Love comes in all forms, shapes and sizes. It's all love, and it's all good. Where we get bogged down in this emotion is when we think we know how it should look. Preconceived notions, you know what I mean....expectations. Ugh! That's where we trip ourselves up big time. Get rid of them and free the people in your life to express their own unique way of loving you. This covers romantic love, friendship love, family love, you name it. "If you love me you'll do"....this, that, or the other. "If he/she loves me"....they would do this, that or the other. "If my kids truly loved me they would know how much I sacrificed". "If my friends loved me, they would give me"....you fill in the blanks. This is futile. Whether we say these things out loud or not, we will think them somewhere along the line, even if briefly. Ditch it.
Anytime we try to get out of another human being what we think we need, we lose that person to some degree. They can smell you coming. Neediness reeks. I personally need space to breathe, and when I am allowed the time and space to develop myself in all areas of my life I come back to my relationships much more centered, much more available, much more eager to please, to nurture, to love and be loved. My name on my birth certificate in Cinderella, no lie. It's a silly story how on the morning of my birth my father named me while my mother was in recovery, but for years I lived under the whole fairy tale aspect of my name. It was a hard go in school when my friends finally found out what my real name was. Ooh, I shudder to remember. Anyway, I lived under the idea that I would be rescued one day, swept up and away and into the sunset. Reality was anything but. Even in this day and age of enlightenment, little girls are still being conned into thinking love is supposed to look a certain way, feel a certain way......and give us everything we need. LOVE with a capital L will always give you what you need.....that's LOVE of a grander depth and breadth than the human love we all long for, find, lose, pine after, cry over, swear we'll never let happen to us again....on and on. *Fill in your own neurosis here* Basically the dramatic kind of love that is so avidly pursued in movies and on TV is something I shun.
One of the finest lessons I ever learned about love was this: You will be hurt when you think love should come to you in a cut glass bottle, and it ends up coming to you instead in a yellow box. Does that make sense? We think we know what it should look like, and when it arrives in it's own unique packaging, and doesn't fit our preconceived idea of how it should look, we then embark on the insane journey of manipulating it to suit our current needs. Therein lies the trouble most people encounter with this thing called love. I am a firm believer that we encounter the people and the situations that we need to encounter, and in direct response to what we need to learn about ourselves. There is nothing like a love relationship to expose your soft white underbelly to what scares the living crap out of you. Again, you usually can trace it back to your preconceived idea of what another person is supposed to be, and if you can recognize that and get rid of it you will be creating the space for your relationships....all of them....to live, breathe, expand and be free.
This is the month where Valentine's Day in all it's money soaked, guilt inducing, heartbreak inspiring drama comes. It's a merchants holiday, period. I am personally disgusted that as a species, women will pin so much of their hopes on that one day as proof that they are loved, desirable, cherished....worthy. EEK.....that's all I've got to say. BUT, I adore chocolate, and any occasion that I can receive some is not going to be turned away. Same with flowers, same with dinner out, or prepared lovingly at home, or champagne and bubble baths with someone special, but to make it a once-a-year thing is just sad, and to make us feel bad because there may not be someone to share those things with is just our society's way of defining us. Last Valentines's Day was the last day I spent living with my former husband. He chose a spectacular day to walk out.....and I thank him for it. Nothing like having an illusion smashed to bits right in your face....it gets your attention. The only thing I look back and regret now is that I didn't get any chocolate for my trauma! That day, my idea of "love" took a big turn into something that ultimately made me a much more expansive and genuinely loving woman. The people in my life now, friends and intimates, are the recipient of a much more enduring love, a love that comes from a source and a place that allows for individuality and freedom....and it's wonderful.
The greatest gift you can give those you love is the freedom to be who they are, and conversely, it will be the greatest gift you can give yourself as well. Set free the love you have in your heart for those you care about, let it flow, dance, shape shift....let it be. Love isn't supposed to hurt, and it won't if it's given the right to expand beyond the borders we have placed on it. Love will do this anyway, whether we let it or not, it's love's nature to not be confined. I like to live and learn without unnecessary pain....so I've learned to free my heart. And remember, what you free will return to you a hundredfold.
Until next time....blessings upon your heart....(and something chocolate to savor).