by KEISHEL A. WILLIAMS
“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.” Author Nicholas Sparks really captured the essence of this emotion in a few shorts words. No surprise there, after all, he wrote “The Notebook,” one of the greatest contemporary love stories of our generation. It took me a little while to gather my thoughts on this subject, not wanting to regurgitate countless number of musings already hammered out about this emotion. As writers, we often express our deepest thoughts from our experiences, observations and in my case, staunch research. And I’ve come to understand that in order to be lucky enough to feel love at it’s purest, one has to first learn to love.
But truly what does it mean to love and can it really be taught?
As I’m going through my own healing process after love lost, right on cue many friends, colleagues and even students have been baring their souls to me in search of answers to their difficult questions on love. Yes, ask the woman who has been dragged through the gutter by love what it means to love?!
But wait, perhaps they are on to something!
Until you have been broken, you are incapable of understanding the true magnitude of what it means to truly love, or be loved. Love is not pain, but it can be born and grown out of painful circumstances. It begins when you recognize that love is indeed selfless and every relationship you enter into, -platonic or intimate – you should be entering into it with the mindset of: what can I offer this person as opposed to what can they give me.
There is a cycle of hurt people looking for others to “heal” them. Perhaps for fear of being alone, people position themselves in intimate relationships after being hurt by others hoping that the next person will heal their wounds. However, healing and loving yourself before taking on the responsibility of loving someone else is the best act of love one can display. It is selfish of you to carry your hurt, pain, anger and unfinished business from a previous relationship into a new one.
Love is aligning yourself with someone who compliments your life and not the next person who can save you.
We can bypass many of our problems if we spend time learning who we are, the kind of person we want to be for ourselves and others, and how to love selflessly. I have learned to love myself candidly by taking time to understand who I am as a woman, what I want for my life and how to actively correct my flaws especially if they hurt others. Learn to live life as the best possible version of yourself. “As humans, I think we hold on to this emotion of love and frame ourselves to suit it instead of framing it to suit our ideal life,” I recently told a friend who’s going through their own battles with love. We often latch onto the next available person who gives us butterflies in our stomach with the assumption that the glow they have given us is what we need to “get through” the next few years. We are conditioned to feel like love is only what we can get instead of what we can give. Love is not a transient act that comes and goes when it suits you. It can be said: When you hurt an angel, your punishment will last a lifetime. The negative, selfish energy you put out when it comes to love would return and prey on your life in fine fashion.
I say my prayers as Honest me, to live as honest as I can be.
Be honest about who you are as a person, even if you may not have great qualities. “I’m controlling as hell, but you know what, I’m working on that.” Humans are not perfect and regardless of your past if you have been hurt or you have done the hurting, you can learn to love. The flower does not hide its beauty or its flaws and it receives love anyway. When you are cognizant of how your words, presence, and actions affect someone else and you intentionally work towards making those around you – especially those you want to love intimately – happy, comfortable and appreciated then, you have truly learned to love selflessly.
Photography: WYDE LENS MEDIA
Image Editing: Kirk Padmore
Accessories: Pieces NY
Wardrobe: (Rare London Tulle Dress, Gold Jacket)