We all know what true love is, right? You’ve probably been to a wedding or scrolled through Instagram and either heard or read someone quoting the Corinthians:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
This one of the most beautiful, pure and honest quotes but for me, it was also one of the most impossible.
In the past, whenever I thought that I had (or was in) true love:
- I rarely felt patient (which resulted in
- I social media stalked and would never admit it, but totally envied his ex girlfriends.
- I had to boast about how wonderful my relationship was (because it was a total relationsh*t).
- I dishonored everyone and everything that I felt I had to compete with to get his love, respect, validation, attention, loyalty, honesty, empathy, etc.
- The relationsh*t was self-seeking (mySELF seeking to be chosen, to “win,” and to engage in “please don’t abandon me,” codependency.
- Insecurity in the relationsh*t = being triggered, which always led to disproportionate (& ultimately humiliating), anger.
- To say that “I kept no record of wrongs,” is like saying that the sun doesn’t set.
- Instead of “not delighting in evil and rejoicing with the truth,” I delighted in anything that affirmed my low self esteem, catered to my fears, and increased unnecessary drama. I also avoided the truth at all costs.
- I protected, hoped, trusted in and preserved the image of the relationship that I chose to believe I had.
- Love ALWAYS failed because I was continually failing myself.
I honestly felt like I was in true love; I knew I was. In fact, I felt like I couldn’t get any deeper in true love. The above bullet points were all normal… right?
I’ve been thinking a lot about true love lately – what it means, how to manifest it, how to attract it and how to maintain it once you find it instead of engaging in self sabotage and becoming bored because you don’t have to work for it.
Is what the Corinthians, Shakespeare, Sinatra, John Keats, Rumi and all of the great poets, musicians and movie makers so beautifully expressed even attainable in life outside of the bliss of a wedding or the delusion of social media?
Are we trying to live up to some unrealistic ideal?
I honestly can’t say that today, I’m free and clear of the above checklist. I have my moments, BELIEVE me. We ALL do. So…
What is true love?
Can it exist beyond the intimidating and seemingly impossible standards that we are so intoxicated with the idea of but fail to embody and apply?
How can you identify, attract & KEEP true love?
I’m not going to attempt to redefine true love or rewrite artistry of the past here. I don’t need to because those writings and works of art are not only beautiful, they’re true and you can’t edit the truth.
What I want to do is make all of the preconceptions about true love a little less
intimidating impossible and a lot more attainable.
I used to be obsessed with true love quotes, stories, songs, poems, The Notebook, tv shows, etc., because as long as I could buy into the idealization of true love, it was like taking a sh*tty insurance policy out on acceptance. It gave me a license to accept that I’d never find true love, which made it that much easier to excuse and accept the behavior of f*cktards (my former f*cktard self included). It also made it that much easier to pedestal the idea of.
And once you idealize and pedestal the idea of something, you create unattainability and impossibility (despite your claimed craving for connectivity). The playing field is no longer even.
Here’s what I’ve learned and what I wish I had been told about true love:
- In the past, I’ve excused my mistakes in the name of being “blinded” by true love. It’s interesting because I hear a lot about true love being blind and “I was blind because I was in love” blah blah, but never once in the Corinthians or in any of the great love poems, stories, etc., is love ever referred to as being blind. So if love isn’t blind, WHY did I always become blind to the red flags? Because I was in love? Well, no. You can’t claim impairment due to something that’s referred to as the ultimate healer and glue of humanity. True love is not blind – triggers are blind, trauma is blind and unresolved grief & hopelessness is blind. Love is the most clear and visible thing we’ll ever have because it sees despite and beyond the dense fog of trauma. You’re not blind because you’re in love, you’re blind to red flags, pink flags, disrespect, emotional unavailability and the truth because of your past trauma and triggers. And because they haven’t been dealt with, they’re in survival mode and survival mode is always blind because it HAS to see what it wants to believe in order to survive.
- True love isn’t chaotic, trauma is. And if you equate chaos with “love,” that’s not true love, that’s unresolved triggers that no relationship (except the one that you need to build with yourself), will ever heal you of.
- True love is not a triangle. In the past, for me to feel that electric, passionate and true love, I had to inhabit a triangle. I only felt like it was love if it was me, him and something or someone else – whether it be another girl, his ex, his job, his family, his issues, addiction, commitments, travel, friends, etc., that I had to essentially compete with and be chosen/”win” over. If there was no opposing force that ignited a need for competition, I didn’t feel the fire. In the end, I was never chosen, I never “won,” and with my now 20/20 hindsight, there was never a prize to win because I didn’t value myself. And what does a person who doesn’t value themselves do? They chase after the “true love” of those that don’t value them either. True love is not about being chosen or winning and if it was indeed a triangle, Johnny Cash would not sing “because you’re mine, I walk the line.” He would sing “because you’re mine, I walk the triangle.” True love is LINEAR. It’s a clear, mutual, intimate and beautiful line between two people. Decide now that you’re done living in triangles and avoid those that get off to doing so.
- True love is empathy and empathy is true love.
- True love will always seem vanilla to those with low self esteem. Give it a chance. If you don’t feel attracted to a nice guy, before you call it quits, see if it’s just because he’s dealing with you on a linear level and you’re still chasing triangles. If your self esteem is low, you’ll always claim to want linear, but ultimately end up in triangulation. Stop equating true love with emotional threesomes. Just because that’s what you may have been subjected to as a kid, you can decide NOW to be the adult that you needed when you were younger and break free from the pain. Make the decision to stop contributing to your own misery and pedestaling what you’ve convinced yourself is easier to fantasize about than actually go after.
You can find, embody, emanate and attract the kind of true love that we all read about and wish for.
Stop trying to take a take a leap. All you need is a step.
I truly love each and every one of you 🙂