This Is How You Learn To Love

The subject of love has become quite the spiel of conversation through almost all medians of communication. We hear about it. Read about it. Sing about it. Feel about it. But do we really know anything about it?

I don’t doubt that we do. But perhaps, even our general understanding of it is misdirected and miscued.

Though this may sound speculative, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never particularly thought I was naturally ‘good’ or ‘productive’, sort of speak, at loving.

I suppose it’s easy to idealistically write and proclaim the ins and outs of its dynamics, especially when you have some baggage to use as ample resource – But it’s all essentially baseless. There is never an ultimate one-fits-all resolution when dealing with the matters of the heart. No matter how inexperienced or experienced one may be, it is nevertheless a daunting road.

Even now, four bountiful years into a partnership, I have found myself confounded in figuring out what is the best way to love, or how to adequately immerse in a love so deep without caving myself in all together.

How do I know if I’m failing at love, or what if I’m not loving enough?

I have never been one to completely and wholly surrender myself to someone because it’s never seemed necessary to me. The inward workings of attributes and traits that generate my being insist I do otherwise.

I like having my own space. I like hearing myself think. I yearn for distance. I need time by my lonesome to fully understand myself and to therefore, understand anyone else.

I… I.. I.. That’s all you’ve read so far. For the first time in what felt like a suffocating century, that is what I am delighted to read and embody too – Myself. And I refuse all mandates that shame for it.

I am finally tending to my wants, and urging that vitality in which viscerally requites all other aspects of my life. These self-serving engagements are what stimulate my love. The love for my family. The love for my craft. The love for him.

The love for myself.

This has to be important. Myself. Yourself. That love above all else matters.

Is it wrong to find time with yourself more valuable than time with anyone else? Selfish? 

Perhaps. I guess we’re expected to disengage with our inflictions in order to rid ourselves of this despicable trait along with these desires. That expectation, however, comes with the price of disengaging with yourself all together.

If we cannot be upfront and honest about those very desires that fuel our capabilities of love, not only would we be manicuring ourselves to the universal standards and directives on how to love, but we would also be deceiving those who construct our very love. Which in turn, deceives and demeans the love we have for ourselves – For our needs. For our desires.

This desperate endeavor to find meaning and direction in love doesn’t always end up as gratifying as we expect it to. Mostly because, well, we’re not allowing love, in its most natural and instinctual form, to be liberated. To primarily feel it inwards, versus outwards.

It’s difficult to not get caught up within supposed romanticized ideals and cookie-cutter templates our relationships are insisted to emulate. However, some of these fables which tell us how to properly operate in a relationship and project love are overarching – And in some ways, they desensitize the purity of it.

These rubrics are right about one thing though: a relationship of love does take a hell of a lot of effort bearing time and patience. Lot and lots of it. That very same vigorous effort should then be distributed evenly in a relationship with yourself.

An even bigger concealed truth is that there is no better find than to find that love within yourself. For yourself. Dismantle what you may think you know about love, and revitalize the love you once knew. The love that has always resided within you, and has never and will never flee from you. Give yourself to yourself.

What a beautiful surrender, indeed. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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