What is love? How does love feel? Can we love unconditionally? The word ‘love’ has so many meanings, but when something deeply resonates with us, we simply embody a state that is perhaps indescribable—we call it love.
According to Emma Malouff, an artist who plays Allison Tripp in Ryan Murphy’s Impeachment: American Crime Story, “My joy and mission of life are to love people. And if I can walk around and make one person’s day better, it’s worth it. I love waking up every morning and thinking to myself, ‘How can I live today focused on other people? And so, I love to be happy. I love to be joyful. I love to speak life into people. And a big part of that comes from my faith and love for Jesus.”
Emma is the daughter of pastors at the City Reach Church in Austin, TX. To Emma, her relationship with God is more important to her than her religion. She says, “I know that He will always be there for me. He will always love me unconditionally, no matter what I do. It’s a relationship. I could talk to Him like I’m talking to my best friend. I feel comfortable sharing things with Him because I know He’s got my back. So, it’s more about a relationship, not so much following the rules of religion.”
It’s no surprise that Emma refers to herself as a Professional Daydreamer. Emma’s mother has always reminded her that she has been imagining things and creating her own worlds since she was a small child. “Ever since I was three years old, whenever I saw a film, I would memorize it, went into my room, reenact the scenes, and create characters. I also enjoyed making films on my iPad with my friends. So ever since I can remember, I’ve had this yearning in my heart to create, dream, and go into other worlds and just live a life that is not my own. And so, I was thinking to myself, a Professional Daydreamer, what a lovely term for an actor. That defines me as an actress as my job is to daydream for fun on a day-to-day basis. I get to do what I’ve been doing my whole life as an actress: daydream and create and live a life that is different from my own, step out and create a world, and share a story with an audience.”
When we feel love, it feels so good. Emma keeps shining as an example of how to live a life fulfilled with love, passion, and purpose. Confidence and belief in ourselves come from within; we can’t fake it because our existence is the evidence of our inner state.
“I have been very blessed and fortunate to have supportive parents and family, amazing friends, and incredible church community. As I said, I believe that we were all created for a purpose and on purpose. Also, I was extremely fortunate to believe that acting was my true calling. My family always encouraged me to pursue anything I could reach. And that’s been such an integral part of discovering that purpose. So I thought, ‘I think I can do it, trust and believe. Okay, I’m going to do it, find that confidence from the joy of Jesus.”
Sometimes, we get so caught up in what doesn’t work, or what we did wrong, or what someone else did to us that we can’t see beyond that. By raising our awareness about where we direct our flashlight of attention, we can play with it in any direction we want. That will open up a broader spectrum of possibilities, a softer perception of where we are, and the next step to walk with confidence towards experiencing what we have daydreamed about.
We all face challenging situations that are not comparable to others, but the common thread is our reaction to them, which makes a huge difference in our experience. There is nothing more self-empowering than recognizing how we feel and then deliberately deciding to move through any inner-inspirational tools we have, such as prayer, meditation, or journaling appreciations, which will make us feel better. Thus, we will be able to see the same situation from a wider perspective and eventually add new layers of love, bliss, and the divine.
Emma shares a personal story that raised her awareness about the process of changing her perspective and seeing a situation from a different angle. She says, “I was probably sixth grade, or the very beginning of seventh grade when all of a sudden, my friends stopped talking to me. I was perplexed about why they weren’t talking to me, not saving me a seat at lunch, and this went on for about two weeks. And I remember my mom picking me up from school, and I got in the car crying and saying, ‘My friends aren’t talking to me. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what I did.’ My mom, who is my best friend, looks at me and said,’ Emma, did anyone die?’ And I was like, ‘No.’ And she continues, ‘Okay, so there’s always something bigger to focus on. Because there are so many other people who actually have it much worse than you—and that’s simply the reality of life. There are always other things greater than ourselves. I want to talk to you about perspective, about focusing on things greater than yourself.’ It was a pivotal moment for me as my mom taught me about the power of changing perspectives over life and situations. That has carried me through everything. Also, that has been one of the most important lessons I’ve been taught since seventh grade.”