For my life, I can say that I have only really been in love 3 times.
Like head over heels, I cannot breathe if he leaves the room–I drown in his eyes, type of love. I have only experienced that 3 times. And it has been the most glorious adventure I have ever been on. It has lead to the memories joyous and explicit! It has given me fodder to writer, and strength to keep going. I have only felt that less than a handful of times.
I have also been in a situation where I didn’t know if the person that loved me would try to kill me. I have been in the situation where I didn’t know what would set this man off! I have been in a positions, of my own stupidity (in hindsight) that caused me to ignore glaring signs that this relationship was a liability, and never going to be an asset. I have been on the receiving end of not being wanted, knowing I wasn’t wanted, and walking away worse than I was before.
In the charge I keep as a writer, in this space that I have hewn out, I would be remiss in my duties as that and also virtual big sister, to now remind you of a simple thing.
People that love you do not hurt you.
They don’t go out of their way to take from you, to make you dim your star! They don’t make it a mission to see you cry. They want the best for you! Ossie Davis, the famous actor married to the lovely Ruby Dee for over 50 years, says it this way:
“I love you means I want the best for you; whether that benefits me or not.”
I try to live by that. The men that I have shared this love with, I have tried to honor. I have yielded, given up opportunities, and thrown my full support behind what it is they wanted to do. I have prayed, given money, time–and my body to appease the relationship in making it better.
That didn’t always work.
However, what did work was me remembering to love myself!
Dating violence never starts with the hits to the face.
It starts with the obsessive calls sometimes. It starts with supervising your friendships,. Not supporting what you wanted to do. Minimizing what it is you want to do, thinking that it’s trival or less important to what you want to do. It is the steady, constand ebbing and erosion of who you are to the poijt you look in the mirror and theirs a stranger looking back at youLove is not one of those things where you have guess.
Healthy love affirms. It strengthens. It encourages. It allows room for growth and change. Love is like water (using the Bruce Lee analogy). It is formless, shapeless. Love, when it is healthy, can conform to whatever state it is in. It can flow and crash. It is a sustaining element in the lives of people. And sometimes one of the most manipulated when in the clutches of those with bad intentions.
What I need you to remember is love is never supposed to make you question your self-worth or the relationship. Love, healthy love, is not susceptible to selfish ‘if/then’ statements. It does not demand more of you than you are comfortable. It strengthens your inner most self. If it does not do that, dearest one, then it is not love.
If the love your give to someone is only one-sided, and your needs go unmet. It is not love.
Love does not want to devour all that you are. Love is powerful enough to open and expand to encompass two people, and all they will accomplish together. Love is gracious enough to remind, to secure and to remind of what can be better. Love is not, should not, be subjected to this phrase:
“If you love me, then you will.” If you don’t do it, then you don’t love me.”
Love is never, and will never leave you unsure. That is the adventurous nature of this. There are points where you wonder “What is happening and is this real?” From the most joyous portions of your soul and heart. Then there are the aches where you ask the same question wondering how you let something that started so sweetly, through tears that never seem to stop. Through the jumps in your belly when you see this person that you love, and you now begin t question if you love them enough to stop loving you.
Love is never unsure. It is never meant to be unsure.
If you take nothing from the wisdom of your Big Sis this morning, take this.
You are in control of your life. You determine who stays in it, who should go, and what role everyone should have. In the case of romantic relationships if the relationship is constructed to the point that your voicing of opinions and needs is seen as an issue–this is not love and is not worth of they of your time, energy. The only thing worse than a broken heart is wasted time!
Beloveds, life is too short not to be loved and loved as you desire to be loved in return.
[images from sayingimages.com, funfastpropef.gq]