Love has always been something that’s longed for, pursued, desired… People go the extra lengths to feel it, have it, and keep it.
If you’re just like me, chances are, you’ve found yourself imagining a happy ever after with the love of your life. Maybe not the typical riding off into the sunset vibe, but you know, the type where you are each other’s persons, you have movie nights at home, cook a tasty meal together, go on out of town road trips from time to time, come home to each other (if you guys don’t work from home, that is) and end the day with pillow talk and cuddles before falling asleep.
I’ve probably envisioned love as something like that. Growing up, I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. I’ve always been a fan of romance movies, romance novels… basically anything that had romance in it, I would most likely love it. My entire life I’ve always dreamed of the, nope, not the perfect guy because I know that doesn’t exist… I’ve always dreamed of the ideal guy and the ideal relationship. I loved the idea of love. I loved feeling loved and I loved love.
But as I got older, I got a thousand different glimpses of love. Less than three decades of existing here on Earth has given me the honor of seeing different faces and phases of love.
Love wasn’t just what I imagined it to be. It was less. And it was more. I’ve seen a pure and genuine love. And I’ve seen a passionate and intense love. The reality of life has shown me the raw, unfiltered, and real versions of love. But despite the imperfections, I always see the beauty of it.
Through my pursuance for a happy type of love, I have had my heart broken while hurting others when I’ve spoken. Through my pursuance of love, I have been selfish and selfless. I’ve been miserable and on cloud nine.
Love comes in different shapes and sizes. It can be the aroma of coffee that you wake up to, that familiar sound of plates being set on the table when you were a kid, or the part when you were six and your mom tells you to go back to bed because school is cancelled due to bad weather.
The idea of love is not limited to a person. It can be a situation, a memory that we hold on to. It can be through our pets who know how to comfort us when we’re having a bad day. Often times, we try to complicate it as if there should always be one big sign that says “this is love”. When we do that, we limit ourselves to being loved and feeling loved, because yes, we can’t feel what we don’t want to feel.
One of the steps that I took when I want to feel love around me is to look back and appreciate even the littlest of things that people have done for me like that time when a stranger opened the door for me when I had my hands full, or even that time when my fur babies brought me a leaf and other random things to show me that they have gifts for me. I opened up and now I’m not limited to just people; I see it clearly that we all operate with love. Some people are in love with their jobs, their pets, and even themselves. So, one of the things that you can do is to not limit it through one person but see the acts of love that have happened and are happening around you.
I know a lot of people would encourage you to look for love elsewhere but I learned this the hard way because I thought that even I am not worthy of loving myself. Because let’s face it, we know ourselves better than others. We know every bad word we thought of even if we didn’t say it out loud. We know every ill intent we could’ve done to a person who cuts in front of the line that we’ve been waiting on for an hour. And because of that very reason, we deny ourselves of being able to love ourselves. It’s easy to find fault when we only see other people. But remember, others can also see a different version of ourselves.
I’m not saying that you should be narcissistic and ask others what they love about you until you’re satisfied. I’m saying what I did was to look past that and think of the people I’ve helped out; think of the things that I’ve accomplished. Try to recall that one time that you made a someone smile by simply saying please and thank you or you look great or have a nice day. Come to think of it, you’re not terrible. You’re just being too hard on yourself.
So, I say this to the person looking for love: Don’t limit it to a person, thing, memory, or place, but also take action. Love is an action word. You can’t expect to be loved if you don’t manifest love. You can’t expect your spouse or partner to be passionate or crazy about you if you’re too hung up on work or if your time is consumed by other things and you’re not invested in what really matters.
We find love when we ourselves are willing to go the extra mile for someone or something. You might not be in a loveable situation right now, but you won’t get out if you don’t do something. You might think that you don’t have a chance with the person that you love, but if you won’t pour out your love to them, then they won’t feel loved, as well.
Love is not and should not be complicated and limited because love is limitless and sees no bounds. It is not limited by time, distance, age, or situation. After years of my constant search for love, I’ve realized that love is not limited to the idea of what we typically have thought it to be. It can exist outside a romantic relationship. It can exist in your family, your parents, your children, your best friends, your pets, the things you’re passionate about, and so many other things… most importantly, it can exist in you. To those looking for love, remember that love doesn’t have to be from other people. It can start with you, and it should start with you. And let me tell you this, it’s in you, right now.
Start being the love that you’re looking for, and eventually, you’ll find that love is around and has always been around. And if you’re still looking for it, maybe you’re looking in the wrong place. But, if you know that you have it right now, hold tight and make every effort to keep it.