NO. THE END.
LOL, I’m just kidding. Well, mostly anyways.
Let's dig in to these ancient battle cry about love, shall we?
We’ve been socialized and messaged to over the last 400 or so years to idealize LOVE. Told over and over in movies, TV shows, music, poetry, paintings, heck even the clothing we buy that LOVE can cure, whatever ails us, and whatever ails our relationships.
I listen to countless couples, and individuals cry out ‘BUT WE LOVE EACH OTHER?!?!’ when they’re relationships are grinding to a horror show halt.
I hear women say to me, I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR LOVE!! Even though, they actually would not, and quite frankly should not do absolutely any crazy ass thing, for love.
Love has become a dream, bought and sold a million times over as a cure all for all of life’s woes. As a result, our relationships are paying a hefty price.
This very short and sweet Latin phrase ‘Omnia Vincit Amor’ (Love Conquers All) caught fire as early as the 1600’s, once us crazy passionate artists got a hold of it, this concept gathered steam, from a 15th century painting by that same name, to Deep Purple in the 70’s to even John Lennon, crooning ALL WE NEED IS LOVE.
And don’t get me started on Jane Austen… love conquers Pride & Prejudice indeed, missy!
LOVE IS SO VERY CRUCIAL. However, it’s not a possession. Not an intimate object. LOVE IS A VERB! It requires specific actions, to exist. Did you know that a shark can’t breathe if it’s not moving? The action of propelling itself forward is what causes the oxygenated water to rush through its gills, creating life saving breath?
Love is the same. Without specific movements, actions we take every day, love cannot survive.
I self-identified as a ‘hopeless romantic’ myself, for many years, detaching love from all sense of reality. I did not need to lose my childlike wonder, my wild unicorn magic, in order to reconcile this, in fact DE-programming my disneyfied fairy tale mindset, is what created the space for a real ‘happily ever after’ to take root and grow!
So what is required for love to thrive? Heck for it even to exist, at all, in a true sense?
What actions kill love quicker than shark attack?
When I work with couples where the latter list is running rampant in their relationships, and they turn to me and say, BUT I LOVE HIM/HER.
No. You don’t. That’s NOT love.
But you can LOVE them.
If we can change these actions, and replace them with trust, honesty, compatibility, friendship, respect, goodwill, kindness, freedom, vulnerability, and a whole lot of bravery and compassion… we can actually birth REAL LOVE into being.
When I speak to women about their search for love, and I ask them to define how they were loved in previous relationships or how they will know what ‘love’ is when they find it… they too, are way off the mark. Most have not stopped to authentically define what LOVE really means to us, and have been enamored by the pop culture messaging of what love should be. And when we are so far off that clearly defined mark, we can meet people, who we are not truly compatible with, who we may not have ever consider a friendship with… who are not very kind, or honest, or respectful of us, and feel like we are falling madly in love.
And even when those relationships end in brimstone and fire like hell… we can continue to walk around in a state of denial, telling ourselves, THAT sh%t was LOVE!!
HOWEVER... How would we be, on the mark? When we are consistently misled by the messaging in our popular culture, about what love is, and what love is capable of…all on its own?
It’s time to truly empower love to do, what love REALLY does best… TRANSFORM US!
The indomitable bell hooks, summed it up quite well.
“dreaming that love will save us, solve all our problems or provide a steady state of bliss or security only keeps us stuck in wishful fantasy, undermining the real power of the love -- which is to transform us." -bell hooks