What I Think About When I Talk About Love

What I Think About When I Talk About Love

How does one experience love?
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In my family, love is never in short supply.

Hugs and kisses abound, I see my mother cook food after she gets home from work, regardless of how tired she is. I hear my father’s stories and lectures for the nth time in an attempt for me to learn the lessons of life. I get annoyed when my sister tries to do one thing or another trying to get to do one thing or another.

But this concoction of respect and affection form a home in which everyone is welcome.

There were days when I would isolate myself from my family because I had to do homework during my spare time. Yet, at the end of the day, I knew they would always be by me. That was love—committing to making other people happy and, at the same time, having fun.

In contrast, I have never been in a romantic relationship.

I’ve had many friends in the past; I would get along with them through game, conversations, and banter. In middle school, when some students saw me getting close to a couple of boys, they assumed I “liked them”.

Of course, in this case, “liking them” was different from liking them in a friendly way. “Liking them” meant wanting to fall in love with them. The conversational and emotional warmth became physical. It starts with hand-holding, then proceeds to cuddling and kissing.

This was as far as one would imagine teenage romance back in the eighth grade. While I did enjoy having company with them, it didn’t extend to having a romantic relationship.

Back then, love was being able to spend hours with a person on end, without regret to where the time went. It was always feeling warm and excited when the one you love even passes by.

Yet in this time, as well as now, it was more infatuation. It was seeing the future with them without the trials and tribulations real love had to offer.

Because I’ve never been in a romantic relationship, I don't know what it means to struggle to make time for someone. I don't know what it means to be disloyal to them and to confront the consequences of deceit. I wouldn't know about the little things that didn't show up in movies.

Instead, it’s more like seeing my parents every day when they eat, talk, and watch TV together.

In other words, I have yet to experience the joy and stability which comes with a caring, romantic relationship. And that’s okay.

While several of my classmates have either gotten engaged or married, I’m busy focusing on my life through education and other pursuits. I want to cultivate myself so I would love myself and love somebody else the way my parents and relatives love me.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To That One Friend Who Deserves The World

Since I can't give you the world, I hope giving you this article is enough.
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My wonderful friend,

You deserve love.

You deserve to marry your best friend.

You deserve appreciation.

You deserve that no matter who comes in and out of your life, every selfless thing you do for someone is acknowledged.

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You deserve kindness.

You deserve to have the nicest people in the world surround you all of the time.

You deserve support.

You deserve to have someone there for you at the beginning of every good day and at the end of every bad one, to have someone who wants to fix all of your problems.

You deserve hope.

You deserve to always be optimistic.

You deserve laughter.

You deserve to never stop smiling and actually mean it every time you do.

You deserve forgiveness.

You deserve to be able to be given second chances because without a doubt you are worth it.

You deserve friendship.

You deserve to have a friend who can be just as good of a friend as you are.

You deserve honesty.

You deserve to always be told the truth.

You deserve motivation.

You deserve to never want to give up and always push yourself.

You deserve success.

You deserve to have everything you have worked so hard for.

You deserve faith.

You deserve to always know it will get better.

You deserve loyalty.

You deserve to have that one person who will never leave and always be there for you.

You deserve happiness.

You deserve to be genuinely content with your life.

You deserve the world.

If I could give it to you, I would.

Yes, life gets tough sometimes. The unthinkable happens and your world feels like it is crashing down but you can get past all of this.

Thank you for being so selfless. It amazes me how you do it sometimes, but thank you for always making everyone your main priority when they need you.

I know I may not say it enough, but truly thank you for all you do for me. I don’t always know how to show how much someone means to me, especially when it is someone as great as you because I don’t know what I did to deserve you, but thank you.

I love you.

Cover Image Credit: Liz Spence

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Shockingly, There Is Strength In Being Weak

Abandon the idea that you do not deserve to be taken care of. You do!

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The one challenge in having a brave face, is others never considering there are moments you may not be. It is a beautiful yet complicated gift to be able to provide comfort to others. To be the person your friends and family turns to in times of crisis. Just remember that those who offer help, may need help sometimes too.

Lately, I have been struggling. Having flares of anxiety and repetition of old behaviors, that I am not so proud of. I am so kind to others facing struggle, but I have yet to understand the importance of offering myself the same respect.

Some may suggest therapy, seeking out health professionals. For many that may work. And if that is a tool that works for you, power to you! If you feel comfortable with the process pursue it! For myself, I am not. And I will tell you why.

I have yet to swallow my pride. To understand that the strong fail too. Oh how I despise failing. And I think fear of failure comes from my own personal expectations, to hold it "together". Because if I fall, who will those closest to me lean on? I have strength, therefore if I fall, we all do.

That may sound like an idiotic sentence, and while forming the words I recognize how false a statement it is. However, this is a deep rooted issue for many individuals. And for me this is something I struggle with. Allowing for the world to see my weakness.

One of my best friends, who has recently opened my eyes said to me, " To have the courage to ask for help is not you showing weakness, but strength." It takes a great deal of strength to open up. I find myself suppressing my emotions. Meanwhile, I write weekly about confronting your past. Yet I struggle in the practice I preach.

That is not weakness, yet it is a glimpse of reality. I am thankful for my friend, who noticed a shift within me, to speak up and make sure that I recognize that I am falling. Sometimes you cannot only rely on yourself, and you need to admit that you need help.

My greatest joy is helping others but again I cannot find the generosity in my heart to offer it to myself. I was wrestling with the "why". Why I cannot allow for others to worry about me, why I simply do not want other people to worry about me. It is because that is my job. Then I realized, being a brave individual goes hand in hand with wanting control.

I struggle with allowing for myself to be a mess. To admit when I have lost control of who I am. The issue with a brave face? You rarely let others see you cave. So those around you assume you are stedfast, strong, in control, without a shadow of a doubt ; okay.

I understand not each individual is intuitive. That people miss the signs of when others emotional well beings are compromised. I am grateful for my best friend and her intuitive mind and heart. Recognizing that I have not been completely myself as of late, just an extension.

For those of you , who feel you lack the skill. Those who are not capable of reading between the lines, noticing lack of bravery, please I advise you to check up on the ones who you are usually so sure that are "okay". A simple, "how are you", goes a very long way.

I know I was hoping all day that someone would recognize I was not so myself and ask the question. Thankfully, my best friend did. It is nice to know someone sees you. To understand that you're human, and to remind you that you're human. The brave are allowed to fall.

I note that this also means, the brave need to allow for transparency. Because when you allow for others to see your struggle, it is easier for them to then offer a helping hand. Break your silence, even if it proves that you are not always brave.

Each individual has strengths and weaknesses. My weakness? Being weak. Allowing for myself to strip off the mask of " I am okay", and revealing the " I am not okay".

Again, to be brave is in fact a complicated gift. Being emotionally strong for others, does not mean you do not deserve to also be taken care of. To be offered the same respect of healing and love. Leave behind the idea that those managing others issues, means they can manage their own. Even the bravest of walls can come falling down.

It does not take long to ask a three worded question; " How are you?" I hope those are brave enough to answer honestly.

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