Ahh, the classic question posed by a 90s one-hit-wonder, along with the rest of humanity.
Throughout our lives, many of us are both hexed and fortunate to experience love. Recently, for myself I have been experiencing love for the first time and it truly is unlike any other emotion. It is ambiguous, cannot be understood nor described.
If you’re anything like me, you might have previously thought, “I’m so fine with being the cool single aunt the rest of my life,” set on doing everything on your own, not feeling like you need anyone because of your independence. Well, let me tell you, if you come to find someone who challenges all of those inclinations, please give it a shot. It is easy to stay in your comfortable world where you only have to worry about you and there is no need to ever be vulnerable. Plus, the word “vulnerable” alone probably makes you sick. So, rather just avoid it, right? I get it.
However, at the same time (I have learned and am still learning) vulnerability is both critical to wholly love and it is beautiful. To be further sickened by the thought, listen to Brene Brown’s –Power of Vulnerability or read her book, Daring Greatly—(Listed in ‘Books’). Both of these journals have opened my eyes to the importance of vulnerability and also made me realize how much I unknowingly avoid it. The way Brene Brown describes, “Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.”
How beautiful is that? To share your thoughts and emotions with someone and allow them to accept them without judgement. Talk about being naked! Sheesh. Meanwhile, all this time I thought my biggest fear was physically being naked?! I don’t know. It sounds like no contest compared to the deep expression of vulnerability.
Honestly, love has no definition because everyone is different, every relationship is different, which is why so many of us go on 100+ dates in our lives to find no one who clicks. Yet, that same guy who showed up 20 minutes late in ripped jeans and a baseball hat on your first date found the love of his life a week later!
We are not all compatible, so we cannot expect love to be an apples to apples experience for everyone. It is unrealistic. All we can strive to do is embrace love, let love in, love love but most importantly love yourself. And, to quote Brene Brown one more time, tell yourself, “I am enough.”
So, what is love? Well… You’ll have to find out for yourself.