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Love: What It Is and What It Is Not


You are what you give authentically.

My Life: A poem popped in my head, and I began to flow. There was no pen or paper by my side. I was driving at the time, so I used my hands-free recorder on my phone to lose the flow. I spoke the gist of it into my phone to transcribe it later. The poem dealt with the topic of what love is and isn’t. I had spent so many years looking for it. Found everything but it. I would often hear people say that you can’t look for it because it finds you. The statement is also not a true statement. You can’t search for love, nor will love find you.

If love is a person, the person is you. You can’t search for yourself, nor can you separate yourself from yourself. You are you all day and all night—no backsies or trading. You are who you are. You are love unless you choose not to be this. When you discover you are in love, anyone can do or say nothing to change that about yourself. You then attract people who love themselves. Love wants love. People who love themselves want someone who understands this concept. If you can’t do it for yourself, you can’t successfully do it for anyone else.

It is true you can’t search for it, it doesn’t find you - you find that you have never been without love. Instead, you choose to focus on everything but yourself, so you attract people who are in the same circumstance as yourself. Bad relationships come when one or both individuals aren’t dealing with themselves authentically. If you can’t be authentic with yourself, you definitely can’t do it with anyone else. And those of us that understand that we can care for you, but we know getting involved with you doesn’t show love for ourselves. So we leave you to yourself to figure it out.

Reflection: Love is an action. I have to do things to show myself and the world that I love myself. Putting myself on the back burner for kids, jobs, relationships of any kind does not do that. Being reflective helps you to analyze what things or activities honor you and which ones don’t. I was able to end a 16-year relationship not because it was terrible. I had told myself repeatedly that it wasn’t good for me, but I kept returning. I was lonely because I didn’t love myself. When I truly felt like this relationship was beneath me, that I deserved love, it took a lot of self-time to figure out how to love myself well.

I got rid of the noise and sat in silence; without hateful words, a draining job, an unhealthy relationship in the way, I wasn’t listening to anyone’s voice but my own. I am a single parent of two children. Besides taking care of them, I began to show love and care for myself. I sat in silence and thought about ways to be pleasing to myself. I listed things like having a partner who truly cared for me, a career instead of just a job, and I wanted to be happy. The easiest thing for me to begin doing was to do something that made me happy. I started there. The rest followed behind and quickly.

One day, I decided to make myself happy, I began writing, and before my first blog, I was in a healthy relationship. March - June is all it took, and my whole life was on a different trajectory than before. I continuously every day tried to do at least one thing that made me happy. I don’t worry about anything else. Honestly, I have taken this same thought into my relationship and career as well. I do what makes me happy, and the rest falls in line.

The Test: You will still have difficult days or situations to deal with. Life doesn’t stop happening because I decided I would be happy and do things for myself. Living isn’t perfect, no matter what you do. The test has become trying to stay on the happiness spectrum when things are changing, becoming tricky, or not flowing at my design. I still have issues with negative reflexes (the false belief that I can control...anything). My problem remains: I still sit on the edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop, which means I can’t relax.

Knowing this means that I have to place my energy—forcing my body to relax when it is tense all the time. Even when things go left, everything gets worked out in my favor with a clear head, eventually. I testify, I remind myself, and I take a deep breath forcing myself to relax. My analogy deals with the water; I love to swim, but many people fear it. It is this fear that prevents them from being able to do it. But if you relax, you float. You don’t need to know how to swim. You need to know how to relax.


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