I hope you are all enjoying this Month of LOVE Guest Blogger series as much as I am! I look forward to putting these posts together each day. No matter if I have had a 16 hour work day, I run to my laptop with joy! Just as the prior two years, this February punctuates the calendar with positivity. I believe, even in a small way, this cumulative conversation on my favorite topic, can and will reveal the intricacies and nuances of LOVE. Trust me, we will end the month learning from this commUNITY of writers that there is more to love than what card companies, RomComs, and society in general dictates. LOVE is indeed multi-faceted, multi-layered and multi-dimensional. It is universal and personal simultaneously! So let’s hear from today’s fabulous blogger Diane on how love has manifested in her own life.
What is Love?
When I think about that question and what love has been for me I can’t help but think of the song “What is Love” by Haddaway. If you don’t know the song let me share the words “What is love? Baby don’t hurt me Don’t hurt me no more.” Saturday Nite Live had a skit back in the day where they used this song. It was two brothers played by Will Farrell and Chris Kattan who went to dance clubs and as they started dancing with women they would bounce them back and forth between them. Still makes me laugh.
This is pretty much how love has been for me. I have felt like each time I thought I was clear on what love was, I got bounced around. The interpretation of what I thought love is, was and how it has shaped me you will find in the succeeding words.
When I was a little girl I watched every musical where the boy fell in love with the girl, they got married and floated off on a cloud. I sang love songs as if I knew what love was and my heart was either full or broken in two. Silly girl.
I certainly didn’t feel loved or accepted at home, I won’t bore you with all the details, but I know initially it shaped me to search for acceptance and love with the wrong people. This applied to friends and lovers. I became a doormat and tolerated things, in hindsight, for fear of rejection.
So I gave of myself in every way possible. I gave and gave and gave and gave.
Much of what I gave brought me joy. Much of what I gave made me feel exhausted, unloved and unappreciated. Where I did find true love was with animals. I had many cats and dogs and they always loved you no matter what. They even sensed when you had a bad day or were not feeling well. All they wanted was food, water and little play time and to sit in your lap. I think I would have made a great veterinarian. I did have a career as a Pet Sitter for many years. The clients were always happy to see me.
I have a few marriages under my belt which reminds me of the SNL skit. I did love with all my heart and soul, but love is a two way street when it comes to relationships. It’s taken me the age I am today and much reflection to understand that a partner is what you want. A project that never ends is exhausting and eventually will be condemned. There are no hard hats able to withstand that long term.
Probably the greatest love of all was giving birth to my son. I always wanted to be a Mom and although it was the toughest job ever, it was and is the most rewarding and joyous thing I have ever done. They grow up so fast and no one really prepares you for the moment your children leave home. I was blessed to have one. My son said one day “Mom I don’t need you anymore, I’m an adult now.” Ouch. As you can imagine, this felt like rejection. I have since understood that this was indeed the truest of love. Letting go. I raised him to be loving, kind and self-sufficient.
Do you hear people refer to someone as an old soul. That would NOT be how I describe myself. I would describe myself as a young soul. One who has to live many lessons over and over. It has taken me to this day to reevaluate what love is to me.
You hear this said so much it almost sounds cliché. Love of self is the most important love of all. I have spent years and years working on myself, reading, listening and observing. At each pivot in my life I slowly began to demand more for myself.
So, what is love?
Love is saying I love you to yourself and meaning it. Love is the knowing that you are enough. Love is the unacceptance of anything less than what you desire. Love is answering to yourself and not letting yourself down. Love is putting yourself first so you can give to others. Love is finding joy in a hot cup of tea or laughter with friends. Love is putting yourself out there every day and taking the risks. Love is never giving up on Love.
I don’t know if love with a partner will happen for me again. I do know, that no matter what, I will find love and joy in my life every day.
Love is Love!
Don’t give up. It’s out there. Just grab it.
What a refreshingly honest LOVE story from a woman whose transparency is so needed in today’s perfect Instagram world. I will never forget the day that Diane participated in my #tellthetruththursday Snapchat series and posted a video snap of herself, post dental surgery. Diane is a beautiful woman, and some with such stunning physical attributes might try to hide moments of “not looking our best”. But she is confident enough with her inner herself and still did her truth on video. My love for her grew! I adore authenticity and Diane has it in abundance! I hope she continues to inspire others to KEEP it REAL!
Thanks Diane for sharing and being a role model for TRUTH!