It’s a long day. You’re at the end of your rope. You’re trying to survive and get through the day just to do it again the next day. The mundanity eats away at your demeanor; your smile is frayed, your nerves are shattered, your self-esteem has reached a new low.
You take a moment to breathe. To reassess the day and change your perspective. You start to say the good things of the day. Your mood is slowly changing to one of appreciation.
Love is turning on the light on what is hidden.
Before I understood self love, I understood loving others. I understood loving them past my ability to love myself. I understood loving them sometimes meant caring for myself because of them. I understood putting them on pedestal at the expense of my self worth. I understood diminishment. I understood internalizing blame.
When I think of love and all the weight it carries, I think of how many times we get it wrong. How we become possessive. How we conquer. How we manipulate. How we destroy. I’m realizing this isn’t love at all. It’s misguided. It’s wrong. And frankly, it’s time we unpack what love truly is.
It’s permission to be who you are without condemnation.
It’s in the “I will wait for you as long as it takes because you’re it for me” (more to come on this in another blog post).
It’s when you express Wednesdays are a hard day and on a Wednesday, you find your mailbox contains a letter reminding you of your greatness. Calling forth your strength. Sending you energy to be the best you, you can be.
It’s when you need to cry without judgement. And the arms hold you as long as you need; rubbing the small of your back, while soothing away all your worries with the steady sound of your heartbeats.
It’s when you can’t articulate what’s wrong. And the response is, “I understand. Take your time.” It’s giving you the time you need without pressuring you. It’s reminding you that presence is there when you need it and presence is actually there when you need it.
It’s in the consistency of offering words of affirmation. It’s follow through. It’s effective communication even when it’s hard. It’s exhale, it’s stillness. It’s peace.
It’s the holding of hands when your spirit is broken. The kiss on your forehead to still the insecure thoughts. The gentle smile that beckons you near, away from the internal anguish. It’s the laugh that chips away at your hard exterior. That inspires you to let down your walls. That helps you rebuild. It’s healing.
It’s in the reminder that accountability doesn’t mean absorption of blame but rather freedom to forgive yourself. The reminder that grace shouldn’t only be extended externally but should be saved for self as well.
Too often, we engage in relationships that border on abuse and call it love. In our desperation to prove ourselves worthy; we stay, we shrink, we justify, we change, we break, we shatter only to repeat this cycle until we no longer recognize ourselves.
When that true love does come, we are so jaded and cynical and distrustful, we do not know how to accept it. We push it away, we tell it we aren’t worthy, we sabotage, and yet, that love stays and reminds you just how worthy you are.
For a long time, I saw love through a lens of control and abuse. If I wasn’t hurting, then it couldn’t be love. If things didn’t escalate to blows, there was no way this was a true relationship.
I’m learning now, this wasn’t love. Some days, I still struggle with accepting patience, kindness, humility, honor, reverence, peace, truth, protection, and grace.
Yet the beauty in true love is that it is constant, unwavering, and reassuring. It teaches and reaffirms until all the learned toxic traits are eradicated.
It’s the end of the long day. Know that the process to healthy love is not linear and will be a constant battle between what you’ve known and what you are learning. Be kind to yourself in this process. Shake the bullshit off. Remember you are enough as you are. Remember love. Remember wholeness. Remember you are worth every good thing this world has to offer. Know it is coming. Know it is not easy. Know that this process will allow you to debunk all the misaligned beliefs you held on to for so long. Happy healing.