LET'S TALK ABOUT LOVE
September 03, 2018
“Lets Talk About Love”,
I chose this title because this song from Celine Dion kept ringing in my head. Then I had a flash back of singing this song with her on stage at the Key Arena in Seattle when I was a little girl. And i’m actually not joking. There were thousands of people yet I couldn’t see them because the lights were so bright. How do performers do it all the time I wondered? She touched my head and gave me a hug and I said I would never wash my hair again….That didn’t last long. This was a pretty cool experience in my life..and we sang about love.
Love. That is something we all desire whether we are trying to fight it or attract it. As I write about this, I don’t have it all figured out, but I have experienced a lot to understand a bit more of what love is. No, I have not found the love of my life yet (or he hasn’t found me) yet I am willing to learn and grow more and more and go through my fears and discomforts because I do desire a love that is so genuine and authentic. Also, besides romantic love, I desire this with all those I build relationships with.
“Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable-it’s ok to be in unfamiliar territory where you don’t know who you are or what you are supposed to be doing because that’s where the possibility of love is.”
I have learned in the past few years, as hard as it has been, that I feel the most loved when I don’t need to be anything or anyone but myself. It seems weird to say because as a strong, independent woman that is what I believe I am being until someone steps into my life then I feel like I need “to be something” for them. Those who talk with me and listen to me and love me for me without trying to change me or that I have to “work” for their love has been where I have been the most uncomfortable and confused yet it has given me the time to wrestle with myself and be reminded that who I am today is enough and I don’t have to “try” to be anything for anyone. It is the most relieving experience I think I have had. I can think of a couple male individuals in the past few years that have allowed me to recognize this. It frightens and scares the hell out of me yet it’s the reason I feel the most loved. It also reminds me of Jesus and how He loves us. His love is unconditional. How funny is it that I have been thinking love is supposed to look different. Even though humanity still makes mistakes and we always will, we can still desire and work at loving and being loved in a way that Jesus does.
I also believe in going back into your past so you can move forward to your future. I don’t believe that staying there for long is good because it can cause you to become your past, but if you recognize where you have been influenced, you can gain the proper tools to break those deep beliefs engrained from the generations of your family and friends you’ve experienced and come into freedom for your future. Growing up I was the oldest child born into a very loving home. Because I was the oldest I had a greater expectation than the others, and that was to “be an example to my siblings.” I found myself having to “be something” to my siblings and friends growing up that made me believe I needed to “work” for love. This is definitely not what my parents told me to do but it is what I made it mean. So fast forward to now….I have been living as if I need to “be something” to be loved in a romantic way by a man because this is what I was making it mean from childhood. I have had numerous relationships where it did feel like I was working to earn their love, that I actually thought was normal and felt comfortable. (This even sounds gross as I type it out, but it’s real) There have also been a couple people that have made me uncomfortable where I haven’t had to work for love at all, I was accepted for who I was and who I wasn’t and it felt like I didn’t have to do anything..that was strange to me. This is what got me to reflect on love and realize what authentic love is supposed to look like.
“Since loneliness has been identified as the number one social problem in America, it seems clear that our distracted and hurried ways of relating to one another are severely inadequate for the human heart. In our hasty attempt to push the river of our lives to get more, do more, and be more, we have profoundly underestimated our need for simple closeness and connection.”- Katherine Woodward Thomas
What would it look like if we really took the time to look a co-worker, friend, family member or stranger in the eye to “be” with them with undivided attention, no agenda and listening ears. This sense of loneliness and sadness would slowly begin to dissipate because this really is what we desire and how we are designed-for connection.
Imagine if we could do this for ourselves? All humans have insecurities, flaws and self-love issues yet what if we took the time to be alone with ourselves and do the things we love doing, listen to yourself with no judgements, write everything down, ask yourself questions and answer back to your deepest heart’s desires. What if you had no agenda with yourself yet “to be” and “to accept” getting to know yourself more and more while growing and reaching toward the person you desire to be. What if you loved yourself through all seasons and processes? The sense of loneliness can begin to dissipate because the relationship we have with ourselves becomes a reflection in all areas of our lives. What if you gave yourself permission?
Curiosity with yourself and others is an open door to love because there are no expectations. You may find yourself uncomfortable in the unknown as you “don’t try to figure it all out” yet it’s a love of genuine BE-ing. Many of us are walking around as if we have to sell ourselves each time we have human contact. Or we do this to ourselves. No wonder there’s a need for so many prescriptions.
We have got to consciously choose to slow down, give up our hidden agendas and develop the capacity to focus on others by making an effort to understand them (as well as ourselves). This includes cultivating curiosity about ways of thinking that are different than our own. This generously gives ourselves and others the ability to be exactly who they are and who they are not.
“You can give another person a precious gift if you will allow him to talk without contaminating his speech with your own material.” Robert A. Johnson
In order to have authentic love we need to give ourselves permission to be our full selves. This means expressing our wants, needs and desires. This is not bad at all, it just allows others to see your authentic self. You can’t worry what others will think or say as long as you are true to you. Success, fulfillment and loving relationships depends on our ability to be honest with ourselves and asking directly for what we want/need and setting clear limits with others. I have to say that I have to work really hard at this.
Since growing up I have been everyone else’s rock from what I can remember. I have become such a strong person that I believed that as long as everyone else was ok, I would be too. I genuinely thought that as long as I was helping someone else through whatever they needed, I was loving them well. I thought this was my role in life. Over the past few years I have learned a lot about this and that it is totally ok and healthy to express my own needs, desires and boundaries in order to be loved myself as much as I tried to love others. I thought many times I was being selfish when I would express a need. There is a particular relationship that I remember that when I would express almost any of my own desires, needs, or places where I needed to grow, this person would say things like “there is something wrong with you,” “you needed fixing” or “you need help.” I thought maybe they were right because they love me. In the long run I realized that this was a very unhealthy, toxic relationship that wanted to put their own agenda, control and manipulate me. In this I began to lose myself because I so badly wanted the other person to be happy with themself and what worked for them that I did everything possible to change myself to fit what they needed. Wow, that is a recipe for disaster. I take full responsibility that I allowed this to happen. I have to come realize that fully expressing myself is a very healthy thing and those who are not willing to come from a place of understanding or being with me in the process are not trying to have a loving relationship yet a relationship that is controlled to fit what they need. I see full purpose in all relationships, we learn and grow so much. As hard as it was, I have learned a lot in just this process alone and don’t regret it at all or have hard feelings, I am just so much more aware.
Sometimes we think love is “if the other person loves me they will know what I need.” That’s creating a fantasy that’s not reality at all- only to set up for heartache. When you are honest, true and share your direct request that is a sense of offering trust. It is the knowing that the other person can say “no” and you’ll still be OK. If that person is unwilling or unable to give you what’s requested or what you want then you can work on it together or figure out what you need to do to respect each others limits/boundaries.
There is a great freedom of non-attachment- It gives the ability to ask anyone for anything at anytime. Know your own truth! In order to do that you have to understand what they are and that takes some digging in being honest with yourself, know what your emotions mean and get over the investment of looking good if you want to actually experience love. It may be wise to have a therapist, mentor or counselor guide you into some places you may have blind spots.
Remember that communications goal is: Communion. Communion is the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.
Before you go and speak your truth, find and understand the perspective of the other individual and clear yourself of the need to be right, make someone wrong, blame them, etc. The point of listening and speaking is to create loving, harmonious relationships.
Ask yourself: What am I trying to create?