“Each time you love, love as deeply as if it were forever – only, nothing is eternal.” – Audre Lorde
It’s 9:10 am the morning of August 10, 2018 and I find myself sitting in my car, crying. Like, real ugly cry when you can’t figure out if you are crying out of joy or sadness or craziness. What on earth is happening?!
I had just hugged my boyfriend “ta-ta-for-now” at the airport, knowing full well that we don’t have plane tickets booked yet for when we get to see each other again. In fact, it will likely be months.
Mid ugly-cry, I found myself flooded with gratitude for how incredible my life had become. While traveling and building a business have been wonderful, I realize that the biggest change in my life is how I view love.
Not just romantic love, but love in general. For my friends, my family, and my SO.
What I thought love was as a 21-year-old walking down the aisle has gone through a dramatic transformation. Thank goodness! Through divorce and building a network of cheerleaders around me, I have been able to expand my knowledge of love and what it means.
There are five big lessons I have learned about love.
Once I figured these three things out, my relationships improved dramatically. I am feeling more peace in my friendships. Plus, I feel more confident about what I bring to the table.
#1 Love from someone else cannot “complete you.”
Okay, I am going to try my best not to rant on this one…. Does anyone else feel bothered by love songs or love quotes that encourage us to heavily rely on the other person? Let me give you some examples:
- “You complete me.”
- “I don’t know how I would survive without you.”
- “You’re my other half.”
These concepts sounds really romantic and beautiful, but it is a broken idea. This creates the idea that we have to find wholeness within a relationship. This is how co-dependent relationships form. We lean on the other person for our happiness, our support, our confidence, etc.
Truth is, no one else will ever be able to complete you. This is something you have the find for yourself. You have to find happiness, love, confidence, support within yourself first. This video gives a really clear example of what I am talking about.
#2 Love is about giving, not receiving
This lesson really piggy-backs off the last one. A lot of us need a serious shift in our expectations behind relationships. Tony Robbins says this perfectly, “People today have a perspective, an expectation, where the highest standards they have is not for themselves, but what they expect of their partner.” We have to shift that.
When we are more focused on what we are receiving from the other person, we are nearly guaranteed to be disappointed. Shift the focus to what can you give. How can you have higher standard for what you bring to the relationship?
I may not feel at my best everyday, but I try to give my best to the people in my life daily. If I am bringing my weight and heaviness to the other people and say, “hey, I need you to fix me,” that’s not going to work. Instead, bring your best version of the day to your partner, give them fuel. Take ownership for what you are bringing to the table and know that your energy, your actions will reflect on the other person.
#3 Love is not possessive
We get attached to the people we love. It is completely natural and understandable. When we love something, we want to cling to it. However, none of us thrive when we are feeling the weight of someone else pulling us in.
Think of it as floral arrangements. When we see beautiful flowers, we tend to want to bring them into our home. We cut them and place them in a pretty vase, for everyone to see. They bring us joy and fragrance. However, we have cut them off from their source of nutrition in order to possess them. They cannot continue to thrive and pretty soon, we have dead flowers. This is what happens in possessive relationships. Relationships cannot thrive in these environments.
If we truly love people, we should be supportive of their happiness, every time. Yes, that might mean that you’re not together. Focus on appreciating even a fraction of a minute that you get to spend with someone who lights your heart on fire. We have to give the people we love the freedom to fly, to grow on their own, and to be who they are. We aren’t here to control the other person. That’s not love.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, “Why should a relationship mean settling down? Wait out for someone who won’t let life escape you, who’ll challenge you and drive you towards your dreams. Someone spontaneous you can get lost in the world with. A relationship, with the right person, is a release not a restrictions.” – Beau Taplin
Watch the video for lessons 4 & 5
I wish you all a life that is full of love and compassion and sizzle. But I highly encourage you to spend some time checking in with what you bring to the table. How can you better love the people in your life? When we continue to better ourselves, we will shift the energy of everyone around us.
Expand your gratitude today. Spend some time reflecting on how freaking lucky you are to have people in your life, those you love and those who love you. Let appreciation swell into your being all day. Feeling daring? Thank those people today.
What’s been your most important love lesson? Comment below!
Thank you for being part of my love journey,