Love every person you meet, but love you more.
I love love.
I enjoy the expansion and the sadness. Yes, sadness is a part of love too.
I have loved deeply and not so deeply.
I have loved for the long haul and for the moment. Love does not have a shelf life. It comes and goes and lasts however long it lasts.
I have fallen into love. And I have also walked into love with my eyes wide shut.
I fell in love for the first time in 7th grade. I loved a short, blond-haired, basketball playing kid who was none the wiser. I watched him from afar, every single day; cheering him on from the space between my ears. I did not know his name and he did not know I existed. My love lasted the entire school year, before my feelings faded with the distance of summer vacation.
I fell in love again in 8th grade and a few times in high school too. These were not just crushes, what I felt was much deeper than that. This was the palpable kind of love, the kind that makes you daydream. You know, the butterfly kinda love. The kind of love that changes your wardrobe and your attitude. It was the feel it in the bottom of your belly kind of love, and I felt it every single time. But it never lasted.
My first enduring love lasted for several years. It was a volatile kind of love. The highs were high and the lows were low. We were young and emotionally immature. We fought over missed phone calls and movie endings. We argued for good reason and no reason. But our love was madly, deeply, true. We loved one another until love was not a good enough reason to stay. And then it ended, on a high note.
I married my next love. I knew he was going to be my husband on our first date. Our love made sense. I was the calm to the storm of his past. And he was my knight in shiny southern armor. Our love was riddled with a silence that felt abusive because communication wasn’t his thing. So I suffered and endured, biting my tongue all too often. We never talked about our changing feelings or the fact that we were not the same people we were when we started. When the shit hit the fan it was too late to talk. He moved on and I moved out. We still love each other to this day, just not the same as we used to.
I took a break from love before diving again. Taking time to learn what I liked and what I didn’t. I dated a lot. Younger, older, and married. I dated a guy with a french accent who loved cooking, but he was totally obsessed with mold. I grew fond of a guy who had the face only a mother could love, but he had Mc Dreamy charisma, and he knew how to show a girl a good time. Then there was the traveling salesman from Ireland, he had an awesome smile and great taste in wine. Some of these guys were jerks, while others were geeks. They each offered a glimpse at a different part of myself.
Then I stumbled into love by accident. We met under peculiar circumstances. He was wounded and I tried to heal him. I was unsuccessful. Love can ease pain and it can cure terrible ills, but it takes time. I discovered that I didn’t have that kind of time. So we parted ways.
And then I began a love affair with the one I have been waiting for my entire life – me. It took me over 35 years to meet me. I traveled a long road to see the true beauty in my own reflection, to appreciate the expansive nature of my mistakes, and to give myself permission to experience real pleasure.
The loves that came before me were my guides, leading me home to my one and only. I am grateful for the heartbreaks and the tears, the joys and the sorrow. The loves of my past were each wonderful teachers, they schooled me on how to be unapologetically me.
I have learned that love never grows the same way twice. Even if you circle back and love the same person again, the love will never be the same. Love changes because we change. Love is adaptable because we are. And loving yourself is the only way to wholly and completely love another.
Love never grows the same way twice… (tweet this)
Love every person you meet. Love them fully and with minimal conditions, but love you more. Love yourself with no conditions at all. Love yourself with all the fervor and passion that your heart can muster. Love every part of you, as you are today. Love your light and your darkness. Love yourself enough to accept your duality and your flaws.
The greatest love of all will always be you.