I recently came across a box with some of my writing in it from the last thirty or so years.  I rather enjoyed seeing the changes  in style and outlook that I’ve made overtime.

Amongst the papers, I  found an old essay I had written back in high school for an assignment entitled “The Mystical Thing Called Love.”

I imagine many of the papers submitted for that task were fraught with drama and the reelings of  teenage romance and angst.

 I wrote back then:

“When you realise someone else has a strong hold over your heart, fear kicks in.”

“Be yourself. Living your life at a never-ending masquerade ball, will never lead to happiness. The ball will have to end sometime, and you could be left standing alone, glass slippers in hand.”

“Should you ever decide you are truly ready, jump in with both feet.  You will probably make some mistakes, but working together you will develop an understanding; a bond based on experience, honesty, and trust.  Bask in its glory. Remember how lucky you are to have found something strong and lasting.  There are many who never do.”

***

Much of the rest of it was the drivel of an inexperienced school girl. Reading it over now, I was amused to see the youthful folly of suppositions that must have been based on tv sitcoms and the calamity of all I had witnessed  in the lives of those around me.

And despite that I had listed it as a potential side effect at the time, I am happy to report that I do NOT believe that the throwing of dishes, pots and pans, or anything other projectile,  is an appropriate part of Love of any kind!

I smile to read the note at the bottom left by the student teacher who declared that I was very wise for one so young and that she hoped I didn’t mind that she took the liberty of keeping a copy for herself.   I was flattered of course, but all I really cared about then was the big fat “A” at the top of the page.  Heaven help that woman if she used it to guide her in matters of love because the rest of it was a bunch of malarkey!

***

As for the statements above, they are true enough, but you have to be able to let go of fear to Love completely.  And that can be a hard thing to do because you’re putting your faith and trust in someone else’s hands.  That kind of vulnerability takes great strength. It also means you have to be able to trust yourself.

Some say Love is a risk. I believe you have to do it anyway – no matter what the outcome.

I believe in… “Give it your all.”

If it doesn’t work out, take comfort in the fact that you had the courage to put yourself in it. And then ask yourself, “did you? Was there anything you could have done differently? And learn from it.

***

Love isn’t about trying to make everything perfect. It isn’t a fairytale, though it sure is amazing when it feels like it is!

And it doesn’t always come easy. Love is overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, holding on and choosing not to let go. Whatever path you walk, remember: it is always a choice.

Love is a commitment – without it, a relationship will not work. Relationships require investment.

Being in a relationship means: “I am there for you. You can count on me.”  And those are not meant to be mere words.

And if you’re not willing to back up your words with your actions, you’re not committed.  It’s up to you whether you want to let your life be a false advertisement for something that you don’t have in your inventory. You get to choose who you want to be.

If you’re not ready, that’s ok, just be honest about it. Your actions will always speak louder than your words and incongruency between the two can lead to angst, confusion and mistrust.

***

Most people want the benefits of the relationship with none of the responsibility. I am completely amazed when I hear people who are focused on only what they want and don’t care about what their partner wants or how they feel. You can’t maintain a lop-sided long lasting relationship anymore than you can build and maintain a lopsided house! They both WILL topple without a strong foundation.

 

happily ever after

 If you want a partner, you have to be 100% in it with them.

 It’s not 50-50. You BOTH have to give 100%

 

 

REMEMBER: You can’t get something out of a relationship that you are not willing to put in yourself.

Love is realizing that every hour, every minute, every second of it was worth it because you came through it together. Love is not just about the good times. Sometimes it’s a walk on the beach, sometimes it’s a roller coaster. It will be whatever kind of adventure you choose to make it.

Oh, there will likely be drama. And most of us only see our partner’s drama and not our own. Remember that what you see in others is a reflection of you.

On the other hand, if you both hold the highest intention of making it work, it can. Decide. The rest is just details.

You have to believe in the WE, not just the ME. And being committed to being in the We does not mean  losing yourself to it. On the contrary, when you are committed to each other’s happiness, you want each other to thrive.

***

One of the biggest challenges with maintaining a healthy relationship is understanding that you each have different needs. One person’s deep love strategy is usually different from their partner’s. What this means is that what it takes for your partner to feel deeply loved, is not likely what it means for you. And this means paying attention and caring enough to make the other person feel safe in the relationship. You want that, don’t you?

We all know that men and women think differently. Give some latitude, ask questions and be clear.

Most of us at times have thought we communicated exactly what we wanted and our partner doesn’t have a clue! If you aren’t specific with your partner, it’s not reasonable to get upset when they don’t know what you want, is it?

Communication is so important in a relationship. Honest and open communication keeps relationships afloat. Learn to listen to each other and recognise each others ways and respect your differences. Their thinking may not make sense to you, but you are not them. They come with their own history, just as you do.

Your reactions to your partner are always about YOU, not them. Have the courage to be honest and find that truth. Always respond with love and compassion. When you respond with anger, do you really think that will help dispel the issue? If you can both look at one another through eyes Love, and listen with ears of kindness and compassion, you can get through anything. You’re there to ease each other, to make life better for each other, so take down those walls and open up. The more you close yourself, the harder it will be. You get to be “right” or you get to be “happy.” And when you choose to focus on happy, you get both.

Love is about intimacy, affection, kindness, compassion and respect in all things. And it takes work, commitment, and the ability to lead each day with an open heart. And really great sex helps too!

The truth is, that romantic Love operates on the same principles as Love does, with a few extra pheromone requirements.

**

When I first decided to write this post I heard my ego say, “what on Earth do you know about love?”

