The #1 thing I wish I learned @ 17 is What Is Love
Do you think you know what Love really is? When I was 17 I’m pretty sure I thought I knew, when in reality I truly did not.
No one ever told me or showed me what love was. My parents divorced when I was 5.
My mother hated my father and vice versa, and they weren’t big enough to rise above that for
the sake of the children. My father was almost entirely absent in my life, and my mother bad-
mouthed him every chance she got. Since she worked 3 jobs to support 3 kids and a home, she
was never around much either. My older brother and sister got away with everything, and I was
told that I was a mistake and the reason for my parents’ break-up. In our home, no one ever
said “I love you,” no one ever hugged, no one ever really even said a kind word to each other. It
was constant tension. My mother constantly barked orders at me and groomed m to please
I was left to develop my own concept of love: working hard at your job, ordering others
around to maintain the house, and doing everything you can to try to gain the approval of
others. Naturally I entered into a marriage that mirrored the same behaviors I had grown up
with: authoritative, lacking in emotional expression, the total absence of compliments and
kindness. In other words, no real love. We had a big house, expensive vehicles and a whole
theatrical production that made us look picture-perfect on the outside. Of course, on the inside
it was empty. Eventually, I collapsed from extreme unhappiness that for far too long I didn’t
even know was there.
Today, with the love and support of a small village that nurtured me back to health, I
can say that I’ve begun to know what love is and I’m doing my best to practice it. Webster’s
dictionary definition of love includes the term, “a strong affection for another,” but I believe that the definition that my dear friend Tin Foil shared with me captures it even better: Love isunconditional acceptance.
My goal is to accept everyone and everything as the imperfect people, places, and
things that they are. Most importantly, I strive to carry an unconditional acceptance of myself. I
have learned that I must truly learn to accept myself as I am before I can live a judgement-free
life with a message of “one love,” which is the Rastafarian concept of living – we are all cut from
the same cloth.
Everyone has their own concepts of love. Unfortunately, some people believe that they
are showing love by showering others with gifts, and others are convinced that name-calling
and sarcasm can be done in the name of love. Behaviors like that are examples of power and
control, not love. Love is not calling someone stupid or telling them they can’t do anything
right. Love does not allow anger, frustration and resentment to rule the day. That kind of love
needs to be un-learned.
Love is kindness. Love is gentle. Love finds the strengths in others.
Just for Today – Love is a skill that we can all work on. So just for today,
don’t judge anyone. Can you do it?
The Combination Notebook:
(Note: The combination brings together our Beliefs, Perceptions, Expectations, Energy,
Choices, and Energy. Each lesson will refer to one or more of these concepts as they apply to
the specific lesson we are exploring.)
Choices – Choices allow you to generate positive energy around love and live a happier,
healthier life. You have the choice to spend your energy in a positive manner, creating more
positive energy and being a power of example.
Perceptions – Your perception of how others communicate love is likely misinterpreted
#Beliefs create your #expectations
#Choices allow you to generate positive energy around love and live a happier, healthier life
Your perception of how others communicate love is likely misinterpreted and also none of your business.
You have the choice to spend your #energy in a #positive manner, creating more #positive energy and being a power of example.
Let your love shine!
The combination – Beliefs, Perceptions, Expectations, Energy, Choices, Energy