My understanding of these three little words have transformed proportionately to my own evolution.
As a child I had the most open concept of love. I loved everything around me. Every person. Every animal. Every tree. Every plant. Every space. Every rock. Every stuffed animal. Every fairy.
I even loved myself…until my mother told me ‘vanity was a sin.’
My mother, with good intentions, taught me fear. She taught me that to love so openly would only bring heartbreak when those I loved, loved me not. Or that those I loved would use that love to manipulate and diminish me (I’m sure she didn’t realize that is exactly what she was doing).
She learned this fear from my Grandmother, who taught it to me too, when she taught me about ‘rape’ after I shared with her that I’d had my first kiss. And my mother reinforced that when she cautioned me on ‘all things male’ well into my twenties.
In my youth and young adulthood I sought love everywhere, in search of that childhood feeling of freedom, not realizing I had cut myself off from it. I believed love was selective. That in order to be loved you needed to be perfect and that in order to love you needed to find perfection.
I remember the first time I heard someone say “I love you” in a non-intimate circumstance. I don’t remember what it was exactly, some motivational/inspirational setting, and all I could think was “What a crock. You can’t love me, you don’t know me – you don’t know all the unlovable things I’ve done, been and said”.
I distrusted “I love you”.
In many ways I felt I needed to prove my love to others and thus needed others to prove their love to me. I started every relationship from a point of ‘no love’ with the understanding that if one did enough, well enough, then it would move to ‘love’.
This is not how we are meant to live. What this did was make me vulnerable (correct use of the word) to all the horrible things my mother and grandmother cautioned me about. In fact, it served to make me vulnerable to date rape, molestation, sexual harassment, bullying, intimidation, self-sabotage, poverty and prime to suffer at the hands of multiple narcissists.
I was searching for something I didn’t even believe could be mine. This became the foundation for self-sabotage in my life.
Then along came Emma. Giving birth to my daughter opened my heart and gave me a glimpse of the unconditional love I had in my childhood. It felt familiar, heavenly and ‘right’. There was no struggle. There was no “let me get to know you before I decide if I love you.”
I began to realize that we are meant to come from a place to love, right off the bat.
The healing started with the love for my child, but it was my love for myself that was needed. I had to get back to that place and overcome the counterproductive programming that had me believe that we needed to earn love and that loving oneself was vanity.
As I began to accept myself for every imagined flaw, I began to see beauty in them. Just like the crystals I collected, with their inclusions – each ‘flaw’ a beauty mark. What made me different did not make me weird, ‘less than’ or a disgrace, it made me amazing, unique and priceless. It made me stand out as I was meant to, rather than blend in which is what I had tried to do – and failed miserably.
I ‘failed’ because I wasn’t being authentic. I was always using my energy to be something I wasn’t, in order to gain love and acceptance. There was so much incongruence between who I was being vs who I was born to be that it created a breeding ground for illness (recurring acute illnesses) and disease/disorder (cancer) to set in.
As I loved myself more, I awakened to all the people I loved that I hadn’t credited. Specifically my friends, and I started telling them “I love you”. At first it was uncomfortable – not for me, but for them. I scared a few people away with it, because they were operating with the same limited definitions I had been. Explaining what you mean to people isn’t easy, either. Especially when they are of the opposite sex. A woman only tells a man she loves him if she wants to marry him. NOT! Thus I was labeled ‘clingy’ by a few.
So, here I was telling these people I loved, that I loved them and stirring up all sorts of stuff for them, all the while experiencing more and more love! It was wonderful! The more I loved others, the more love I found for myself as well.
The truth is until and unless we accept and love ourselves, we will always find the love and acceptance of others suspect.
Meaning we will discount it as often as we can. As well, we will always give out our own love and acceptance sparingly, even when we think we are being nonjudgemental and unconditional.
Not so long ago I became overwhelmed with the realization of the love I have for my fellow humankind: people over the internet, people I witness briefly in passing and even people whose struggles have merely been relayed to me.
Spontaneously, my posts began to end themselves with “I love you”. I never even questioned it.
*in a whisper* Ok, that’s a lie. My lower self totally questioned if others would think it disingenuous – only for like a second, though.
I never thought to change it. And then the next one ended that same way. Then it became clear that I’d reached a new relationship with ‘I love you’. The one I’d had all those many years ago as a child.
Whether this is the highest evolution of “I love you” or not, it is my highest evolution to date and it boils down to this…
I love you because I love me and I see me, in you.
I love you, truly.
Jade’s work is different and we think you will find it effective and economic. It combines Jade’s knowledge and skills cultivated over three decades of psychiatry, human services, hospice, geriatrics, crystal healing, QiGong, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch with her natural Spirit given gifts of intuition and being an empath.
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