we do not spend much time talking about what love means.
Think about it.
You might say, "I love you" every day, but when is the last time you had a conversation,
a serious conversation with someone about the meaning of love?
Love is the mirror image of shame.
We desperately do not want to experience shame, and we are not willing to talk about it.
Yet, the only way to resolve shame is to talk about it.
Maybe we are afraid of topics like love and shame.
Most of us like safety, certainty, and clarity.
Shame and love are grounded in vulnerability and tenderness.
Just think, emotions and experiences are tightly woven together in people's stories.
They don't speak of one without the other.
It not an accidental entanglement, it is an intentional knot.
Love belongs with belonging.
Thinking of love brings me to this definition.
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection.
Love is not something we give or we get: it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them
--- we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows.
Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed, and rare.
Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearing is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it.
Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic imperfect selves to the world,
our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
The Gifts of Imperfection - Brene Brown