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Blog Posts

purposefully pursuing the love we give

Christina Levy

photograph by element5 digital

photograph by element5 digital

i’d be lying if i said that at this point in my life i haven’t pondered the idea of being with someone whom i can imagine spending the rest of my life with. shoot, i was in the 5th grade when i imagined myself happily married to _________ with two kids who’s made up names elude me at the moment. my point is, love is nothing foreign to me. i’ve been loved and have loved, even if i didn’t know what it was at the time. was i in love in the 5th grade? most certainty not, but there were people in my life who i would have done anything they asked of me for the simple reason of it feeling right.

i think that’s where it all stems from— it feeling right. love. it makes parents get up before the crack of dawn to comfort their child. it drives men and women to pledge themselves to each other till death. it makes us spend ridiculous amounts of money on people just to see them happy. now, i don’t think the getting up, or the pledging, or the spending feels right in the moment but it’s the after effect that does. love is a deliberate choice to sacrifice. we might decorate it with red roses but at the core, real love is “acting and living selflessly,” according to my wise cousin. so then, if we are going to pursue this thing, we ought to remember that it starts with us and that we choose love, it doesn’t just happen.

we can’t share something we have yet to find for ourselves. in order to give love, we have to start with us. i’m no love or relationship guru but experiences have taught me that the love we give others will only be as good as the love we give to ourselves. we have people trying to pour into others when they themselves are empty. that is a sure way to implode and cause unnecessary hurt. we have to spend time actively loving ourselves. we have to peel back a few layers, find those scars, and intentionally love ourselves in spite of them.

love is an action verb and so we have to choose to love. trust me, no person, in their raw humanity wants to do it every day. there will be things that ticks us off, people who will hurt us, and times we want to wave our white flags. therefore, we have to make the choice to love them. does that mean we give ourselves to people to hurt us? no, because for one, that would mean that we aren’t loving ourselves the way we ought to. at the same time though, we sacrifice our pride in so much that we don’t do to them what they might have done to us.

one more point then i’m finished. can you imagine if more people set out on a mission to find the same love they dish out? i can just imagine how quickly things would change. if we were to first identify how genuine our love is for ourselves and others, then say, “that’s how i want someone else to love me.” i, for one, would be a bit worried. i don’t always treat myself with the same love i want from others. some days i wake up and decide that it’s too hard to sacrifice my time and my space for the very ones i say that i love.

it’s not as easy as i made it sound earlier now is it? that’s the sacrificial component of love that many tend to look over to get to the part that feels right. it’s more than the roses and expensive gifts. i want to challenge you all to pursue the love you give, for however long it takes you to learn or relearn what love is.


peace, love and blessings,