“What does love look like?” is the question I’ve been pondering.
What does love look like?
What does love look like? is the question I’ve been asking of You.
Once believed that love was romance, just a chance.
I even thought that love was for the lucky and the beautiful.
I once believed that love was a momentary bliss, but love is more than this…” – Misty Edwards
Sometimes we don’t recognise Love, because “Love is hidden in plain sight”. It’s such a cliché, that I have not paused to ponder what “hidden in plain sight” really means. I loved this definition I came across online:
“It means that something is visible to a person but because… it is not where the person looking for it expects it to be, it is hard to locate.
For example, I was looking in my bookshelves for a book by a particular author. I thought the book had a red cover, so I was looking for a red cover. I was wrong; it had a white cover. I probably glanced at the book 3 or 4 times without recognizing it. It was hidden (meaning I didn’t recognize it) in plain sight (it was perfectly visible).”
That got me thinking.
Is it possible that we become so attached to what Love must look like, that we become blind to what Love really looks like, when it’s always been there, right in front of us?
Love is hidden, only because I didn’t recognize it, when it is right in front of me.
Still, “What does Love look like?”
“…most of us spend our lives trying to find love, trying to live in it, and dying without ever truly discovering it.” – Leo Buscaglia
Last night, A and I agreed that there is no one definition to Love. Question is, can we recognise Love when it’s right in front of us? Our eyes need cleansing, to truly see.
For that cleansing to happen, sometimes we need to face some painful truths about ourselves. This morning, an inconvenient truth became apparent: “I am A Terrible Friend.” I began to see I have been Projecting on my friends, my own Shadows.
“I realized that I only judged people when they displayed a quality I could not accept in myself…
Hold your hand straight out in front of you and point at someone. Notice that you have one finger pointing at them and three fingers pointing back at yourself. This can serve as a reminder that when we are blaming others we are only denying an aspect of ourselves.
The process of hiding and denying parts of myself began to seem almost comical once I realized all the energy I was using in order to not be a certain kind of person.” – Debbie Ford, ‘The Dark Side of The Light Chasers.
Trying so hard to not be “A Terrible Friend” was draining me of my energy. I have been so focussed on looking like “A Good Friend” that I haven’t been completely true to myself and others.
When the revelation that “I Am A Terrible Friend” hit me, it felt like a pin had pricked an overly inflated balloon, stretched beyond its means. Ready or not, that stab of truth had punched a hole on my defensive walls and masks, and all that pent up negative energy from not being true to myself was finally finding release.
In the process, I felt lighter, and lighter, and lighter… Who knew, owning up to the fact that “I Am A Terrible Friend” could be so liberating? In the light of this truth, I felt free to drop the need to look good. And I found the courage I needed, to take the steps forward to grow my friendships, at the risk of looking like “a terrible friend”.
This revelation that “I Am A Terrible Friend” also opened my eyes to the reason why I’ve kept these friends in my life. It’s because “My Terrible Friends” have, at some point or another, demonstrated that they are also “My Fiercely Loving Friends.”
Fierce Love isn’t cotton candies.
It shows up when I’m messed up. It sounds offensive, annoying and stern. And it’s a hard, bitter pill to swallow sometimes.
Fierce Love is a friend, who keeps his car engine running in the parking lot, getting all worked up as he’s giving me a long lecture about my worth and lack of self-love.
Fierce Love is that friend sending me an angry text, demanding to know why I went partying without him and got so drunk. He’s mad he wasn’t there to take care of me when I made a fool of myself.
Fierce Love is the cousin, who’s strong enough to show me tough love, when I was in a state where I was the toughest to love. I was up to my neck in muck and too proud to admit it, but she waded in, in the midst of that and held up a mirror, high and clear. Sure, I felt like stinking shit after that, but in her other hand was Unconditional Love.
Fierce Love is the girlfriend who yells at me, fearing for my safety and insisting on driving me home, even though I think I’m sober enough to commute back on my own.
Fierce Love is the girlfriend who shouts at me to get a hold of myself, when I was falling apart and didn’t know any other way.
Fierce Love is the friend who kicked me out of his home when I was a bulimic at 17, and used his bathroom to puke. I thought it was funny. He made it clear it wasn’t.
Fierce Love is all the ways my friends continued loving me, in the limited ways they knew how, when I didn’t love myself enough and didn’t know any better.
Fierce Love is a lot of work. They were willing to put in the work. So will I.
This is how I know what Love is.
It just takes Courage, to see.
“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb
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