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I think it’s safe to say that if you have been on this earth long enough, you can acknowledge the fact that we all have ‘off days’ from time to time. There are also times were those days can turn into weeks or even months. The cause for some can be a change in environment, a situation at work, or even a change in a relationship. I remember the first time that I experienced an off day that turned into a very uncomfortable month. For me, this truly was the first time I struggled to feel like myself.read more
“What am I doing with my life?” I’ve asked myself this question at least ten thousand times. Some days, I’ve asked it in sarcasm (like when I’m halfway through a 10 mile run) and some days with genuine curiosity. “What am I doing and where am I going?” If you had asked me 20 years ago, I would have definitely thought I’d have my adult life planned and figured out by now. Alas, adulthood did not come with the clarity I expected as a naive teenager. So how is it possible to find your “calling,” the unique, intended purpose of your entire existence?read more
Dear gardener sir, the sound of your leaf-blower makes me cringe. I feel the snarl on my lip and I shudder with annoyance. My skin feels like it’s crawling. It’s Tuesday. In the middle of the day. I just want some peace. I came home to breathe. I’m grateful to be home for a much-needed break to pet my dog, recharge with some nourishing food, catch some midday sun-rays, and sit in silence. And now the über-fart-like machine sound of your leaf-blower is the bane of my existence.read more
I know this is something that I talk about a lot, but the breakup I went through almost three years ago has been one of the greatest impacts on my life to date. I don’t know if it’s because that person was such a part of my life or because he truly was my first love, nonetheless, after experiencing paralyzing heartbreak, I have done everything I can to grow and learn.read more
If thinking about money makes you groan, I’m right there with ya. Between student loans (even typing that makes my fingers hurt), rent, and a laundry list of other expenses that keep sneaking their way in, finances in your twenties are typically tough. Not to mention the topic of money is cause for a lot of tension in people’s lives.read more
With the passing of passing of Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve, I’m sure you’ve noticed that Valentine’s day made it’s entrance into Target, the grocery store, the 99 cent store, and even Starbucks very quickly. (I will admit, that I got sucked into purchasing a Starbucks reusable cup with a very large heart on the front.)
the month of love
Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t it seem like with each passing year the onslaught of decorations for each and every holiday comes earlier and earlier? I think the answer is yes, but really the point I’m trying to make is, we have fully entered the month of love.
For some it can be a frustrating time because it’s a reminder that we don’t have a special someone to share it with, while for others it is just another month. Regardless of your feelings on the holiday, I think it’s safe to say that we all long to have a special someone who ‘gets’ us, sees us, and knows us on a level that no one else does.
With that being said, I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say that I think holidays like Valentine’s Day often misrepresent the true essence of love. We also often see this odd misrepresentation of love in movies, media, and from a well intentioned, but often misguided relative.
I have definitely encountered many disappointments in the area of love that have been utterly heartbreaking, but one thing for sure is, I’ve learned an awful lot. Honestly, in some situations the collapse of my relationships were not always fully my fault.
However, I have always made a point to examine what I may have done wrong in each situation. From those experiences this is what I’ve learned about what love is and what love is not.
4 facts about love
1) love is, healthy communication
This is an area that for a long time I was truly just plain bad in. I mean you always hear experts say that the key to a solid relationship is communication right? In many regards they are absolutely right, but I had to learn the hard way that communication is not just about expressing your feelings.
Having healthy communication is completely about intending to come to a place of communion instead of dissension. So what do I mean? For example, when I felt like my needs weren’t being met I would often accuse, which would only push the other person away. My intention was absolutely not to understand my partner, it was all about making sure I felt good.
Another aspect of healthy communication is taking the time to truly listen. I’m not talking about just being quiet while the other person is expressing themselves, I’m talking about really absorbing what they’re saying. If you truly want to feel heard then you need to take the time to hear what your partner is saying.
