Love has admittedly always been my favorite topic to ponder and attempt to embody. From the time I was a little girl, I dreamed of fairy tale romances and princess passions. I was brought up in a “traditional” family, yet one that also held broad viewpoints and general acceptance that the endless definitions of love can be as expansive and diverse as people are.
Although I had some clear thoughts of what giving and receiving love was “supposed” to look like, I also always felt some kind of “knowing” in my heart, that I would be called to love in ways that were unique and special to ME. As I grew from youthful innocence to middle-aged maturity (I’m still working on that Lol!), I experienced the joys and sorrows of being an empath and a lover. As we all do, I learned that both the pains and peacefulness of love lived out-loud, produce an understanding of life that can never be dreamt of or planned for. I have learned that love expressed, grounds our souls in a way that no one can touch.
It pains me to think of the ways that culture can sometimes shame us into believing we are not lovable, not worthy, not capable of grounding ourselves in a pure, unconditional, uncircumstantial expression of loving existence. WHO we love, HOW we love, WHERE we love seems to be everyone’s business these days. But I don’t accept that. Love is deeply personal. It is our own. And even when we try to make it public, it cannot possibly be. For pure love only exists in internal spaces that no one can touch or imagine… not even our best of friends or lovers. Loving ourselves is NOT prideful, it is essential.
I have come to believe that the truest love can never completely be expressed verbally, actionably, or otherwise. Love is a spiritual energy that exists beyond the limits of our earthly being (even our greatest glimpses of meditation, sensuality or connection to nature seem to have time or “depth” constraints). And how thankful I am for that realization. Because in this understanding, I can find peace that I do NOT have to limit my expressions OR fall short of my expectations of love. After years of frustration, wishing people would understand the love in my heart, I finally became willing to be totally happy loving ME. Because when I love Me, it attracts others to what I have to give. And what others receive from their relationship with me is fact up to them and who/what is ABOVE us.
You see, when we genuinely love ourselves, we allow the unlimited understanding and collaboration between us and the “source” of life itself. The only way to embrace our capacity for love is to know ourselves and how we relate to God (or however we refer to the entity which breathed our emotions and energy into our physical being). The ESSENCE of who we are IS our greatest expression of love.
I sometimes find myself crying or laughing out loud at my own thoughts of how I’d like to love. I think of making people laugh or helping them release tears of fear that transform their sense of freedom. My kids catch me from time to time… as I daydream about raunchy sex or romantic movie scenes that I am the star of. They ask what I’m laughing about, and I tell them they aren’t old enough for me to share the intimate thoughts of a middle-aged woman. They roll their eyes at me like I’m crazy. And I chuckle at what it feels like to genuinely love myself, and every private thought, memory or prediction that makes me whole. My internal dialogue is my most precious possession. The secrets shared between Me, Myself and I are the most comical, disturbing, creative, exhilarating conversations I have ever had. And I LOVE them.
And that is the very point of this message that I write to you.
Choose to LOVE YOURSELF…. so that you may love everyone/everything else as you are called to. LOVE with no shame. No apologies. No excuses. No limits. No regrets. No conditions.
The judgements others may have toward you and how you love are THEIRS, not yours. You have every permission to love as you love. You do not need to own anyone else’s opinions of you. The only thing we own is our expression of self. And if we are true to that expression, then we are also being true to the God who designed us to love like we do. No one else needs to understand. Only YOU need to love you. Everyone else who loves you is a bonus and a blessing.
In my mind, I often visualize myself in a group hug with all of humanity. A place where we all see each other the way only the Divine sees us now. A time when others will love us the way only we can love ourselves right now. I KNOW this vision of mine will come to pass, someday, somehow, some way. Because after all, I am a born romantic. I am still the little girl who cries while watching Publix commercials, love stories and listening to “Butterfly Kisses”. I am still the girl who feels the hugs of her mom in heaven. I am still the woman who loves to touch and be touched. Oh, how I love that young girl who continues to grow up, tries and sometimes fails, yet stays pure in heart.
One of the ways I can love you, is to remind you that you are not just ONE thing. You are ALL Of The Above. And you can feel free to love yourself as such.