Oh, Love. How you have all of us in confusion to what that really is. Can we break down what love is and what love is not? In the modern day the idea of love has been tarnished with what we see in movies, hear in songs, and what other people tell us. Truth be told, it's a feeling that only you can know, only you can experience based on your inner universe and perspective. So love can be many things, it's what is true to you.
Love is not a theory. It's a verb to be practiced daily. A constant effort of fueling that fire and keeping it alive.
First let's start off with what Love is...
1. Love is easily forgiven. True love requires to let go, to release your ego from holding onto any injustice. It's to put your ego aside and forgive for the sake of the relationship. And the sooner the better because resentment can boil over. Tip: Do not go to bed mad, talk out what may be bothering, communicate, and resolve.
2. Love is accepting, unconditional. Your partner will not be perfect and you may find out things that bother you. You will have to accept their past, who they were, the mistakes they've done, who they are today if it's lasting love that you want.
3. Love is kind. Instead of criticizing your partner, you will uplift them with encouraging words, and hold space for them to grow at their own pace. Nothing is forced or pushed. Never attack or bully your partner.
4. Love is generous. You willing give with nothing expected in return. There's no keeping score or expectations. Love gives willingly and abundantly to create happiness for your partner and yourself.
5. Love is full expression. Here you are able to express your deepest and darkest secrets and ideas without feeling like you may be judged. You will be able to have difficult conversations that speak your truth.
6. Love is inspiring. Your partner will inspire you to be better, to courageously take risks and follow your heart and dreams. It will evoke a wave of bravery to do the things you've always wanted to do. Not because they will be there to catch you if you fail, but because you want to be your best for them and the relationship.
7. Love is silly. You are able to tease and be teased, to not take things personal or too seriously. Like two little kids, there must be a play aspect to the relationship. To create adventures and fun. Laugh and love more.
8. Love listens. Love does not listen to respond, love is listening to understand. To be present in that moment with what is being shared with you. Sometimes it's not listening to what is being said, but the hidden meaning and feeling that is trying to be expressed. This is a dying trait, people don't know how to actively listen anymore. It's also not listening to fix the problem or give them a solution. It's active listening for your partner to be seen and heard.
9. Love trusts willingly. Love means jumping at full risk, all bets in. Not half ass, but full ass. Even if you could end up hurt or heartbroken. This is the only way your love can fully flourish. Trust means to be vulnerable, say how you really feel, and being completely naked.
10. Last, but not least. Love is supportive. When tough times arise, it's about not bailing or jumping ship, when the waters get rocky. It's about supporting their dreams, but more importantly being there when life gets rough. Life is tough and shit happens. So it's about sticking by their side and wanting to be there. Which leads us to what love is not. There's a difference between sticking by someone when life gets rough and feeling obligated to staying when it's intentional tough times. Which leads up to the "Ride or Die" culture.
The Ride or Die is a coined term and idea promoted in rap songs and in the modern generation. Inspired by the Bonnie and Clyde mythologies, it describes a term where a person, woman or man, is willing to do anything for their partner, even if that brings danger or emotional/physical harm to them. It's often praised for having extreme loyalty.
This is unhealthy.
A partner that truly loves you would never want to put you in a position of negative consequence or in harms way. Relationships built on this idea has partners routinely mistreated and neglected by their partners. This includes being manipulative and controlling. In healthy relationships you aren't pressured to "prove" your love or take the fall for your partner.
Signs you are in a Ride or Die relationship.
- You follow your partner without question
- You’re willing to engage in activities that make you uncomfortable and wouldn’t normally do
- You wear things that are a symbol of your loyalty
- You explain away your partner’s bad behavior
- Your partner is a priority over your family/friends
- You’ve been confronted by a friend who sees your relationship as controlling
- You feel the need to hide your partner’s actions or things you do together
- Your partner encourages you to “take one for the team”
- You’ve already accepted blame or consequences for their negative or illegal actions.
This has relation to self worth and what you believe that you deserve. Just know you deserve much more than this. We all deserve true and unconditional love.
Repeat after me.
I am worthy of love. I deserve to love and be loved. I am enough.