Shortly before I met my husband, a good friend of mine who had the thing I wanted (a family of her own), said to me, “You know, Mr. Wonderful isn’t going to just show up at your door if you stay home eating chocolate chip cookies and watching Netflix.” I was very disappointed at this revelation.
After that, I decided I was going to date like nobody’s business. I was going to get online, I wasn’t going to turn down any kind of setup scenario, and I was going to do this thing. I tried a lot of dating, and I have a lot of thoughts about dating.
But here’s the thing – since my early 30s when I became single after a very short marriage and divorce, and probably because of that marriage/divorce, I’ve learned a lot of things about love, what it is and what it is not.
Your goal may not be to meet Mr. or Ms. Wonderful. And this little blog post is for you too. Because loves takes so many more forms beyond the romantic kind of love, and well, the romantic kind of love is not the love of everyday life. Yes, you can still have romance after a number of years with someone, but if that’s what you’re basing the success of love on, you may be disappointed over time.
The first and most important kind of love is love for yourself. Without that, all else is lost. And, when you find love for yourself, you come to discover what it is that you want – do you want a partner, do you want a family, or maybe not? And, in determining that, if you really love yourself, you go after what it is that you want.
What I find about love – all love – to be true:
- It is about showing up. To yourself, to life, to people. Get dressed and go to the “party.”
- It is about being present, which is different than showing up. Wish it away all you want, right now is happening. Be there.
- It is about being happy rather than being right. Remind yourself before speaking, “Is it true, is it kind, is it necessary?” And also, “Would I rather be happy or right?”
- It is accepting, generous and forgiving. With time, we come to see the shortcomings as well as the positive attributes of another person. Try with every fiber of your being to see the positive every day. The more you shine the light on the negative, the more you see it. Obvious. But…true.
- It is action. Some days are hard. Life is difficult. As soon as you recognize this, you have more freedom.
- It comes around again, if you let it. Some of this also includes doing the work when it is required.
This morning, Valentine’s Day, I woke up with a sort-of, kind-of cold type thing and my daughter decided she wanted to wake up at 5am, yelling at the pacifiers in her crib and then doing a high-pitched scream. Love is this = walking in, picking her up and loving her just the same as if she’d woken up at 6am (aka “sleeping in”) and listening to her babble.
Love might also be = taking a walk on a cold February day, petting your dog/cat, sitting down to meditate, drinking a warm cup of tea, or calling a friend who needs a little love.