Another piece of advice that I think has truly changed my life is getting good at asking a lot of questions. By asking questions you will get a chance to hear where the person is coming from instead of making a lot of assumptions.
Plus, when you ask questions it will make the other person feel loved and appreciated. Don’t you feel kind of special when another person takes the time to ask you about your life, feelings, and thoughts? I know I do.
2) love is, letting people be their true self
Real love is not about trying to change the other person into who you think they should be. Let me repeat that. Real love is NOT about trying to change the other person into who you think they should be. I know we all know that on some level, however, are there things that you do in your everyday life that make your partner feel like they can’t be themselves?
For instance, do you judge your partner if they decide to eat McDonald’s, play video games, or if they wear that shirt you absolutely hate? I know these examples may seem a little silly, but if you can’t accept your significant other truly for who they are, then you’re not being truly loving.
I’m sure we all have bad habits or things we could change, but the real point I’m trying to make is, if we don’t feel like we are being loved and supported for who we are, our natural instinct is to pull away.
Just think back to when you were a teenager. Remember when your parents told you that you couldn’t do something and you started to resent them? Even though they meant well, their tactics at times may have not been the most couth and only caused you to do the complete opposite.
So instead of trying to change your partner, support them for who they are and allow them to make the decision to grow on their own. I promise that by doing so you will create a deeper sense of love.
3) love is, being supportive
Being supportive is an area I really lacked in for a very long time. During my relationship with my longterm boyfriend I often resented him whenever he had to leave for work. Part of it had to do with the fact that I was in a city I was ready to move out of, and he was getting a chance to explore his creative endeavors, while I was stuck in Oklahoma.
I used to get mad all the time, accuse him of not being supportive, and often made him feel bad for following his dreams. At the time I was not being loving at all! I was only concerned about having my own needs met, and didn’t even stop to think about what he wanted.
Furthermore, how could I expect him to support me when I couldn’t do the same for him? In a perfect world, we both would have been able to follow our own endeavors without any obstacles in the way, but sometimes life just doesn’t go the way we want.
Truly loving your partner, is being able to support them through the good, the bad, and the ugly. A lot of romantic comedies only show the fun and exciting side of love. However, if you really want love to last a lifetime you have to get to a place where you can support each other even when the road ahead looks disastrous.
4) love is, giving more love
The only way to get more love is to give more love. If you want more love to come into your life, you have to be willing to give love to others. I know it sounds so cliche, but it is so true. I am not saying I’m perfect by any means, but I really do try to go out of my way to make those around me feel special by either asking how their day was, always saying please and thank you, and taking the time to listen to what is being shared.
I know in theory this sounds easy to do, but in the past, my intention to love was not always there and I think people could tell. Ever since I started to be more intentional with love I’ve found that more and more love has come my way.
For instance, when I first started working at my current job I couldn’t get our head Chef to look me in the eye, let alone even say, “Hi” to me in passing. Truth be told, it did get to me from time to time, but I made a conscious decision to say hello to him even if it made me uncomfortable.
Well guess what? Now I find him saying hello to me know from clear across the room! In the context of a romantic relationship, I think there are situations that even though you give all the love you can give, the other person just continue to take and take.
In those situations, it’s probably best to remove yourself because it isn’t healthy in the long run. I have been in a few of those situations and I know that moving on can be hard.
It doesn’t mean you leave the situation with hate in your heart. It means that even though you’re choosing to separate you still treat them with kindness. Even if you don’t see love coming your way in that very moment, I do believe that the universe is set up in such a way that if you give, you’ll somehow receive down the line.
Davene is an actor, singer, and health enthusiast from Los Angles. After going through years of being overweight, struggling with emotional eating, and being paralyzed by depression, she discovered that there is hope and that if you take the time to really dig deep anything is possible.
She is very passionate about motivating and equipping others to take back their physical, spiritual, and mental health. She is also driven to help others learn that they have worth and realize that everything we do is not just about where we are going, but what we learn and do along the way.