I had a conversation with one of my most amazing friends about my tense relationship with my daughter. She said to me, “You just have to learn her new love language. How you loved her when she was a child is different from how you have to love her as a teenager.” I often take notes from our conversations because she has such a profound way of looking at life’s little lessons. I want to go in each situation with guns blazing! And she’s the calmer one who encourages me to put the guns down – there’s a time to go off and there’s a time to reflect. I digress…
Anyway, our conversation about love language caused me to reflect on LOVE. What is it? Why do we want it so bad? Where did the desire to want love come from? Why is it so important to us?
In today’s world, we use the term “love” so loosely. I’m guilty of doing this myself. I love my buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese dish. I love my house, it’s so cozy. I love my brand new pair of thigh high boots. I love the color red. Love, love, love. Or how about the man who punches his wife in the face like she’s a dude and later comes back to say, “Baby, you know I love you. I just get mad sometimes. I promise I won’t do it again.” Or the sick pervert who rub the little boy’s leg after basketball practice and says, “You know I love you the most. You’re my favorite because you’re special.”
Love is loosely expressed in so many ways and that’s why I say it has many faces. So why am I calling it “love”. Because oftentimes we bandage our bad behavior with the term we search for so fervently: LOVE. We want it. We need it. My aunt told me once that a man doesn’t love you unless he beats you. I was a kid when she planted that nonsense in my spirit! I was taught early that love hurts. That was my face of love. A punch. A broken rib. A black eye. So I didn’t want it anymore. I built a wall of protection against what my perception (or face) of love. Only to find out years later that what I thought was love wasn’t really love at all. Turns out that love doesn’t hurt.
So what is your face of love? How does love look to you? Is it forgiving? Is it kind? Is it manipulative to get what you want? If you’re not used to receiving pure, unconditional love (the kind that is given in all sincerity without you having to do anything to gain), then you may not easily recognize this face of love and you may then do things to sabotage relationship. I’ve seen it over and over again. Hell, I’ve done it over and over again when I was in my early 20’s. I’m not proud of how I treated people. It wasn’t until I started working on my self-worth that I began to see what love really is … it started with me learning to love me. Then I could love others without causing harm or being manipulative. Transparency comes when you’re honest with yourself and where you are at that particular time. I had a choice to make. And I chose unconditional, unwarranted, unsuspecting, and unapologetic love. Love is action. It is a choice. It is work. And the face of love I am referring to in this post is the one that does not hurt. So again I ask, what is your face of love? Does it need to change? Does it need to be tweaked? Does it need to be adjusted? Only you can decide. #lovedoesnothurt #butitdoesexist #anditisattainable