Knowing Love

Dear Love, 

I spent a long time looking for you in other people; I never felt fulfilled. Heartache ate at my soul before I finally understood what people meant when they said, I could only love others as much as I love myself. I didn’t realize the opposite was true too—I could only receive as much love as I give myself.Anything beyond what I felt I deserved, I sabotaged. I spent so much time sabotaging my happiness because on the inside I was screaming horrible names and beliefs about myself. I believed it was okay to let people who said they love me call me names and belittle me like I meant nothing.  I didn’t understand how unlovable and unworthy of love I felt.

Love, the day I found you was the day I defined you. I never absorbed the definition of you before. Though I heard it many times, I took the words as a fairytale. When I finally saw the truth in the words; I healed the hole in my soul.

In “Corinthians” 13.4-13.7, I found you. 

(4) Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant (5) or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; (6) it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. (7) It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

(Harper Collins Study Bible: Student Edition p.1950)

All the things I thought were love-LIES. I couldn’t remember having that kind of compassion and kindness towards myself. I remember thinking if a guy was jealous it was because he loved me. I thought it didn’t matter how I was treated. If a guy stayed, he must love me. I didn’t think for a second their negativity was fear and lack of trust.

I remember the day I finally embraced you with full conviction and started to have a love affair with myself. I committed my time to being, loving, and honoring the person I was and wanted to be. That’s when I began feeling authentic joy. I stopped putting my need for love on other people and realized I could give and receive love freely by loving myself first. When I feel complete with the love I have for myself, there is no consequence of losing myself in the process of loving others. 

I’m far from perfect at practicing your ways. I still need reminders not to let fear run my life and my relationships. I get lessons to practice being loving and being loved. I’m happy I finally know who you are. My life has improved in so many ways from knowing you.

Love, you are the source of all that is right in the world. With clarity, I look at life through your eyes. When I look at you for wisdom, I find compassion. When I look to you for strength, I find perseverance. Love, you are everything that gives life meaning.

I’m sorry I blamed you for all the hurt in my life. What did hurt me was fear, jealousy, hate, anger, rage, and not knowing you. I let other people’s lack of knowing you define your meaning. I accepted so much of their fear, hate, anger, and rage in the process. 

Thank you for showing me the way. I’m so grateful to know you. I’m grateful to live you.I’m grateful for the times I feel at ONE with you. I’m grateful to extend you to those around me. You are not fluff, you are truth.

With Love and Gratitude, 

A Better Me

Rachael Wolff ©2020, 2018

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Finding Love in the Confusion of Meaning

A friend recently reminded me of a time when I didn’t know what love was. In that place I entered unhealthy relationship after unhealthy relationship. I was used, walked on, and crushed time and time again. I didn’t understand why love had to be so hard. In my confusion about love, I thought love is what hurt me. I thought that loving too much was my weakness. I believed it when people would say I was SO loving that I would be hurt more. I believed it when people said I was too trusting. I didn’t realize the reality I was creating around my beliefs.

I’ve written about this on multiple levels on my blog (please search the blog if you are struggling with love). In Discovering the Meaning of Love I talked about that first step in my journey to finding REAL love. If we want to experience love for what love is, we first have to be clear on our definition of love. If we don’t want to believe that love hurts, we have to live within a definition of love that doesn’t hurt. For me, I found that in Corinthians. This definition changed the trajectory of my journey to love.

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In order to live by this definition, I have to have it close by. This definition of love doesn’t have hurt. When I’m feeling hurt, I am directed to figure out what is really hurting me, 100% of the time it is some version of fear. Fear is where jealously, envy, rage, anger, disgust, bitterness, distrust, rudeness, and righteousness stand. This isn’t just true for when I’m looking at it in another person. This is true when I’m looking within myself. If I’m treating myself horrible, that’s not love; it’s fear.

When I view myself through eyes of fear, I’m teaching the people I encounter to do the same. I’m going to project out whatever I feel inside. When I hated myself, I attracted people who treated me horribly. I thought they were the reason I hated love. Really, the reason I hated love is because of me.

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My friend reminded me about the confusion that came from not knowing the meaning of love. She reminded me of the pain and hurt that relationships brought when I was confused. After discovering the meaning of love, I could soon see that what I was feeling had nothing do do with love. It had everything to do with the unhealed shame I had inside. That unhealed shame led to codependency on others to gain my worth. That made it easy for me to be a doormat. I would say yes to gain worth and if they didn’t appreciate me or give back to me the way I would give to them, I would feel hurt.

When I give from a loving place, I don’t need to feel appreciated or expect others to meet my standards of giving. I won’t give more than I genuinely feel it’s right for me to give. I won’t do for a partner what he is capable of doing for himself. If I’m looking for recognition, I have to look at my intentions behind what I’m doing. I’m not perfect at this, believe me, I’m not. What I’ve gotten very good at is not confusing fear with love. I can question my thinking and realize that I need to re-align with love.

 

With a strong core focused on love, I attract people to my life who I feel open to love. Strangers are kinder, neighbors talk to me, friends are genuine, and my partner is a great partner. I don’t fear people or places because I trust my instincts. People who want to use people stay away from me. I feel comfortable with staying away from people who don’t like me, I no longer try to make them like me because I feel insecure. When old beliefs start coming back in, I go back to my definition and use all the tools I’ve gained along the way to get me back to love.

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Sending love and prayers to anyone suffering from the confusion between love and fear. I hope you find what you need to define love in a way that sets you free.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2018