May 10, 2011

All in the Name of Love

I've been acknowledging how full of love I am lately and it brought me to thoughts of what it means to me and others. In the spirit of the day that we honor and celebrate our parents and their love for us, Mother's Day and Father's Day (coming up next month), I'm focusing on the meaning of love.

So I've been on this love high for about a month now. I've been analyzing my feelings about everyone and everything I say I love. For those old school hip hop heads, remember that song by KRS-One, Loves Gonna Get Ya? Well, it's my inspiration for this exercise. For those of you that don't know, the song challenged us to take a look at what we say we love - our house, our car, a woman or man - and what we do and are willing to do for them (and to obtain them) all in the name of love. It was one of the first songs that made me think critically about anything and may've been what allowed me to discover my fascination with love and human relationships.

To begin, I asked myself who I love and how I express that love to them. Next I thought of all the things that I love and how I express my love for them. And then finally, I acknowledged and admitted in some instances what I was willing to do to obtain and keep these people and things all in the name of love. It's been an enlightening experience and has helped me get back in touch with what's important to me.

It should come as no surprise that my daughter was on top of my list. But after doing a mental list of people, she slipped down to #2 right behind me. In my opinion, everyone should have themselves as the #1 person on their list. Because you truly cannot receive and acknowledge love until you love yourself. And without self love, we cannot be great parents because you can't love anyone else either - you are incapable of giving good love. So I take care of myself in order to take care of my daughter.

My Little Miss, as I fondly call my daughter, is my inspiration. So sacrificing doesn't even phase me; it's what's needed in order to provide for her. So when her health returning to a manageable state was my top priority, I quit my 9 to 5 job and found something part-time instead. And even though I'm making a bit less than half the money I did before, I have health benefits, sick days and vacation days now. That along with a schedule that allows me more time with her and time to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams means I came out ahead. But there was never any hesitation on my part on the decision that had to be made. Any anxiety came from not knowing how I would execute the plan, specifically landing a good part-time job in this economy.

My next two loves are things: my love of intimacy and writing. These are interchangeable at #3 and #4 depending on my current situation and mood. I'm happy to say that writing is back at #3 and holding :) Seriously, though, I've struggled with the amount of focus I put on relationships but am finally in a place of peace. I'm thankful for what I have, am confident with what I want and know I have a way to go before I'm ready to settle down. With that said, my mind, body and spirit are 100% behind the creative process which has led to massive productivity the last 30 days and my hustle mentality back in full effect. Things are falling into place as they do once you've stopped floundering over a decision that needs to be made and actually make it so it's been easy to continue to choose activities that keep me focused and on my path.
I'm nowhere near done with this exercise and I actually think that it's one that I will make part of my routine. It will keep me honest and my priorities in order. And this was not my complete list by any means. My love of music, socializing and social interaction and critical thinking would be next on the list. And, of course, fashion and the freedom of expression and shopping especially when there's a great sale involved would have to be mentioned.

If I've learned anything from doing this is that it doesn't really matter what you love. It's how you love. If you master that, you're golden. So don't ever stop loving, just stop loving badly.

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