But the authentic core of me smiled back and whispered. “You do know how to Love. You’ve always known how to Love.  Love is the way you live your life. Love is who you are.”

I KNOW this is the Truth. I Love fiercely and gently. And I know that Love is always the answer.

I have always gone about relationships with good intent. But in the past, it was never  in  a way that honoured me. I did not love myself then, and I just wanted to be loved.  I have always accepted people for who they are, and have always compromised who I am just to make it work. In the end, I never got what I needed from the relationship, but I learned to   recognise that it was me who never honoured that.

Why did I do it? Why do so many of us do it?

I  guess I never thought back then that my wants mattered.  I thought they were just the silly dreams of a romantic schoolgirl.

But you know what?  They do matter.  And yours do too.

And here I am today, still idealistic and romantic, and still believing in wonderful, magical, take your breath away kind of Love – sharing a  life with someone and looking forward in the same direction, no matter what comes. I’m in it for ups and downs. It’s those ups and downs and getting through it all that is the beauty of the relationship.

***

To truly Love another, you have to be able to Love yourself first.  You need to see the beauty and magnificence that you are to truly see and accept the beauty and magnificence of another.

“Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi

I have learned to be myself, with all that that may mean. Growing.  Learning to be open to love even when my thoughts are drifting to fear.  I also know that I deserve the same unconditional acceptance that I give.

Love is unconditional. It is about cherishing someone for all that they are not in spite of it.

“Love is a state of being.  Love is a place of growing.  Love is a way of seeing.  Love is a space of knowing. ”

Sometimes you’ll stumble as you learn to honour yourself, and Love is a safehaven to do so. It is a safe place to express your fears, your doubts, and your dreams.

If your relationship doesn’t give you the latitude to become your magnificent self, you might want to take a good, long, hard look at it. True love always adapts and adjusts. You deserve that kind of Love, don’t you?

***

What is Love to you?

Please share any comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 Responses to From Me to We With Love

  1. Matt says:

    This is one of the sweetest post had ever read about love in recent time. You have touched my heart and said everything about love and what it contains. I love your phrase of “you can’t give what you don’t have” I love that quote by Rumi too. There’s a lot of quotes I picked I was really blessed by you, reading it was like hearing your voice preaching a sermon to me. This is informative and educative. Thanks so much Shelly. You’re such a blessing and wonderful woman.

    • Thank you, dear Matthew. I am so glad the post resonated with you. There are so many important lessons to learn about Love from a practical standpoint. But the simple truth is, once we learn to just be Love, the rest takes care of itself, because we lead each moment with compassion and kindness. All we have to do is choose. You will, won’t you? I know you want to live your best possible life. And I wish it for you too.
      Always sending Love & Light xo

  2. Donna says:

    The gift of the pen, the love of the artist, all found here deep within. You are the gift my dear, dear friend. Beautiful! <3

  3. Deone Higgs says:

    You are truly a soul with a humongous heart, beloved. I really enjoyed the message you poured into this lovely post. To me, Love is a bountiful gift that invigorates those who are fortunate to know how to express it, as well as, receive it. It is one of the unfortunates of life that there are those who don’t know how, and really aren’t that interested in learning. Such is life, I guess.

    Great read, Shelley! Thank you for sharing. :)

    • Thank you so much, dear Deone. Likewise, my friend. Your giant heart is what brought us together as kindred spirits.

      You’re right. It is unfortunate that there are those that don’t ever get to experience the joys of love because they have closed themselves off from it. we all make our own choices.

      We are both very blessed to know what Love really is and to feel that wonderful, invigorating, joy. I live in gratitude every single day!

      Thanks for stopping by! xo

  4. Kayla Darling says:

    I’m 60 years old never married. Time plus no decision equals a decision. I think I have been waiting my whole life to read what you have posted. It gives me hope it may not be too late after all.

    • Hi Kayla, I’m so glad this post spoke to you. It’s not too late to find love. If love is in your heart, if you love yourself, and you can be love in a world that needs more love, then love will come to you. Just keep leading with your big beautiful heart and count all your wonderful blessings. Things have a way of falling into place for those who believe. xox

      Hope you’ll subscribe and be back for another visit! ((hugs))

  5. Austin Grady says:

    I’m an anti-aging coach who believes that when we reach middle age, it is time to heal whatever is unhealed and finish whatever remains incomplete. We do this so we can move on to fulfilling the magnificent purpose we came here for. A significant amount of the unhealed and unfinished business we have relates the lessons on love that you share in this post. Love does require a 100% commitment. Communication is required. The needs of both must be honored.

    Loving this way teaches us how to authentically express forgiveness, compassion, empathy, generosity and faith. Love also transforms us and prepares us for the best that is yet to come. So, like your student teacher, I am taking the liberty of saving a copy of this post so I can share it with clients!

    • Thank you so much, Austin. I am honoured by your kindness.

      What a wonderful approach to living! I too believe we must heal what is unhealed and finish what remains incomplete. Our lessons are always about love – unconditional love of ourselves and of others. It IS transforming.

      How fortunate are those whose lives you touch with your beautiful soul and your wonderful words of wisdom. Namaste, my friend.

  6. Sharon O'Day says:

    I thought I had figured most of the “love stuff” out over the years, but this post just highlighted a handful I had never thought of. Thanks for filling in the gaps, Shelley. Maybe THAT’s why I’m single … 😉

    • We all learn from each other every day, Sharon. (Well, at least when we’re open to learning.) I’m a sentimental sop, but I finally learned that walking away when the going gets tough is not always the right answer. Sometimes the work we need to do is within ourselves and then we see the relationship in a whole new light. Live with an open heart and love will simply flow. :)

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