cover of “perhaps love” by john denver.
    that would be very great. :D

    more powers and LOVE to you.

  • You are still the inspiring music maker. Thank you for being love and teaching us how to be.
    You are awesome. And I can’t wait to be listening to the superlove manifesto.
    Love to you.

  • You are awesome and I can’t wait to hear the superlovemanifesto!
    Love to you!

  • Avatar of SarahAllspaw
    SarahAllspaw said ...

    Hi Jason,

    Beautiful post. I’m really enjoying this journal. True peace and happiness is found when every act is one of love and every moment is an artistic expression. Be conscious in love… as conscious love is a work of art.

    Peace & love,
    Sarah

  • Avatar of hevertonnr
    hevertonnr said ...

    I just love watching covers. That’s why I hate SOPA and PIPA.

  • Avatar of lovey-dovey
    lovey-dovey said ...

    love is a three-letter word. love is YOU. :)

  • Avatar of audreyibz
    audreyibz said ...

    I just read this in twitter:

    ”Si quieres conocer a una persona, no le preguntes qué piensa, sino qué ama” San Agustín

    Happy weekend!!

  • Avatar of audreyibz
    audreyibz said ...

    En español me explicaré mejor…

    He conocido el amor muchas veces en mi vida y espero encontrarme con él muchas veces más. Cualquier persona puede transmitirte amor, puedes sentir amor por cualquiera, lo merezca o no. Esa es la grandeza del amor. No conoce condiciones.

    El día 23/04/11 nació mi hijo y te puedo decir que eso es Amor con mayúsculas. Un amor puro, el más puro que puedas sentir y además cada día, aunque te parezca imposible, crece un poquito más, tanto que parece mentira que alguien tan pequeño, llene tanto tu corazón.

    Puede que no sea el amor al que tú te refieres, pero para mí, hoy día es el que tengo y el que yo quiero.

    Mil besos.

  • Avatar of danilunia
    danilunia said ...

    Hi Jason,
    Once again I say thank you for putting into words that immense crowd of emotions which (I guess) unites everyone’s heart and so hardly finds its way to a suitable manifestation.
    Same crowd now is slowing down and nearly stopping my fingers on their walk on the keys.
    But one simple thought comes out instead.
    After reading your words and mostly after watching the above funny surprising cover you linked from youtube, I just found myself thinking…
    Maybe a SONG could simply be the best explanation of what love is:
    it is created by a love act of a single person, but when ‘ready’ it is set free and reaches many other people. They receive that love. Not only. They can sing that song their own way and show their love to others. And others can do the same too. And it never comes to an end possibly, desirably.
    LOVE could maybe be drawn as a neverstopping evolving WAVE we all are touched by and regenerate in our turn.
    We catch it, we let it go.
    Catch, and let go.
    I’d say that the SONG goes on its way. Its music, words and magic remains.

    Nice to me thinking that also SONG IS A FOUR LETTER WORD.

    Love,

    Daniela

  • Avatar of ye_yuan
    ye_yuan said ...

    people don’t build your walls for you, they’re busy building their own. We’re not alone, just secluded.Whenever love speaks, it tells us all: the world is too small for walls.

  • you put into words what I think of love, I can not wait to listen to the variation that you have done through your songs!

    five letter in french : AIMER.

    “love is a mystery Mr. Curiosity”

    caroline

  • Avatar of MarLuna
    MarLuna said ...

    We share the same path of walking in love. After realizing that I am loved by a greater power ever known, did I realize that love although always present, is my greatest teacher.

    There are no disappointments in love, not a one! There is never a mistake in loving someone and there is never loss. When you find yourself loving your “perceived” wrong doings or at least understanding these experiences were necessary, and the beauty of the people who joined you on this assignment; do you know it was as it should have been.

    Knowing that I was inexperienced in loving myself therefore not able to truly give my essence makes me innocent and a student in love. How I use love as a tool to offer my support and commitment in healing all around is the power I have to clean up anything harmful.

    I’m happily skipping on to my next divine timing into a great teacher or a fellow student; when they are ready for the ride of extreme heights. Thank you for the album it will bring me deeper peace and for us all who are taking courses in love.

    http://instagr.am/p/hhUfj/

  • Avatar of Rose
    Rose said ...

    And Glorious Me…you are in too! Ok J….I am getting a guest list together…

  • Avatar of Rose
    Rose said ...

    Ally…That would be awesome! I will have a big ass bowl of Chewy sprees just for you!

  • Avatar of GloriousMe
    GloriousMe said ...

    Hey Rose, I agree with you. Jason should take a break and enjoy himself and then come to Seattle. I live just down the road in the Lake Tapps area, so if you throw a party in your big back yard invite me too:) I’ll bring the chips and dip…or whatever:)

  • Avatar of 4meclara
    4meclara said ...

    Enjoyed it. Loved it. (Both posts alike…) Missed your writing.

  • Avatar of Ally
    Ally said ...

