366. Tell the people you love that you love them.

I received news of my dearest friend’s grandmother’s passing and my little cousin’s admission into hospital within minutes of each other today. As I sat and observed people’s grief at the funeral later in the day, and talked with babygirl over the phone, I’d realised how temporal life and relationships truly are. It also made me think about the meaning and love we crave in our lives, and the people who are (or aren’t) by our sides when things get hard.

It made me wonder who *I’d* call when times get hard.

I’ve been confronted time and time again recently about my struggle to receive love. I’ve also had emails from other women who struggle with this too. It could be love from a partner, family or even friends.

Y’know. Sometimes I think the only thing harder than giving love is accepting it.

Often we create and build walls to keep love out. These walls come in many forms: They’re present in our excuses, when we distance ourselves, and when we choose people we know are not suited for us. Sometimes it’s easier to keep the love we wish to have out of reach than it is to take it when we get it. Because the truth is: Love is terrifying. And there are a multitude of reasons why we don’t accept it when it appears.

Sometimes it’s because we think that we are protecting ourselves by blocking ourselves off and running away. Sometimes we think we’re protecting others from the storms that swell within us. After all, if we let them in, they may not know how to weather those storms.

We’ve all treated people as less than they deserve at one point or another. We’ve all made choices that are not even remotely close to admirable.

But we have to stop beating ourselves over these things. We are not the sum of all the bad things we’ve done. Nor are we the sum of all the bad things that have been done to us.

Imagine the best parts of ourselves, our favorite part even. Find the things that we love most about ourselves. Imagine ourselves on our best day.

Because that’s also who we are. We’re not defined by the worst things that stir within us, but by the best things that we have grown.

May we remember that accepting love is a choice. We have to welcome it. We are enough.

So tell the people you love that you love them. They need to know, and you need to let it be known. Let them love you too. You don’t have to feel alone. I’m learning to do the same too.

We’ll never know how much time we’ll have with them left.

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