Love requires vulnerability. If you are not willing to surrender, to kneel down and offer up your gorgeous heart, true love cannot find you. I’m not talking about recklessness. Your heart is precious and you wouldn’t want to offer it up lightly. But if you are feeling that resounding yes about someone then you will have to find the courage to risk that your heart might be broken, and to trust that if it is, the breaking open will soften you and lead you to deeper healing, understanding and growth. I’m not just talking about romantic love, here.
In order to give love, you have to let go of any idea of quid pro quo. People are not property, and loving someone does not give you ownership of them. Saying, “I love you” is much different than saying, “I love you when you do what I want you to do”. This includes your children if you are a parent. (I’m not talking about teaching children how to be compassionate, accountable people, I’m saying sometimes parents have a hard time allowing their children to unfold. Carl Jung has a quote, “Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment than the unlived life of the parent”.) Love does not control or force or manipulate. It doesn’t cling or judge or punish. It opens and it accepts, it listens and it celebrates. It’s curious and it’s kind.
If love means accepting people as they are, it might also mean that sometimes you’ll have to love them from afar if the “as they are” part is too painful for you. This applies when we love people who are hurting themselves or hurting us. You cannot save anyone. You can love people with all your heart, but everyone has to do their own healing, their own work, their own saving.
Genuine love is not conditional. If you are telling a person they must be a certain way in order for you to keep loving them, you’re confused about love. Because love is a celebration, an honoring, a respecting, a giant, I can’t believe how amazing you are type of hang, you know? It’s like watching a sunset and having your mind and your heart blown wide open. It’s accepting the storms, the rain, the hail, the lightning, and the breeze that come along with the sunsets, too. That kind of love is within you, you’re made of it, and nothing feels better than uncovering it if you haven’t yet. I also hope that you are the recipient of that kind of awe. Sending you a big hit of it right now. Ally