Love is (not) enough

How many times have we heard things like ‘love is the answer’, ”love is all you need’, etc.

I used to believe love was enough, I used to believe that if someone loved you then it would work out. That if someone loved you and you loved them it would all be alright, that you would be able to overcome anything. Yes, I am talking about romantic love in this case, though it applies to other types of love relationships as well.

I recently realised this is not true because love is not enough.

My inner child is rebelling against these words I am writing and she screams inside me, How can you say that? So I have to explain it to her.

In life there are only two basic core emotions, love and fear. Total opposites. Sometimes people believe the opposite of love is hate but no, it’s fear. Hate is just fear disguised in anger and violence. Love and fear are the two basic core emotions from which every other emotion emerges.

The Positive emotions such as joy, empathy, hope, understanding, trust, open-mindedness, peace, strength, wisdom, courage, gratitude, happiness, etc. all stem from love. Love sponsors these emotions so whenever you feel them, if you dig deep you will find love as the roots of the emotion. On the other hand, the Negative emotions are sponsored by fear: hate, fury, resentment, guilt, betrayal, hurt, jealousy, shame, apathy, despair, sadness, anxiety, etc. They all come from fear, if you dive deep you will find fear at the base. And if you ponder the question: fear of what? The answer is always the same one: fear of death. Not only fear of our own physical deaths, but fear of the ego, fear of losing anything or everything we identify ourselves as, sometimes it’s an image we portray, sometimes it is material stuff, sometimes it is our position, our body, our job, or even our relationship with someone. Sometimes unconsciously we identify with all these things to the point to which our very own selves seem created by them so the fear of losing them would represent death of that image of the self we have created in our minds.

So, with everything in life we have only two basic choices: fear or love. Whenever we do something, or say something, or think something, or feel something we are either doing/thinking/saying/feeling it out of fear or out of love. All your actions are sponsored by either of these forces and if you go inward and dig deep enough you can always know which has been your guide. Needless to say that to create a better world we would all have to choose love, every time, consciously. But to do so, we have to be aware of all this. That is the first step.

So if we take love in this sense, this all-encompassing love then yes it is enough…

But I mean the love in romantic relationships, the one when people say “I love you” but they cannot support that statement because they… we… I include myself for I have too done that before… because we lack self-love.

Love is not enough to make a relationship work. Not in its one-dimensional aspect. Love needs to be unfolded in order to succeed. For a relationship to work, you need love, yes, but you also need strength, understanding, wisdom, honesty, trust, respect, confidence, integrity, courage, loyalty, self-esteem, assertiveness, forgiveness… All derivatives from love but unique and important on their own. And most importantly, self-love, for we can only love another to the extent we love ourselves and others can only love us to the extent they love themselves.

This is why Stephen Chbosky’s quote in The Perks of Being a Wallflower hit us all in a soft spot, because we all know intuitively that this is true. What is in reflects our outside. The love we have for ourselves will also manifest in our relationship with others, and we will only be able to love others as much as we love ourselves. And sometimes, when we find something good, something worth while, something worth working for… we mess it up. Feelings of unworthiness will make us sabotage good relationships. So will the fear of being hurt again. This fear will prevent us from even seeking a relationship in the first place. Fear destroys love. And the fact that we messed it up will only reaffirm our low self-esteem. It is a vicious cycle, hard to see, even harder to change but not impossible.

We can choose love instead. If we see our fear for what it is we can shine the light of our consciousness on it. We can feed it love instead. Where fear breaks, destroys, kills… love creates, heals, and grows anew. Fear is not our enemy, it is our teacher. Fear is our catalyst for change and even if we need twice as much love as before to rebuild our self-confidence, to heal our broken heart, it will be worth it. And the next time someone breaks our heart, or tries to, we will know, we can always choose love again. Self-love first and foremost, and the rest will follow. And if we healed once, we can do it again. Every time you suffer heartache, you also become better at healing, you become more whole, more capable of loving. Any heartache only adds to your heart the capacity to feel, and to love.

Yes, love is enough, my dear inner child, but only if you dare to seize it whole in all its aspects and embody all its attributes, with every one of your thoughts/choices/words/actions. Be loving, but also be brave, be strong, be kind, be honest, be loyal, be decent, be respectful, be conscious, be resilient, be flexible, be selfless, be trustworthy and trusting, be reliable, be assertive, be confident, be joyful, be fun, be empathetic, be understanding, be open-minded, be caring… and be these things for and towards others, yes, but most importantly, for and towards you. You can only be these things towards someone else, truthfully and genuinely, to the extend you are being these things towards you and for you. If you are not kind to yourself but you are kind towards others, you may not be kind because of kindness’ sake, but to secure other people’s love and appreciation, which ultimately means that your actions may be coming from fear… fear of losing love and when someone is afraid of losing love, or being abandoned, or feeling unloved, or being rejected, then they take abuse from others which leads to more self-doubt or even self-loathing.

The person who needs you to be these loving things the most is yourself for yourself and towards yourself. And I am talking about the love that puts yourself first from a place of love, because it knows that you taking care of yourself and giving yourself love will ultimately make you a more loving and caring person for others for you won’t do things to please them, to enchant them, to make them stay, but because you are so full of love that you need to share it, it overflows, it fills you up and expands towards others, naturally, effortlessly.

Yes, love can be enough but only if we choose love… every time, with every word, every choice, every thought, every action. And the first step to do this is to observe our thoughts/actions/words/feelings, to monitor them and when one arises to ask ourselves…. Is this coming from love or from fear and if it is from fear how can I shift to love? What would Love do/think/say/feel?

Love is enough as long as it is based on love, not fear. If you love someone out of fear… fear of loneliness, fear of emptiness, fear of unworthiness, then that is not really love… that is a statement of the lack of it.

If you love someone because of who they are… instead of who you are… your love is akin to fear as well because it will depend on the other person being who you need them to be, and if they fail you, and they probably will because no one is perfect, and no one should be expected to be… that love will fail.

If you love someone not because of who they are but because of who you are… then that love will stay (I am no saying the relationship will stay, necessarily, but the love will) despite what they do or don’t do for the love you have and are is not dependent on external circumstances. That love will not be so much a statement of the relationship but a statement of who you choose to be. And regardless of whether they leave or stay… if the love remains -love for yourself, love for them and who they were in your life, whether a great love, a wonderful companion, a teacher, a guide… all they were. And gratefulness for what you lived together, for the good moments, but also gratefulness for the lessons you learned in the tough moments- if all that love and gratefulness and light which is all part of the same energy, the divine energy some call simply Love, remains… then no matter what happened, happens or will happen, it was all worth it. And regardless of who stays, who goes, who comes, who leaves, the love will remain for it becomes you, you become it. All that love, the love you give, gave, the love you received, the love you share or shared… it BECOMES YOU. You become that love itself, and then it will always stay for it is not only part of you or part of your story, it is you. All the love in your life will guide you through every moment, in every Now. That love which remains, the love that is you, will allow you to see your past, present and future with bright eyes, with love and gratefulness, and hope.

So yes, my darling inner child, love is enough, it is always enough, but make sure the love you profess is rooted in love as well and then and only then will it truly outlive every heartache and every pain and it will shower you with beauty and more love, for evermore.

Published by Mariel Torres

Wandererer whose feet follow where the pen leads...

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