Last week I started doing sun salutations again as an incentive to get out of bed once the alarm goes off in the morning without the added pressure to leave the threshold of my bedroom. Yoga helps ease the transition between my (usually) euphoric dream state, and the stressful environment of my reality. I revel in a moment of complete tranquility to set my intention for the day.
This morning I was considering the beliefs of two of my closest friends. One of them is an atheist & another, a pious Christian. Yet, they both receive the same level of comfort from their own knowledge of God. I listened to my friend cry their heart out, and then find solace in a biblical scripture the following morning. The physical remains of the night before lie strewn in the Kleenex across the bedroom floor, but all emotional turmoil had dissipated. Their identity and understanding of the universe are ground in that scripture.
I’ve listened to my other friend express their knowledge of the formation of Earth and how human life came to be. Their solace lies in knowing the true origins of life and being brash enough to accept it in the face of disbelief. Their worth wound around complex hypothesis. Perhaps, the universe expresses God as we wish to accept it to be used as a vessel for attaining peace.
What does it mean to love?
Is it a noun or is it a verb?
Is it a feeling, anything more than just a word?
For years I mused what the essence of love could possibly mean.
I’ve heard that it can make you feel as royal as the queen
As high as a kite
As if you lie on cloud nine.
I thought love was possession,
But I learned my lesson when the man I thought I loved didn’t respect my discretion.
Love became an interjection to the usual direction of my life, a lesson I was not ready to learn. I became afraid to love.
Real love is simple, uncomplicated and unadulterated giving. I’ve spent my whole life trying to get a man to love me by changing myself to suit his needs. I sought unconditional love by giving myself conditions to be loved. I thought, “He must love me because I’m smart. Or, he must love me because my makeup is perfectly applied and my curls are intact.” In my heart, I believed that once these conditions were removed, the love would be also. Many men proved my theories to be true. But, what I didn’t understand was, these men sought my body and lusted after me. I never loved them, nor did they love me.
Love at its core is the act of selfless giving. Giving your all to someone just to see them smile is loving. There is no required reciprocal act because making your lover happy makes you equally happy. Both lovers will do the same for each other when the love is shared between two people, causing their love to grow. Love is indeed an action word that should be displayed through acts of affection, kindness, and giving. There are different ways to express love and the way it is shown to the ‘beloved’ depends entirely on their ‘lover’, but it is most definitely always shown.
My greatest mistake in love was trying to change myself to be worthy of love. This caused my self-worth and self-love to dwindle. Changing myself instead of expressing my love for the person that holds my affection proved to them that I was not worthy of love. I was untrustworthy. If even my love for myself was conditional, how could they love and trust me to love them for who they are? It would be impossible for love to grow between us when I was too afraid to release any love from my being into someone else. My reserves of love were so depleted that I hoarded all ounces of warmth that I possessed.
It was only when I began to love myself, that I became able to trust my body to regenerate love once it had been shared with others, that I was abe to give love freely. I had to fall in love with myself before I was capable of loving anyone else. Once I was comfortable sharing my love, I poured it into a man who I trusted would do the same for me. We fell in love through acts of kindness, affection, honesty and pure intentions. It is love at it’s simplest form.