We aren't who we used to be.
Humanity has changed a lot since Adam and Eve. We no longer place importance on the same things people did ten, fifty, one hundred, one thousand years ago. Now we measure days in coffee cups and snoozed alarms, always on the go, and we forget to appreciate life; we forget to be.
Love is a sticky, tricky, difficult little thing.
Most of my life, I'd believed love to be just that: sticky, tricky, difficult -- painful, even. I believed love was a sacrifice, that someone was always abandoning their needs and letting the other half of the relationship have everything they desire. Most of my relationships have been exactly like this. So many ups and downs, I never knew where we stood, and I was always feeling lost because I was easily forgotten. I was always giving so much of me that I had nothing left to give myself.
Love isn't a sacrifice. I don't know how many times I've had to remind myself of that. If anyone puts you in a place where you're sacrificing your needs, beliefs, morals, or overall health with little regard or respect for you, you need to run for the hills.
I've been in too many relationships where they tried to convince me to give up parts of myself, my beliefs, convictions, to please them. That's not healthy, and that's not right. It is, essentially, extremely inappropriate and disrespectful. If someone loves you, they will not [try to] force you to change. They will grow with you, wait with you, learn with you, and just love you for who you are. It took me a while to learn that. I'm still learning.
Love isn't uncomfortable. I have found that some people get more into me than I am into them. When someone loves you more than you love them (or claims to), and they try and force you into feeling things for them when you aren't ready, again, run for the hills. You should never allow yourself to feel uncomfortable or unsafe in a relationship. Set boundaries, and if they aren't respected, please leave that person behind. You deserve better.
Love isn't ownership. I'll say it again: Love is not ownership. You still own your life. You are not a trophy, a prize to be attained, won, shown off. You are human. You belong to you. You have the right to make choices, especially when it comes to you and your interests.
Love isn't abuse. Keep in mind there are multiple forms of abuse: emotional, physical, sexual, mental.
Love is respect, kindness, listening, fulfilling, understanding, communication, forgiveness, loyalty, trust, grace, and so many more things.
You matter. You are worthy of radical love, you have value, you have a voice.
You deserve respect, attention, appreciation of the things you like and do.
Don't allow yourself to settle for something less. There are good things, good people, there is good out there.
Love big. Love boldly. Love fiercely. Love others. Love yourself. You are so smart, kind, and important.