And I don’t even know where to start.
For me, and for a lot of us, it was through trial and error.
All trial, and a lot of errors.
There were times in my life that all I did was searching to find love, chasing after it.
Even today, I still find myself searching for love.
Why is that? Why is it so hard to find love?
Love means different things to different people.
I remember vividly, when I was a very young kid, I wanted to help my mom in the kitchen. She was about to cook us a good dinner, and I wanted to help her out with what she may need.
And so I told her that I wanted to help her, which was my way of showing I love her.
What she did? She shooed me away.
She told me she didn’t need me in the kitchen, and that she can manage all on her own. That it was dangerous to be in the kitchen with her, and that I might get hurt, wounded, or worse.
That she was used to her own way around the kitchen, and that I might just get in the way. I was almost crying, and she tried to assure me that it wasn’t because I was doing anything wrong, it was because she was just looking out for me.
It had more to do with how she worked in the kitchen, rather than how much I could help. After that, I couldn’t remember anything else she had said.
That might have been the first version of “It’s not you, it’s me,” that I’ve heard.
People have different ways of giving love, and they have different ways that they prefer to receive love. And with the different, mismatched expectations people can have, we may already be showing love, and receiving love, but it’s in a way that doesn’t work for us.
Like a language we don’t understand. Even in love, we can be speaking different languages.
We have no idea what love is.
Put another way, “What is love?”
And it means different things to different people. I have something, and you have something.
The beauty and pitfall is that we’re both right. We’re right, according to ourselves, but not necessarily by others.
Love is personal. Very, very, personal.
And it can get hard to find it when we’re asking other people who may not understand what love is for us, and have no idea what we’re looking for.
Or that we can’t even say clearly what love is for us. What it looks like, what it feels like. Will I know when I see it? When I feel it?
I thought I did. Now, looking back, I’m not so sure.
What I was looking for, what I thought was love, turned out to be different things – acceptance, support, comfort, familiarity, excitement, romance, passion, lust, sex, safety, pride, and forgiveness, among many others.
Feelings, things that could be love, maybe even part of love. Maybe.
Love comes from within.
Because one way that I went around looking for love, was to go around looking for it in things, places, experiences, and most of all, other people.
And sometimes, I found it. I found something, somewhere, somebody, someone, to love me.
And it didn’t last long.
I always kept on looking for more and more. For the other person, the experience to tell me I’m worth it. To validate me, myself, and I. Unknowingly, I was asking them to give me love, the love that I needed to live. The love that I needed to give to myself.
I thought being in a relationship is about loving fully the other person, and allowing them to love you back fully.
And that’s right.
What’s not said there, is that each person needs to love themselves as well, and learn to love themselves fully also.
The phrase “You complete me,” may sound totally romantic, but it’s not true. For the long run, we can’t rely on others to provide us with all the love we need. Heck, even in the best relationships, there are times when the they don’t even do loving things to each other!
You complete you. You also have to love yourself. You become a complete whole, that is then capable of loving another complete whole.
Your person, your worth, how lovable you are, isn’t determined by others. Isn’t in the hands of others, it’s in your own hands.
But we forget that. We let others tell us, determine how lovable we are, living and dying by their love or rejection, or whatever they choose to do to us.
Most of the time. We never learn.
We never learned in the first place.
To love our self. To give love to our self. To allow ourselves to love our self. To forgive our self.
It’s not love that’s hard to find.
It’s our self.
How have you found love? Please share in the comments below!