…know what it isn’t to understand what it is

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Love is all around us, if we stay aware. We can find it from family, friends, relatives, and even strangers. But that’s not always the kind of love we crave, especially at this time of the year.

The moment, however, that we start looking everywhere but within for “true love”, we instantaneously miss the point – the bigger picture.

Since everyone else is trying to define what LOVE is, let’s rather focus on what it isn’t.
The rudest awakening is experiencing, first hand, that love isn’t what the movies, romantic novels and even hit love songs depict it to be.

love doesn’t – shouldn’t – hurt. If it does, then it’s something else.

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News flash; love doesn’t – shouldn’t – hurt. If it does, then it’s something else.

When love hurts, it could be:

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1. Fear – Either of losing or leaving the person.
Attachment – Usually defined from a nostalgic sense of “Who am I without this person?” to “How can I leave all ‘this’ behind?”

2. Idolatry – This is subtle but evident when either partners or one of the two, in more ways than one, worships their significant other, often because they’re “in love” with the idea of the person they’re with; not so much with the person themselves. This can be dangerous because it can easily lead to crimes of passion.

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3. Addiction – Yeah, there’s such a thing as being addicted to someone or love or even the fortunes or misfortunes that come with being in a relationship with certain people.

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4. Then there’s possessiveness – Goes without saying.

In pop culture, love is conflated with desire, which isn’t always selfless, yet love in its true nature is all altruism. Desire is the total opposite of love, yet since childhood, that’s how we’re taught to define love – with need and attachment.

love is conflated with desire, which isn’t always selfless, yet love in its true nature is all altruism

Nobody’s heart should ache out of love, yet we grow up thinking if it doesn’t hurt enough, then you’re not in love enough.

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At least to me, love is a sensation of allowing, rather than seeking. Letting go, rather than holding onto. To me, love is subtle and delicate, albeit very actionable.

Nobody’s heart should ache out of love

Interestingly, however, love at the initial stages of most relationships can easily be drowned by attachment, fear and lust.

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When fear, attachment and lust crowd it out, love suffers claustrophobia, and yet to grow, it needs space. Love is powerful but isn’t forceful. Desire, on the other hand, is simple in nature yet reckless. If left unmanaged, desire can cause so much harm, because it is the intention to change something – to reject what is, in favor of what it could be, rather than accepting what it for its own sake.

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Heard of “loving someone as they are”? Yeah, love is the intention to let one be for their own sake. Guess what? Love isn’t simply “to want very badly”, as most of us perceive it.

When fear, attachment and lust crowd it out, love suffers claustrophobia

Come to think of it; it’s in fact very hard to be sensitive to love when you’re overrun by desire.

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Yes, desire can happen at the same time as love, but it’s never the same thing. Jealousy, which is often thought of as the evidence of love to certain degrees, really isn’t. Jealousy is fear. Love doesn’t drive people insane. It heals people; makes people better, sane even.

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In so many ways than one, desire can motivate people to do anything in the name of love, yet love, in its purest form, reveals itself when we release our need to have an object of our affection, and then realize that there’s no reason to make it ours, at all.

Love doesn’t drive people insane. It heals

That it exists at all is enough. In other words, to love is to die to our own interests so that it can be what it is – pure.

Desire, on the other hand, is loud and only follows its own trail. As such, it needs a sober driver albeit the fact that it does make you drunk. It ends where you end. Unlike love, desires can be no bigger than you. To love someone is for their happiness to be the same as your own.

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That said, love gives me the vision clear enough to see the world without the imagery borders between me and you and them.

Unlike love, desires can be no bigger than you.

I recently read somewhere that (paraphrase), “…your love can’t be reserved for one person. If you only love one person, you probably don’t love anyone at all.”

But then again, nothing is misidentified more often than love. That’s why I stick to its biblical definition. It really is an interesting time to live, because this article may end up being unpopular for the mere mention of or reference to the biblical definition of love. No apologies here!

But when it’s all said and done, remember; if it hurts, it’s not love.

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Now that we’ve attempted to clarify what love isn’t, especially in reference to the external, what does LOVING YOURSELF FROM THE INSIDE OUT really mean? Does doing life become easier once you’ve learnt how to love yourself from the inside out? Once you’ve gotten rid of the object of your affection?

this article may end up being unpopular for the mere mention of or reference to the biblical definition of love

To answer this and other questions surrounding this topic, stay tuned to articles to follow, said in other phenomenal women’s words.

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This Valentine’s Day, love you first, from the inside out. These ladies will help you learn how to, as you become the best version of yourself all year round!
#YouArePossible

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