Let me start with love

I wanted to start with love because I believe this is where everything, EVERYTHING, originates. I have had a long journey with love. My first memory of wanting love, and searching for love, was sadly not in the most beneficial places. But what was I searching for? I know at the time, acceptance, validation, and adoration. I definitely looked in all the wrong places. But I was searching and looking for something solid I could tangibly hold on to.

My beginning experiences of love resulted in hurt, disappointment and disillusion.

Fast forward to now and my understanding of love is very different.

Through the years I have gathered experiences and information to realize that love is completely unconditional. COMPLETELY! True love cannot exist with conditions. Whether with my children, friends, business colleagues, partner or anyone my path crosses, simply I must love. There is nothing else. Love.

My first husband, after 10 years of marriage, realized he needed to live as a gay man to realize his true self. This was ultimately devastating, but I needed to honor the love I felt for this man and support him in living his truth. Difficult? The most!! I still needed to love.

So through pain, loss, hurt, triumphs, how do we still love?

It truly is a choice. That’s it, a choice. I CHOOSE LOVE. I choose to love despite my feelings for revenge, despite my desire to cause pain, despite my hurt, despite my anger. I love.

That’s the magic. It’s a choice. I know you probably want to leave now and say f-you to me. The truth still is here, love. Even when it’s not in your best interest, desire, end result, LOVE.

I wish I could say there was a magic word to be spoken or wand to be waved but there isn’t. Today I choose love. My parent who judges me, I choose love. My partner who is leaving me, I choose love. My child who is screaming at me, I choose love. My boss who doesn’t appreciate me, I choose love.

I really do understand if you are skeptical, or cynical about this concept. I simple say it is a choice. You make choices everyday. What food you eat, people you associate with, activities you participate in, choices.

Each day I wake up and know I get to choose how I want to treat the people around me. Each day I choose love.

So what does this “look” like? When someone hurts me with words, I don’t hurt them back. I can walk away; I can be calm and tell them their words hurt me. When someone meets me in a conversation with defensiveness? I can say I want to understand their feelings and thoughts and be close to them and ask for their help. Find out what they need to hear me and be heard. If I’m exhausted and want to sit on the couch and just vegetate, I choose to go and sit by my partner and touch their cheek, their hand so they know they are loved. After a day of work, when I finally sit down and my child asks me to make cookies…..I make cookies.

Love is not for sissies!!! Everyday in many moments you must decide who you want to be and then choose to act accordingly. It doesn’t require you to be a saint. Vent to friends, find physical outlets to your frustrations, journal, go to therapy, go to church, volunteer, but approach people with love.

This concept whether applied to yourself or others will allow you to make changes in your life that are long lasting. Each change we face needs to be approached with love, for self, others and the process. When approaching with love, the greatest outcomes can be achieved.

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