Updated: Apr 5, 2018
I’m beginning to understand what it means to love.
I thought I knew before. But what I knew was such a selfish way of loving. Selfish in that I was being selfless. And how can you truly love another if you aren’t truly loving yourself?
I thought love meant doing things for others - my husband, my friends, my family, my kids. I thought the more I did and the more of myself I gave to them, the better I was loving them. But what were they really receiving if those bits of myself weren’t nourished, loved parts of me?
I thought love meant being near each other, spending all our free time together. I thought by being in each other’s company, we were doing the “right” thing as husband and wife. But why? What did our presence really do for each other when we had nothing new to say or share? With no experiences except the ones we had together, how could our relationship grow and flourish?
I thought love meant only having eyes for one another. Only finding beauty in each other, only having sexual impulses for each other. But this defies human nature. By closing your eyes and your mind off to the world and all its beauty, you are closing up your heart and the pieces of yourself that make you primal in the first place. It is more natural to find attraction in many than in just one. And attraction doesn’t diminish love, it feeds it.
I thought love meant sacrifice. Sacrifice of my mind, my intellect, my body, my spiritual self, my feminine energy, my hearts desires. Because in order to love, I needed to want what those around me wanted, to be who they wanted me to be and to give of myself to please them. I thought that if I took time for me, I would be taking time away from them. But no one asked me to sacrifice anything! And how does that equate to love anyway?
We love in a way we think is “right” because history tells us it is. As women and as mothers we give and give and give of ourselves because traditionally, this is what society told us we had to do. We had to be good wives and please our husbands. We had to be good mothers and cook, clean, raise our kids at home. It wasn’t “right” to step out of line, we had to conform. So, over time, this became the way we loved. We conformed.
But times have changed. Women have changed. Men have changed. Relationships are changing and we need to love in whatever way feels “right” to us! And we need to love ourselves. Because unless we nurture ourselves, our passions, our desires, our hearts, our bodies – how can we nurture another? How can we truly love another without first finding love within us?
To love completely means giving in completely. It means opening up the good and the bad and unapologetically showing yourself to others. It means having your loved ones do the same.
Then, and only then, will you feel the love – and it will feel like nothing else you’ve ever felt before. Because that is when you will understand the meaning of love.