What I wish I’d known ten years ago about love

Feeling grateful for my loved ones and letting them know how precious they are to me has become my way of life....second nature. I now feel very comfortable with and happy to show my love. 
I LOVE that I can love and will never...ever take it for granted because, I have to tell you, it hasn't always been this way; I used to be way too insecure to feel gratitude...way too defensive to let myself love freely.
We often think of love as only that which exists between lovers or within families. It is expected of us to declare love for our partners and thought of as natural to love ones children and parents, but until very recently, utterly unacceptable to admit love for our friends. Loving friends of the opposite sex is still understood only if it is sexual love. Platonically loving friends of our own gender is partially accepted if the friends are women, but rarely, even in our day and age, if they are men; in many people's eyes this is vastly 'inappropriate'! I have several lots of friends in loving sexual or non-sexual relationships with their own or opposite gender and to me, it is sad beyond belief that we cannot enjoy and express our feelings of love for whomever we choose.

Me me me
Have you noticed that in almost all circles, saying that we love ourselves is heavily frowned upon and the cause of much embarrassment? I think therefore, that this is a good time to remind us all that a pre-requisite to feel or show any real love of others, is loving ourselves. If we are unable to fully accept and love ourselves, we can neither love anyone else nor be loveable. If we want to be loved we need to be love...think loving and kind thoughts, be loving and gentle with ourselves, judge no one....and choose love whenever possible (note :-  it is always possible!). 

Love me not
Why has love got such a bad rep? It's a heart-wrenching state of affairs that we are afraid to express our most fundamental emotion. It is my belief that when we boil it down...there is only love....or the absence of it. Why would we turn away from love? It is our greatest gift and it seems extremely foolhardy, not to mention, churlish, to deny it. 
One reason my clients give me for not showing how much they care about others is that it can leave us feeling vulnerable and able to be hurt. Much better we 'keep our cool', hide away our deepest feelings and pretend we're not that bothered. This way, if we are abandoned, it would look like we weren't hurting. 
I wonder why we're so scared of showing our love, of being vulnerable, of being the weaker one in a relationship...of being hurt? What does it matter? Love is our reward surely? Our aim? If we are hurt then it is because we surrendered to love...isn't it worth any hurt that may follow? If we are always too afraid to feel pain, we will never know the joy of loving fully....the joy of living fully. That sounds a great pity to me. In Everyone won't love you; love them anyway, I mention that, one day, feeling full of love, I sent messages to all my closest friends and was rather shocked by how few responses I got. I would never purposely cringe anyone out by expressing my feelings and was genuinely surprised at the lack of alignment I appeared to have with them. 

What exactly are we frightened of?
And what of pain? Of rejection? We've all known Bridget Jones types who feel that they have lost their entire purpose because they have been 'let go'. All known someone who changes their hairstyle and maybe colour, and mopes around listening to melancholy music and sobbing into their ice-cream and alcohol. It might even have been us! You might like to read my thoughts on this in Nothing and no one can ever hurt us. We really can choose whether and how long we suffer.
It is a fact of life that love is often not eternal nor reciprocated and that it frequently does end and usually for one participant before the other....it's the natural ebb and flow of life. I personally think that love is beautiful however long it lasts and that we don't need to hand the relationship or our partner the key to our lasting happiness. You may like to read Your relationship with you; love yourself and The tighter you hold on, the less grasp you have for more about this.

I am happy alone but I love having friends
We do not need relationships of any kind to complete us because we are absolutely and completely whole by ourselves and need nothing more... see Where can I find love? But sharing love with others is beautiful....not essential but very...very beautiful.
Of course we all express our feelings in our own unique ways, some of us our much more verbal, demonstrative, public or whatever else than others...however you feel...however you love...enjoy it...embrace it...love it.

Please reach out if you’d like to learn to love yourself and other more freely…I can help you.

Next time I’ll be talking about kindness. Until then,

I wish you a peaceful and happy time and am always here if you have any questions or comments.

Please contact me for a chat if you’d like me to coach you happy.

Catherine x

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