Don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more…

Come on, you know you sang along in your head to that one! On a serious note, it’s a valid question. Asking for a friend (haha).

I suppose a person’s perception of love is initially shaped by the relationships they have with their family, but let’s be real there’s a lot more to it than that. Traumas in childhood do turn into toxic relationship habits. I’ll be the first to admit to that one, and self awareness is really the only cure.

Let’s start with what love is NOT!

Love is not emotional blackmail, belittling, control, and ownership. It is not manipulation, intimidation, and it sure as shit is not servitude. It’s is not conditional, and you should not have to earn it for any reason other than being exactly who you are.

Love is also not lust. I’m sure that is contrary to lots of beliefs. It is not obsession, sexual objectification, and it sure as shit is not meant to hold people to impossible standards. None of us are perfect, we are human and have flaws. Which is okay. Be flawed, please!

Back to my question, what is love?

I don’t have it nailed down 100% but I think love is mainly respect and appreciation for another’s life and well being. It’s being supportive, even when it’s hard, and wanting the best for someone physically, emotionally, and spiritually. To be invested in them personally and be inspired by their growth.

Of course there’s lots of traits that can come along with it, which could cloud the definition a bit. There’s also different kinds of love out there, the platonic kind and the romantic kind that comes with a little lustiness. Love is sharing yourself and your life in impactful ways.

Love is being true to yourself because that’s enough.

Unreciprocated love will force people to distance themselves from you because, above all else, you have to love yourself first! If someone doesn’t love you right you can’t let that sacrifice who you are.

Best believe I know myself! Do you?