    *Waves to Rose & Kim*

    Rose, if you throw Mrazapalooza in your big ass backyard, can I come? Please? My big ass will only take up an acre or so :)

    Jason, write a new song and title it:

    “Love You to the Sun and Back”

    I have every confidence you’ll do a fine job with that as your launching point. You can debut it at Rose’s house :)

    ~Ally Old Soul
    xox

  • Avatar of SunshineSD
    SunshineSD said ...

    I’m looking forward to the love album. I love your art and your heart, your wisdom and grace. Love to me is sharing kindness and joy. It hovers and floats and wraps me like a blanket. It shows. It speaks. It is timeless and abundant. It is thoughtful and divine. It takes many forms. I am thankful for it’s presence. It’s everything and everywhere.

  • Avatar of crystale80
    crystale80 said ...

    LOVE is so simple for me and you in speak so well JASON!

  • Avatar of AndreaBrasil
    AndreaBrasil said ...

    Como no amarte…???? :)

  • Avatar of Rose
    Rose said ...

    Seriously, This is why “Song for a friend” will always be my favorite song…It truly is about love in so many aspects. The friend telling you the hard truth because they love you, you having the courage to dig down deep and say I am worthy and I am love. Survey your soul what are you doing? Are you truly trying? I get so choked up when I hear that song and when you play it in concert…it speaks truth.

    I know this album is a labor of LOVE, you have struggled with it for a while now, but you didn’t give up you were patient and humbled and you made it through. I think you will appreciate this one more than you realize because you learned so much in that past few years.

    I hope you take some time to enjoy yourself….and then gear up get your ass up to seattle and put on a show at my house! I have a big ass yard…4 acres…lets put on a party raise some money in the name of love and give it to a place in need!!!

    Rose

  • Avatar of JMrazVenezuela

    Hermoso escrito cada letra son gotas de sensibilidad y belleza… Jason eres asombroso y el mejor cantautor del mundo !!!! Ven a Venezuela en la gira de tu nuevo disco … mi sueño es ver un concierto tuyo!!!
    con amor Yessica (twitter: @JMrazVenezuela)

  • Avatar of mrazwordplay
    mrazwordplay said ...

    Love is hard, no doubt about it. It’s hard to love yourself, hard to love those that criticize or are otherwise hurtful, it’s even sometimes hard to love the ones you love. It’s hard when you have to let go, hard when they let you go, and when they just go (to heaven). Love is hard when you give and give, and feel like you’re not getting back enough love.

    You are a shining light. I listen to your music every day and never get tired of it. I love the wordplay, I love the messages, I love the melodies, which run through my head as I live my life. I listen to your songs when I’m sad and need a smile, when I’m happy, when I walk outside and enjoy the beautiful nature around me. I so very much look forward to the songs that have come from the last four years of your life! Early birthday present for me!

    You inspired me to make a positive change in my life – volunteering and giving back. I’ve met Craig & Mark K. I’m inspired by them to teach my daughter how to give back at an early age so that we raise a new generation of youth that isn’t soo selfish and lazy. And you brought me there (the picture you signed for me was from We Day BTW)

    Keep spreading the LOVE…you are making change!

  • Avatar of gamachan
    gamachan said ...

    “Love Will Tear Us Apart” is one of my favourite songs.
    As well as “One Love”.
    Different sides of the same coin.
    Loosing and Receiving Love is what makes you feel alive. You are right.
    In the End, We’ll be by ourselves, looking back the Paths we’ve walked on.
    I couldn’t be Happier!!

    Love!

    Laura

  • Avatar of shorekimmy
    shorekimmy said ...

    Love is my favorite four letter word!

  • Avatar of Veronica
    Veronica said ...

    “but what I’ve recognized as I’ve gotten older, is that at times, I can be devoid of loving feelings but still BE LOVE because I can control my actions, in spite of myself.” Very well said!

    Sometimes love is not something you can breathe life into. It’s a breath that has to recognize it’s own breathe…it’s own life force to be. In other words when we try to make a four letter word more or less than what we “think” it should be, we by our own nature breathe projections on to it. But when we allow the image to unfold, holding on to the source, which is LOVE, we’ve done an amazing thing. The breathe of love knows it’s way and will evolve as it was meant too. And we as humans have to let go and trust…One of my favorite quotes goes something like this, “Faith is a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it’s dark out.”.

  • Avatar of costellocrew5
    costellocrew5 said ...

    Good to hear your voice! I often wake to one of your songs running through my head so I’m used to it, in a sense, but I do enjoy looking at the world through your eyes when you post images or thoughts. You are a wise old soul well beyond your years. The process you went through to explore, challenge, share, and to BE LOVE is probably the reason I am here tonight reading your post. The past two years for me has been all about surrounding myself with positive and loving people; thoughts, experiences, and music. Lucky for me I have a partner is all this, a loving husband who is the kindest man I know.

