I have three daughters, two of them are teenagers, one of them has gotten herself a boyfriend. I figure before she moves too quickly I wanted to let her know a few things about love. So I wrote down these ten points and gave them to her in a card.
1. Conditions, stereotypes and expectations will hinder the love experience. Pay attention to when you want rescue, change or make others feel better. For example, if someone doesn’t call or text you right away are you inclined to get worried or fearful. Fear is great at getting you to jump to conclusions, map out the worst case scenario while love provides you with the space and comfort to process your feelings.
2. Relationships come and go but love is permanent. Since love is made of energy it cannot be destroyed, Albert Einstein taught us this. Your thoughts and feelings are energy too! You can’t destroy your thoughts and feelings however, with love you can transform them into something new. In other words, you can transform fear into love.
3. Fear likes to make up lies such as the prettier or more popular you are the more love you will have. Love operates off truth. You see love doesn’t judge. Know this, our differences are not in whether we have love but rather what we have learned about it.
4. Love does not depend on anything. It exists no matter what. It does not rely on your background, age or history is. You don’t need a recommendation or any kind of approval with love. It just is. Sure you may feel from time to time you messed up, said the wrong thing or behaved badly. With love there are no mistakes, just choices and with that you always have a choice whether to go to fear or love.
5. Fear is what gets you to second guess yourself, analyze or attempt to figure out someone else. It is the inner critic inside your head which say things such as, “Did I do something wrong?” “Do you still like me? or “I know he’s pissed.” Love is great at slowing you down, encouraging you to breathe, while connecting you to the now. Always remember just because your thoughts say so, doesn’t mean it is real. Love gives you the courage to ask questions, watch your tone of voice and make sure you fully understand something before responding.
6. Fear is a time traveler. It has a hard time letting go of the past and gets you to over focus on the future. Since love only lives in the now, time doesn’t really matter. Fear is good at holding a grudge while love can heal instantly. You will probably notice fear likes to spend most of its time planning and can get very attached to having things in a certain order. Love doesn’t require any of this, instead it reminds you, that you are exactly where you are supposed to be so you might as well enjoy the process.
7. Fear consumes your energy while love produces it. You see fear gets you to put all your eggs in one basket. It tends to take an all or none approach. For example, if you have a fight with your boyfriend you might start to believe your entire life is falling apart. Know this is fear getting you to freak out, love doesn’t work that way. Love doesn’t judge what is happening it experiences it. It is the experience of love which moves you through life’s up’s and down’s. As this occurs love blesses you with insight, depth and knowledge.
8. You are better off investing in the love that exists in you than attempting to gain it from someone else. Here is the thing, taking energy from others is not an act of love. For example, spending hours on the phone rather than attend to your homework may seem harmless however, if these conversations later come at price for you or the other person know love does not work that way. Love will on occasion need you to set limits and boundaries so you are able to clearly distinguish between fear and love.
9. Self-care such as breathing, getting outside, play, and nutrition water the roots of love. When love feels absent you can rekindle its presence by taking a moment to gaze at the sky, listen to music, sit on the grass and walk barefoot on the earth. Everything around you is love. The grass, trees, sunlight, a cool breeze all have elements of love.
10. Taking responsibility for other people’s pain interrupts the process of love revealing itself. Watch how you handle the frustration and hurt of those around you. Notice if you step in and take the hit for them. If you feel fatigued or drained by the experience it is likely you have. Love never wanted you to break down in the process of supporting someone else. You know love is present when you feel strong, resilient, and compassion without mental strain.