Love has been described in many ways – an emotion, a “state of being,” a choice and a drive.
Love can bring us high to a state of euphoria and low to the depths of sadness and despair. Love can test our willingness to open our hearts and test our limits to remain ourselves. Love can teach us tolerance and patience, and guide us to understand ourselves and others.
But when we can’t predict what love will bring – heartache or bliss, it’s natural to close ourselves off to loves’ possibilities.
However, when we allow love to be the teacher and we the student, an amazing journey can begin to unfold.
“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
After having “loved and lost” myself and helped countless women with their relationship struggles, losses, doubts and insecurities, here are a few insights to help you in your “journey of love.”
1. Recognize that fear is limiting you
Be aware that fear is based on past experiences that keep you feeling, thinking and behaving in a way that is no longer working. Realize that fears in a relationship stem from what you “think” might happen, not necessarily what will happen.
2. Eliminate the “what if’s” that clog your mind
-“What if the relationship doesn’t work out.” -“What if I can’t be myself.”
-“What if he leaves me.”
The “what if” cycle will keep you stuck in a circular pattern that reinforces your worry and fear. Write down all the “what if’s” and complete them. Recognize that they are irrational. For example: “What if he leaves me, then I’ll be alone forever.”
3. Acknowledge how you feel at any moment
Acknowledge your feelings and needs to your partner. Allow your partner to do the same. Relationships are fluid, just like the universe. You can speak “your truth” at anytime. Don’t take anything that is said as a reflection of you. As Don Miguel Ruiz states in The Four Agreements, “Don’t take anything personally.”
4. Trust your intuition
Trust what your “gut” is saying about your needs, your boundaries and your relationship. Attend to what feels right.
5. Practice self-love
In order to embrace a relationship, you need to embrace yourself. Invest in yourself every single day. Never forget that you are worth it.
6. Be authentic
Be yourself. Accept yourself, your imperfections and give yourself permission to be transparent. Realize that love is imperfect and that healthy love comes from accepting each other just the way we are.
7. Take things at face value
Accept compliments that are given to you. Embrace them. Have gratitude for what is being presented to you. If you have questions, ask for clarification. Don’t “stay in the dark” and make up a story about what’s happening. As Don Miguel Ruiz states, “Don’t make assumptions.”
8. Notice that love is everywhere
Embrace all the ways love shows itself – in animals, in the environment, in encounters with strangers, in our loved ones and especially, yourself. Love is dynamic and ever-changing. Keep an open heart and notice everything that love brings.