There are different kinds of love but we usually talk about love within a romantic relationship; the kind of love that make our eyes shine bright and our heart skip a beat. This kind of love is seen everywhere on social media, movies, novels, books and magazines. It is as if we had an obsession to achieve that indestructible kind of love that can overcome any obstacle.
Every day we are expose to new information or tips on love. We hear how we should attract it, what it takes to have a meaningful relationship, how to find true love, how to maintain a healthy relationship etc. They are constantly reminding us of what we are doing wrong and what we should start doing in order to have a loving relationship and keep the fire burning. I’m not an expert on love or relationships, but I am well aware that you can’t find love simply by reading a book, attending a seminar or writing down what you wish to attract in your life.
Love is something that each person builds on their own depending on the collection of their individual experiences.
Perhaps by reading a book you will realize you need to make a change, or maybe attending a seminar will make you aware of a relationship blockage you’ve carried out through life, but all of this will be useless if you are not willing to make the necessary changes in order to truly attract the love you deserve. No book will ever make prince-charming knock at your door. It’s like when the doctor gives us medication for our recovery; if we don’t follow it, is very likely that we will not feel better.
The final decision is always in our hands.
If we let ourselves get carried away by what society tells us or suggests to us to do in a relationship, we would be limiting ourselves to feel and live our own experience. We build love with each experience and it helps us mold ourselves in a way that we can achieve authentic relationships that allows us to grow and be.
We are raised following the example of our parents or primary caregivers. They are the first figures that teach us about “love” or “loving another person.” As we grow, mature and go through different experiences, we begin to realize that what we lived with them may not be the kind of love we want to repeat. We may want something similar but better, or something completely different. Everyone knows his or her story and everyone knows what has left an emotional scar.
At an early age we are exposed to the dynamics of love between mom and dad or depending on the primary caregiver we had. Perhaps we remember our mother bringing coffee to dad every day at 5:30 a.m. or perhaps dad would bring chocolate to mom after an argument, even though he wasn’t capable of apologizing. Maybe we had an upbringing where violence was equivalent to love. Maybe we faced the void of one of our parents, and saw how our mother or father took responsibility for both roles, or perhaps we didn’t have any of our parents and we learned how to love from the people around us.
Every person has a story we are unaware of. Love has a different meaning for each person and we all express it differently depending on our external and internal influences. When we begin to be more aware of this, we understand that we all interpret love in a different way and we all love in the best possible way. By becoming aware of this, we take away the other’s responsibility to love us as we want, and we begin to accept them for who they are and what they share with us.
Maybe we feel the same way, but we show it differently. It doesn’t mean that I love you less; it just means I love you in a way that is different from yours.
If they taught us how to love at or gave us a magic solution at a young age in order to achieve a loving and fulfilling relationship, it would take away the value of the relationships we establish throughout our lives. With each relationship experience we discover what love means to us, and that determines the type of relationship we establish with ourselves, the types of partners we choose, what we tolerate and accept within a relationship.
Whatever kind love and affection we received at a young age was the one we needed in order to become the person we are today. It’s very easy to blame mom and dad for what they didn’t give us; but taking responsibility for the emptiness we feel, allows us to transform it into a treasure that helps us heal, and this way we can change our story and love differently.
Love doesn’t come with instructions. Everyone writes their love story as they go and when we choose a partner to walk with us we need to make some adjustments. Walking side by side with somebody means there’s a clash of two worlds full of fears, insecurities, expectations, and intentions. These aspects are triggered when we cross paths because the other person reflects who we are and what we need to work on. Which is why we can’t really define “love” or what is means to give love because we all carry baggage filled with experiences that have shaped us, and the only way we can learn about love is when we undress (metaphorically) ourselves; meaning when we strip off the layers of doubts and insecurities and let the other person see us for who we are.
Far beyond loving someone else, it’s how we love ourselves, what we allow ourselves to feel and express, what we allow to come in and let go. Loving another person is a decision we make everyday and we can’t rely on what we have learned from our parents, books, or other people’s experiences.
Love is an individual process, we give it meaning and bring it to life.
We can’t determine when love will arrive in our lives. It usually arrives when both souls are prepared to meet. This path blossoms when both are conscious of what they have to offer and share to each other and continue growing. Love is always around us, but when it knocks at our door we need to be aware that if we let it in, it should be to transform us and help us to see life in a whole new way.
It’s no longer about what I want or what I need, but more of what we can both contribute to continue growing together.