To understand love (to the extent anyone really can), I’ve learned you must first grasp the concept of what it is not.
And love is not comprised of conditions.
I learned this painful, but indispensable lesson from a previous relationship. A healthy partnership requires communication, respect and boundaries–not lectures, contempt and control.
I agree that a well-balanced relationship involves give and take, meaning many times your own desires are set aside to satisfy the needs of your loved one.
However, what I experienced in this particular relationship was the person I trusted taking advantage of the aforementioned–taking advantage of me–growing impatient when what was demanded wasn’t received. Thus, leading my partner to outbursts of anger and myself apologizing. It didn’t take long before I realized my partner’s needs and wants would always take priority over my own.
From these hurtful circumstances, I formed my “light switch” analogy.
As long as my partner was acquiring what was desired, I was “loved” and treated kindly. The light switch was turned on. We were a happy couple.
But whenever I was hurting, stressed or sick and not capable of giving the attention or affection coveted by my partner, the light switch flipped off and I was ignored and left to fend for myself. I was being used and certainly not loved.
So, what have I come to learn of real love?
Like the phases of the moon, as human beings we are certain there will be days you or I may shine brightly or instead, conceal our luminosity all together.
I discovered love when someone was patient enough to listen to what I had to say and who allowed me to express my feelings–someone who comforted me when I was sad and who became overwhelmed with joy as I shared my happiness.
I discovered love when I was accepted as myself.
If you have yet to find unconditional love, I encourage you to practice it. Believe in it. Be patient and when you least expect it, you’ll also catch it glimmering when it happens to show.
Poetry source: https://www.instagram.com/a_capella_heart/