I’ve learnt a lot about love lately… and no, it hasn’t been because of my relationship with my boyfriend, but because of the one that I have with myself. Have you ever thought about the things you do “in the name of love”? I don’t do them, because for me, love is about care, respect and support. Unconditionally. Even though if it doesn’t match your expectations. Even if it is not what you thought that it “should” be. The kind of love that just “lets others be”.
I’ve always been surrounded by people who loved me. Or so they said. But after a long time, I’ve come to the conclusion that every person has a unique definition for love. We hear the news everyday and sometimes they talk about people who “loved too much” and decided to kill the one they loved… but there’s no need to get that far.
I’ve talked before about the need to find your tribe, to be surrounded by people who love, support you and not only accept you as you are, but also celebrate it! Those are the people who don’t care if you are sick at home and can’t attend a social event (even they go home and spend the evening with you!); those are the ones who don’t care if you are fat or thin, you have a haircut that doesn’t fit you or decide to leave your job to begin an adventure… they will talk to you, and support you in any circumstance.
There are other people. Those are the ones who you have in your life, but didn’t choose (like family) or chose in a life that doesn’t look like the one you are living now (like old friends or acquaitances). Some of them know just a part of your life and yourself, the one that you both shared in another time or circumstances. And some of them like to tell you things. Always “in the name of love”.
The kind of love of that those people have for you is the one that doesn’t support you or respect your decisions, because they know better. They know what suits you better, what you have to eat or wear; they know the kind of people you need to be around and the job that will be the best for you. An in the end, you realize something: it’s not about you, it’s about them. You need to wear a kind of clothes that will not make them feel embarrassed if they are with you in public; or you need to have friends who match their way of thinking or can be an advantage for their lives or careers; you need to behave in a way that doesn’t make them uncomfortable and upset… And all of their advice is just in the name of love. Or so they say.
We are here to grow (not only physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually). And growing is hard sometimes. We don’t need all those people around us trying to hide our light. We just need to set the boundaries that make them know what we want and what we are going to allow (and what we aren’t, of course). We thank them for their love, but that’s the kind of love that we don’t need, because it doesn’t let us be ourselves. Because that’s the kind of love that we valued when we thought that we weren’t enough. When we thought that someone knew better than us. When we thought that we should be grateful just for them thinking about us. But we don’t need it now, because we have a bigger love that makes that one unnecessary: the one that we have created toward ourselves and never ends. The one that lets us be and grow, and accepts and supports everything and anything we are, do and have. And only that kind of love is welcome from others, too.