How To Find Lasting Love
Fall in love with yourself first. For a long time, I thought love was all about other people. I thought it was about what I did for others, how I showed up for others, what I showed others, what I GAVE. After 30 years of living, I am finally coming to realize that this is NOT ENTIRELY TRUE.
In my life, I have always felt love. I grew up watching a great example of love. I have always been taught to move with love and kindness. BUT for whatever reason I missed that part where this has to come from your heart to you first. If you don’t love yourself, if you don’t give to yourself, it is almost impossible to truly love and connect with other people. It is CRAZY how TRUE this really is. How love is so much more than what you have to give, kindness, warm fuzzies and joy. YES it CAN be all of those things but not without some darkness, vulnerability, courage, awareness, fear and risk.
Brene Brown writes in Daring Greatly “Give me the courage to show up and let myself be seen…Only when you’re brave enough to explore the darkness will you discover the infinite power of the light”
Love is as real as it gets. When you're ready to explore the darkness, you can actually see yourself for who you really are, you can start to accept yourself in your multifaceted glory AND start to let go into how you really feel, relish in your own heart space. Love yourself in all of your mind-states, no judgement. It's okay to feel sad, lost, confused, angry, pain - we need all of these to thrive, to grow, to feel joy. Life has many layers, WE have many layers. Only when we work to peel back the layers, understand and accept each one, can we get real down and dirty with love. LOVE is all about human connection, trust and vulnerability. How can we accept and invite that in others if we can't first do it within ourselves? It's a practice, it's patience, it's SCARY. So scary.
As many of you know I have been with my fiancé Ben for 11 years. Even though we had been in a long term committed relationship, even though we had grown up together, even though we shared a beautiful messy past of college and our 20's, we didn't find LASTING love until I was able to let go and see myself first, until I was able to love myself first, until I was able to get real and follow my heart for me. Up until then I had always known that I had found the person I wanted to be with forever but I NEVER knew what it really felt like to be truly, madly, deeply in love. Until I found myself first. Then the connection GOT REAL. REAL REAL. I am so grateful to Ben for not rushing us, for having the courage to say no, having the courage to wait until we were REALLY ready. We did the work, we made the choice and we found ourselves and each other once again. Whole, in love.
I could go on and on about our story but at the end of the day what I really want you to know is that just like anything love is a choice, love is a practice, love is scary and love is work. Do the work, love yourself fiercely, feel the pain, feel the joy, open up to the love you have to give, open to the love you will receive. Make it real, make it juicy, make it YOU. That is lasting love.