What is love?
Those butterflies that person gives you are amazing; overwhelming almost. The way they kiss you... you could stay there forever, right? It's astounding what that connection can give. But unfortunately, that is lust: just a feeling. I've had so many conversations with my therapist about love. What love means. What it is. And he really valued my explanation of it, and it really explained why I have the personal issues that I do.
Love is a choice. It's a commitment. It's that moment that you look at a person and accept the responsibility to do everything in your power to influence their happiness. Love is a million shades of color. It is never the same; it does not remain in a constant state. Love is complicated. Love is hard.
We, along with myself, imagine ourselves in a beautiful suburban home, getting off of work and our loved ones sweeping us off our feet. Setting the dinner table for four and telling the kids to wash their hands before dinner. We imagine our children to be squeaky clean and always smiling. Getting professional photos done to hang on the wall every Fall. Our spouse making us a drink while we sit down and relax. Going to bed to complete ecstasy, only to wake up wondering where the hell this person was sooner. And, we expect this every day.
But that isn't love. That's just an alternate reality of the life you are living right now. That isn't love. It's the RESULT of true love.
Love and I are not very good friends, because the result of my love didn't end in that happy scenario. My love resulted in a great loss because I gave up the life I wanted to achieve in order to make someone happy. How is that?
Love is a choice. It's looking at someone and demanding the universe to align so you can influence that person's happiness (notice how I didn't say you were responsible for their happiness). And if they truly love you, they will effortlessly do the same. Loving someone isn't about you. It isn't about YOUR happiness; it's about theirs. It's an unconditional commitment to move mountains and do everything in your power FOR them. No distance too far, no amount of time is too long, and no challenge is too steep.
Now when someone takes that for granted time and time again, understandably, one could make a decision not to commit as some things can just be unforgivable. Love not reciprocating (cheating, lying, etc.) being some of those things.
Here's where we all mess up. We take our past experiences with others who did not love us back, and assume those who really do will betray our love also. What a concept. I call it self-self-sabotoge. We just assume the worst and it prevents us from committing to loving a person who ACTUALLY loves us.
It's because of lust that relationships never last long. You enjoyed the instant gratification they gave you, but you forgot to embrace their soul to even ask yourself if you could bring yourself to commit to their needs. Right? Because the idea is not to change a person, and I failed at this once as well and waited a damn long time to right my wrongs. So why the hell do I say all this?
Before I was married, I enjoyed instant gratification. After living my whole life waiting to be loved back, to be loved was amazing for once. I wasn't used to it AT ALL and almost broke up with him a few times because I felt suffocated, but I ignored it because I didn't want to push away a good thing. However, I made the mistake of never learning his soul. I didn't spend the time to dive deep and understand what it would take to meet his needs before I vowed and promised I'd do it forever.
Sure, I was cheated on, lied to, and him and I speak very openly about those things. He even knows I sit here and write about it. But here's my thing: Those things he did, did I have any blame? Yes. SO MANY PEOPLE argue with me about this, but the more hindsight I get, the more I can really sum up what I did wrong (And I'm not accepting full or most blame by any means). Humor me though. If I never took the time to get to know his soul and his needs, but promised that I would do everything in my power to influence his happiness, I did myself a disservice by not doing so and was not an adequate partner. Lying, cheating, evasion are all a result of avoiding confrontation when someone is NOT meeting your needs. EVERYTHING happens for a reason. even cheating. Everything is cause and effect. (I intend on writing about cheating separately, so hold off for now.) Agree, agree to disagree, whatever.
How do you love someone you don't know how to love? Well, you don't. You just literally can't do it.
Now love vs. lust. Im not shaming lust because it is great. We just have to identify it appropriately so we don't self-sabotoge and start this cycle of crap for our own selfs to deal with. Love is just different. Take the time to KNOW someone's soul as much as you can. Soak up all the details. Make sure you are even capable of loving them. Of committing to them. If you don't, they will be falling in love with your soul just to be ruined in the end. Then you will be responsible for all that damage. Don't make that mistake.
That happy scenario earlier? It's not real. You'll never get it. You won't because cancer exists. Car accidents happen. Disability can affect people. Some people need to move for work. Some people need to be a caretaker for their parents. Whatever it is, loving them is committing to all of that. Their problems are now your problems. That isn't something that you can quickly take back and be friends over.
Stop looking for someone who can just make you feel good in the "right now". You're just chasing a feeling at that point. If you want to build a life, you have to BUILD. Building takes work, blood, sweat, and tears. It's not easy. It's not supposed to be easy. But if you will have invested heavily in that person's soul, you won't think twice about the hard choices.
I'd rather know in my heart forever that someone will always show up, find me, and be there for me than be made to feel pretty each time someone talks to me.
It's all about what you prioritize and for the first time in my life, I can't admit my wrongdoings and move forward to actually BUILD. But, most off ya'll aren't ready for that. Chase that feeling.