What is love and where do we find it?
What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you think of love? Was it Jack and Rose sharing a kiss, arms extended over the bow of the Titanic, or maybe you find yourself in a darker place right now, believing that scenes like that don’t really exist. That love is nothing more than a black abyss. I’ve lived with both mindsets, only to recently have come back to the side that true love does exist. Only this time I know it doesn’t begin with finding another person, but ultimately with finding you.
From an early age, we are taught to believe that love can only be achieved through finding another human being. Don’t believe me? Think back to the movies and television shows you used to watch when you were younger. I suffered through the ending of a long-term relationship almost three years ago. Little did I know, the effects of that would reignite embers that were still smoldering from years prior. Shortly after my breakup, I was hell-bent on getting back out into the dating world. I wanted to prove my ex wrong, I wanted to show her that someone out there wanted me. But how could someone want me, if I really didn’t even want myself? I began following a few individuals on Instagram whose words had resonated with me, and eventually found myself in weekly therapy. This would all be the beginning of a process that would link my past with the present. In other words, I was walking down the path of self-healing, without even realizing it.
So what does love mean to me? It’s that euphoric feeling inside, when you’re doing something that makes you feel alive. It’s watching a colorful sunrise before the world wakes up. It’s hiking through the woods for hours with nothing but the sound of your breath. It’s camping out at a weekend music festival. It’s traveling to new places, seeing new sights and meeting new faces for the very first time. It’s playing with puppies on a sandy beach. It’s sitting on the couch writing pieces like this. Where can we find this elusive thing called love? Well, it’s been beating inside of us since the day we were born.
The path back to self-love isn’t an easy one. It starts by taking a look in the mirror and facing yourself head on. Calling yourself out on the bullshit you’ve hidden behind. It’s painful, it’s lonely and there are days you want to give up, but releasing yourself back into the world half-hearted, will do you no good. You’ll only be depriving yourself of the very thing you’ve been searching for this whole time, love.