    Additional thoughts on love – I often say that love is an action. Maybe that is no different from BEING LOVE, but what I’ve recognized as I’ve gotten older, is that at times, I can be devoid of loving feelings but still BE LOVE because I can control my actions, in spite of myself. When I act loving, love is almost always returned (credited in part to neuroscience – google “mirror neurons” and empathy – cool stuff) and then the loving feelings flow. I have worked with kids who are really damaged (histories of trauma) and let me say that it is hard to love a person who lies, steals, and is generally destructive. “Love can conquer all” can be a misleading notion if you expect love to just fly in on wings. At times you have to act – and not wait for the feeling to come. For some you need to model love and only then do seeds take root.

    I believe that people are wired to be “good” to be love – something that has been proven over and over again. A smile brings a smile, human connection/touch is a basic need, being kind and serving others floods our systems with pleasant feelings, etc. We all deserve to wake up each morning feeling and being loved. I know your new album and the messages in your songs WILL awaken these thoughts/feelings and actions in people. Without…a…doubt!

    And, not to freak you out but…just wait until you have a child of your own someday – at the right time, when the universe is ready for you to have this experience, you will be astonished by the depths of your love for your child. Enough said there :) I’m done for now! In closing, know that our family crew has been so proud (and not the least bit surprised) to see I Won’t Give Up receive such a rave! We are sharing in your joy. And, my little ray of sunshine, who I believe at this point, you know :) is singing his way through his days and now officially nick-named “Mini Jason.” Sending heaps of well wishes from us to you. xo, JRJID

  • Avatar of GloriousMe
    GloriousMe said ...

    I have always found something to identify with in the lyrics of your music. Some of your songs make me want to laugh, some make me want to cry, some make me want to hug my friends and others keep me running on the treadmill when I really want to stop. You are one of the few artists I listen to consistently and never grow tired of. I wonder sometimes what it is that keeps me coming back, and I think it has something to do with the honesty in the stories you tell. Maybe that’s your superpower. Lots of artist can write lyrics, lots of people can sing…but only a few can sing about the real and raw, or even the funny stuff in a way we empathize with. I’m so excited for the release of your new album! Thanks for keeping it real, whether it’s laughter or tears. Thanks for sharing the music and the love!

  • Avatar of Sheloveswinter

    I do the labeling. Love or not Love. Mostly it depends how open my mind is at the time and how deep I am willing to look. On a clear day (ha!) everything looks like Love to me.

  • Avatar of Dani
    Dani said ...

    it simply is my friend. Cheers to you J! You’ve caught the great waves just in time. =)

    You have no idea how big time you have been ‘Being Love’. Continue to inspire!

  • Avatar of mstlove
    mstlove said ...

    gosh i love you :P you inspire me more every single day <3 your words of encouragement for your fans, and your words of wisdom and of what you know continue to make me look forward to a new day and what it brings. i have had my days where i haven't felt 100% and i listen to one of your songs (i imagine they were written with me in mind :D ) and my day is immediately better again. you make me laugh. you make me smile. you are my role model, my crush, and one day i WILL meet you!! <3

  • Avatar of Will
    Will said ...

    Mind all over the walls… as always. Me? Right now I’m just in love with the fact that for once, my username is my actual name :) I also love being a tool.

    I love that some people like Jason can give themselves to love so much, in the name of searching for, and discovering, if not defining it.

    I think the closest feeling to love I can feel in the present, is creating funky jams with my buddies, who I love.

    ‘Music is the medium I use to recover from life’s often deafening blow.’

    Next time life is giving me lemons, I will be sure to give it a tasty solo in A minor.

    I like the ‘reawakening thru music’ idea. Although I also love to sleep, too.

  • Avatar of ashley
    ashley said ...

    Aaack! So good! I don’t have time to expound; but, I will soon!

  • Avatar of benanderson7
    benanderson7 said ...

    Love is acting on an unselfish desire to see someone thrive.

  • Avatar of iChooseToBeHappy

    I often wonder what love means to me.
    So, you know, you have to differentiate between three main points: do I have the feeling of being in love because I am 1. not alone anymore, 2. because of sexual instincts or 3. because I really am in love?

    It’s very difficult to decide between point one and three. I had this situation when I was at my best friend’s. He has a girlfriend and.. we cheated on her. I really feel awful.
    But the main point is, I really thought that I was in love with him.
    When I arrived home, I understood: in that moment, in the moment of being wanted, I had the feeling of being in love, but I wasn’t. I’ve been alone for such a long time and it was nice to feel wanted.
    I told him to tell his girlfriend about what happened. He won’t.

    So, what is love? It’s when you would do anything for a person, when you understand every mistake he does.
    Love is unconditional, love is infinite.

    But: love is everywhere. Love is everything.

    Stay fresh,
    I choose to be happy aka Jenny

  • Avatar of mrazfan1031
    mrazfan1031 said ...

    Be Love. It’s the only way…..learned that from you. I can not wait to hear your whole album. <3

  • Avatar of tiffanyarmani
    tiffanyarmani said ...

    Love can deny nothing to love.

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