On the day of love, I’ve had ample time to think about how I feel on the subject. I’ve never been into Valentine’s Day and that’s mostly because I’ve long held the belief that we should show our love everyday. Not just once a year. I also see love differently than so many from my past, and it puts me in this strange place when it comes to the topic.
You see, I don’t ‘fall in love’. This may sound odd considering that I have a husband who is amazing (with fireworks shooting from the word) and I have an equally amazing Dom, and most people would think that surely that means I’m madly and deeply in love, but that’s not so.
I love many people and yes, I love them deeply, but I don’t fall in love. I don’t believe I ever have. This is because I ‘practice loving’ instead.
For me, practicing love means that it’s ongoing. There’s no lala dating period, no high that will eventually have to low, it means that I go into relationships (and this includes friendships as well) with the realization that I am a piece of the puzzle. I can offer what I can offer, they can offer what they can offer, and it takes constant work and attention on all parts to be sure that we’re at our best for one another. And for all people in the mix.
To practice love takes out a huge problem that I see again and again in failed relationships… When people are in the active place of falling in love, it’s about that moment, about ‘getting’ that person. There may be a long-term goal, but so often it’s a show in the beginning with at least one party on best behavior. Until the target is achieved and then suddenly ‘ta da!’ the real person steps forward.
I’m not saying falling in love is bad. I know people that start that way, then move into practicing the act of love. And that works. It’s not how I’ve done it, but I also have a history that’s required me to get to know people first. That way I have trust. Not everyone will need that upfront, but I do in order to truly commit to someone in any sort of meaningful relationship.
All of this gives me insight beforehand. I have time to observe and get to know people first. And most of all, it allows me to love people in general.
Sometimes I go off on people that hurt me, or I’ll say harsh things about those that betray me, but the reality is that I still love them. And it’s because of my ability to practice love. I’m able to see beyond their current behavior and to the truth of who they are at their most hidden level. This ability doesn’t excuse their behavior, and I need to hold people accountable, but it does offer me the capability of loving them from afar.
Practicing love is selfless.
So many people push their wants and desires on others and think by manipulating or pressuring that person that they’ll get what they want. This isn’t love. This is self-serving nonsense that gets most people dumped. There is no love involved other than self-love, and even that I can’t say is true. Because self-sabotage means a lack of self-love as well. Yet people do it all the time.
I’m fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life. My partners especially. They too practice loving. It’s a daily practice. It takes energy and care. It takes selflessness and at times, a love that serves ourselves as well. Because taking care of our needs is important and not to be neglected. I feel like such a lucky girl with support and love all around me.
I share this as a way to honor my loved ones. I may not get all ‘lovey dovey’ on Valentine’s Day, or emo and clinging. I may not send cards or chocolates, but I love epically. I love with all I can while still maintaining my own needs as well.
To my partners and friends, I practice loving and appreciating you every single day. Thank you for being in my life. ❤
Image by Terri-Ann Hanlon on freeimages.com.