After all this, what can be said of love?
C’est simple. C’est tout. It’s everywhere, in everything…and so, I’m in love with it all.
From daily visits with the neighbor’s grey cat, the sight of ducks’ webbed feet, paddling along, the man who feeds the birds from Parc de la Villette à Porte de la Pantin, walks along Canal de l’Ourcq when it rains, feeling a soft body of heat waft around my snow-covered apartment, to finding new soul connections.
We’re taught to fear loving everything, yet, we are love’s greatest embodiment, as beings who can fully feel and express love as they wish. Other beings envy this ability, and yet, we run from it in ourselves.
We run because we vehemently believe that we mistake control, co-dependency, and/or abuse for love. And so, our associations to love hurts us more than heartbreak itself. If co-dependency is a drug we abuse, but love is a cure all.
Love is freedom–from fear, attachment and predestined outcomes. Meanwhile, our attachment to co-dependency leads us to confuse love as something we can consume instead of experience.
Love is our true nature.
Let us not consume the love we offer one another; let us allow love to shepherd one another to new heights. Love you, love them, love me–even when it rains.
As of yesterday, I am twenty-five years old.
It wasn’t a particularly Earth-shattering event, in fact, I’m currently waking up in the same bedroom I was dreaming in, crying in, and generally, being bratty as fuck in from age 10 to 18 . It has been a cool 7 years since I’ve experienced the stillness (and mania) that comes with this long of a stay at your childhood home (but I am enjoying the perks, like the six-layer, rainbow, explosion cake that my mom made me.)
And with that comes a lot of time to reflect on how I’ve spent my life, where I’m at, and where I’m heading.
Here are 25 things I’ve learned about life:
- Treat yourself like an asset with appreciating value. You are your longest relationship, so treat yourself kindly for the long haul! Furthermore, not treating yourself this way just increases the likelihood that others also won’t show you the respect you deserve.
- Trust in the divine, and your angels. No matter what that divine looks like for you, they’ll never lead you astray. My God is a faceless, nameless God that I believe in without books, or any other rhyme, or reason; my faith has been tested on several occasions, and I’m happy to know that my God is very much so walking with me through this life.
- Cut all the bullshit, and expeditiously! Call yourself on your own crap (limiting beliefs, biases, and unhelpful habits), cut out fake friends, lousy partners, and unsupportive family. You cannot reform anyone’s hateration other than your own, so when you see that someone’s heart isn’t in a place that feels good to you, leave, and expeditiously!
- What’s in your head and what’s in your heart will always take you farther than what’s in your bank account.
- Celebrate who you are–especially if you’re seen as “other” within your community. Your mind, your heart, and your vision are very needed in this world.
- Don’t second guess yourself, and don’t let anyone make you feel like you should start doing so.
- Set BIG (and sometimes, seemingly unrealistic) goals; go for what your heart truly wants–it always knows.
- ….THEN, pair that with setting achievable mini goals. Whether it takes you 2 days, 2 years, or 2 decades, your big goals can happen when you commit to working towards them little by little, every. single. day.
- Stay curious about yourself, others, and human nature. Nothing stays the same; allow that to excite you, not terrify you.
- LOVE LIKE IT’S GOING OUT OF STYLE. This goes for all kinds of love, not just romantic!!! There is SO much love to experience in the world, keep your heart open to giving and receiving it whenever you can.
- …BUT, give your love with discernment. Loving people unconditionally is unrealistic because healthy relationships, whether they’re romantic, platonic, or familial, are reciprocal.
- Express yourself with your entire chest. Do not say something behind someone’s back that you wouldn’t have the courage say to their face; my mom taught me this at a young age and it has helped me avoid A LOT of conflict.
- You *really* don’t have to be friends with everyone. And honestly, you really can’t be because not everyone can offer you the same support.
- Give without expectation. Whether it’s a good deed, a monetary donation, or your freakin’ heart, pour from a cup that is full.
- Tell people how you really feel, always. You owe it to yourself to be transparent about your feelings, no matter if they’re reciprocated or not.
- Validate yourself on YOUR standards. What makes a good life is wholly subjective; believe in your vision and your vision alone.
- Most things are black and white, but the grey area is OK too. Sometimes just accepting things as they are is all you can do.
- Give your time and energy to people who celebrate you. Without question, no matter what–even when they don’t completely understand your life.
- ACCEPT YOUR FUCKING BODY. It is beautiful the way it is, no matter how “other” you are. Having a body that does what you need it to do (contain your insides) is much more important than how it looks.
- Your words have energy. Everything that you say is possible and can become true. Seriously! My grandma and I watched Oprah most days after school, and she always said, “T, I wanna see you on TV one day,” and it just so happened that I shared that vision for myself too. I kept believing in it–no idea when, or even how it would happen, but I kept putting energy behind it, declaring it, and shaking the hands I felt would lead me to it. Then, BOOM, 3 TV appearances later, I do not mess around with what comes out of my mouth. There’s no room for negativity, or speaking out of anger.
- Have some tact!!! Churchill was a real POS, but he told 0 lies when he said “tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”
- Failure is just an illusion if you look at each one as a lesson, and give yourself some grace. Perfection IS an illusion, and nothing will change that.
- Taking accountability will improve your quality of life in every sense. It will not kill you to admit that you’ve been wrong (I have), have hurt others (who hasn’t?), and need to look in the mirror (it’s part of life.)
- Stay playful. Life is everything and nothing all at once; it’s tiring, yet fleeting, but we are here to make the most of it. Keep laughing, loving, and accepting the lessons learned from the bad days, because better days are always coming.
- You will find someone who loves everything about you, but before then, the universe will send you lots of riff raff. As my Angel Reader, Ivette, says, “focus on having an abundant, joy-filled life, first and foremost, and the right person will be happy to join you for every inch of that journey.”
All the glory onto God;
I will never be ungrateful.
God blessed me in real life;
I don't fear demons nor enemies.
I'm protected by the most high.
Our choices are many within the bodega of love.
Some seek love as an additive to an ever-growing happiness. Others, as a substitute for its ever-present absence within.
Our approaches to it differ–why we’re seeking, when, and with whom; but our seeking reveals that all of us want it. Wholeheartedly.
So much so, that there are times when we give our love away, blinded by the possibility of finding it–once and for all, after so many years of seeking.
And it’s not out of lack of love for ourselves.
Sometimes we find ourselves coupled with living, breathing facades, heavily invested in selling us smoke and mirrors. But partners who are cowards to their true reflection aren’t partners at all, they’re just cowards. (And they come in size, “friend,” as well.)
No matter who they are to you, love is the last thing they’re seeking…and what for? When your validation is far cheaper a cost?
But your way of loving is something money can’t buy. In the bodega of relationships–romantic and platonic– I beg you, choose wisely.