What is Love?

In spite of my former hard shelled person, I'm going to share something that has impacted me more than most lessons learned. What is love? Do you feel it instantly with someone or over time? Do you ever tell your friends you love them- like you do with your partner, or parents? For many, many years I had a flawed perception of what love meant. I thought it meant love was concrete; it had to be a certain feeling, or it wasn't love. Let me clear things before we go any further: love comes in many forms at many different speeds, at many different times.

Love can hurt like a paper cut after you stub your toe. There are ebbs and flows to life and love. I didn't allow myself to have the capacity to accept love. I didn't want it, because I was too fearful of the love crashing down, and subsequently leaving me heartbroken. I've had some hurt in life, just like any of us will. It's how we get back up, what makes us smile again. To me it's giving love with no expectation of love in return. It's more for me to learn how to give and ACCEPT love with no expectations. It's finding your worth and loving yourself to that amount.

I have thrown away absolutely amazing relationships in my life solely on the fact I couldn't accept the love that person had for me. It's something we must work on daily.  If we wake up in the morning, that's certainly something to love about yourself. Love that you’re alive! If we can get out of bed, even more love! Anything after that is going to be amazingly positive and possible if you give and accept love. For myself I'm learning to shed this hard shell. Let some people who love me, into my life. Be a bit vulnerable, but don't get taken advantage of.

Two and a half weeks ago I was not feeling love, I had lost my sweet puppy to an unforeseen death sentence, and a phone call changed that. I have searched for my family (uncles, aunts, and cousins) for years. I have been denied contact with them for 21 years. That is out of my control. What is in my control is my drive to meet these people. I found them! I received the best opportunity in the world two weeks ago. I got a chance to actually talk to my family. 16 people who have always loved me, and I never knew. It's bittersweet, and I will never take these great people for granted. For the first time in a long, long time, I'm going to have a family Christmas, with my blood family this year.

The miracles that come from letting go of some false glimpses of love, and embracing the actual love you feel, deep down in your core, are priceless. I'm eternally grateful for the resilience I have in my soul. Without it, I may have given up this search. I have found love in my family. I am learning to accept love in my life. It is a process of lowering the hard shells, and being open to greatness within us. Being vulnerable, and embracing the love our supporters have.

Have you ever thought, "I wonder if anyone loves me"? And not knowing people from all over the world actually love you, you just maybe haven't seen them in 21 years, which is out of your control. I love my friends. Like actually love them, and I love my family so much. I'm so humbled to have them in my life now and forever.

Dream BIG, Love Hard, and Never forget your worthy of the greatest love, and that is to yourself.