Through numerous times of happiness, sadness, pride and joy, I have found myself claiming to have found things and people that I love. Recently, I have realised that, although I had discovered different types of love, I hadn’t yet uncovered what I now consider ‘True Love’.
I Love Love– I always have and due to my romanticised and perhaps ‘rose tinted’ perspective of love, it has caused my expectations to sometimes crumble. A way I have discovered if love is real is if linked to the phrase ‘If you love something let it go’. My interpretation of this doesn’t just explore the surface of missing someone and seeing if they come back to you, but the concept of everlasting love. Even though I have ‘let go’ of people I have claimed to love, I know I still love them now, months and sometimes years since we have been in a relationship of some kind (platonic or romantic). In my eyes, (excuse the dramatic comparison) letting someone go, whether a break up or moving away is a form of grief. If love is strong, it can actually guide you through some of the hardest times. People will tell you to treasure the good times and think of the happy memories- this is to remind you that the love is still there. A friend once told me that each type of love is different, this is important to know. Even within the same person, you can love parts of them differently. This is where it comes into letting someone go. For example, you are going through a break up. Initially and inevitably, you still love them, lust for them, are attracted to them and miss them. With time (a lot of it) and persistence , this love doesn’t fade, but transitions. This is what i love about love! Love is like energy, it cannot be created or destroyed. This is why self love is so important, you need love within yourself to accept love from others.
Self love, not superficial love. Personally, i’ve struggled to love myself, originally my image but this soon sank into my personality too. This was worse for me as you can alter and express image but you can’t change yourself. Or this is what I thought, however I now believe I was wrong. A lovely person in my life recently told me that I can change my personality. She reminded me that I am in control of my feelings, if I allow myself to be. It’s not an easy process, but as someone through mental illness has had to engulf themselves in the way they feel, I know that it’s in fact true. For example, if someone says something that upsets you, the fact is, they have said something. The way you react to it, gives their words the power, even though we do not realise, we determine the effect that words can have on us. Don’t get me wrong, people can say some nasty things, but it’s the love within us that should be able to reassure ourselves that what they have said is not a fact.
I can’t advise anyone on how they should or shouldn’t change but I want to allow people to know that they can. Life is all about change so why shouldn’t our individual lives be changed by ourselves too? This is where Love comes back in. I thought I was happy, as I found love, but I was immersing myself in someone else’s love for me. I was blinded by the attention, that I began to live in a fantasy and I separated my love life from practicality and reality. I loved to be loved. I loved this person, I know I did. I did not however love myself, just myself with him. Beyond this relationship, I have taught myself that I can be myself as Lou before ‘Lou and …’ or ‘… and Lou’. Also I have met knew people and things I love since loving myself and it is richer, more inclusive and I feel less vulnerable. It’s a love I can take with me wherever I want, but I don’t depend on it, because I know I have my self love with me no matter what happens.