Lately I’ve had love on my mind a lot. I think we all do, no? For me, right now I’m thinking a lot about marriage and what that will mean. I just got engaged last week, in case you hadn’t heard. 🙂 So yes, I’m thinking a lot about the wedding, how to decorate, what to wear, what to serve, the list goes on and on it seems (!!!!!!!). But I’ve also been reflecting a lot on Trey’s and my relationship and how things have played out. We are one of those couples who nearly didn’t get together. We almost didn’t start dating, because I was very closed off to the idea. We dated in college, and it had not turned into a positive relationship in my life. I held onto that for years. So this time around I wasn’t open to falling in love. But then I took a chance. And, thankfully, it paid off in a big way.
Of course, love isn’t always about romance. We all receive and give love in so many different ways to so many different people in our lives. And I think we can all agree we all need love. It’s absolutely necessary to having a happy life. Since I have love on the brain these days, I thought today we could discuss a few thoughts on the subject. Here are a few things I feel strongly about, and I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.
1. First, you have to love yourself.
We all come from different backgrounds. Some of us grew up in a loving and encouraging family, and some of us didn’t. We’ve probably all had some kind of relationship in our lives that has left us feeling hurt. You can’t control your outside circumstances. I wish we could. What you can control is your own choices. It can be hard to love when you feel broken. If you don’t come to any relationship (romantic, friendship, family) whole, you end up (1) asking others to fill in the broken pieces or (2) shutting them out completely. You first have to love yourself. Then, you can offer relationships your strengths rather than looking to them to fix your weaknesses. We all have the power to make this decision no matter what hand life has dealt us.
2. Be someone you would love.
It is always easier to blame others. Always. What’s hard is looking to yourself and realizing that maybe it’s you who needs to change. Before you have amazing relationships you have to be someone you would love. Be the mother you would want. Be the girlfriend you would fall in love with. This is a lifelong process the important people in your life will help you with if you are open to it. Stop focusing on others’ shortcomings so much and instead work on yourself.
3. Love deeply.
Don’t hold back. Don’t hold grudges. Go all in. We’ve probably all been hurt before, and I’m not saying we should ignore those situations. But. Don’t let past hurts prevent you from making new relationships or falling in love. This almost happened to me. I was hurt and felt justified in my unwillingness to forgive even though my circumstances had changed. And this attitude nearly prevented me from meeting my future husband. Don’t be afraid to love deeply. It can be scary to depend on anyone. Be open. Be brave.
4. Choose your important relationships.
I truly believe that we should love everyone. An attitude of love to your fellow citizens is a great way to live your life. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone did this? However, this does not mean that you should open yourself up to being hurt over and over again. Choose the people who you cultivate important relationships with. If someone has continually been a negative influence in your life, or doesn’t treat you the way you deserve, then they should not receive the privilege of being one of your close relationships. Focus on the positive influences in your life. Love them deeply (see point 3).
5. Love is work.
Every important relationship in your life requires attention in order for it to grow. I am so guilty of being that friend who doesn’t call back. It is SO easy to get busy with your life, with work or school or whatever you are passionate about and not focus on cultivating the love in your life. I should get dinner with my parents more often. I should get coffee with my sister more (work meetings don’t count!). I should find ways to show Trey I love him more often. If you neglect any relationship it will decline over time. I’ve had many friends over the years that I’ve sort of drifted apart from simply because I didn’t make time for them. Being a giving and loving person takes a lot of intential effort. And that’s something that I’m working on this year.
What about you? Any thoughts on love you’d like to share? xo. Silva