Don’t Take Love for Granted

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Sometimes, especially after the honeymoon phase ends, we begin to get so comfortable with having our beloved around that we don’t put as much effort into the relationship, into ourselves, and we take others for granted.

Romance. KILLER! Continue to put effort into yourself, your hobbies, your friendships, your personal growth, your appearance, and your relationship.

Of course, we’re going to become more “human” as we get to know someone better, but putting your best foot forward in the beginning of a relationship and then going on cruise control and doing the bare minimum once we’ve snagged ourselves a mate and commitment is a surefire way to dull the sparkle, and end up in a lackluster pairing, complaining to our friends that the passion is gone.

Of course, this is a two way street, and we can’t expect ourselves or our partners to be “on” 100% of the time. Life happens, and love, and life, requires our patience and understanding. You are only ever responsible for and can only ever control yourself and your actions.

This isn’t just about romantic love either. This could be familial love, platonic love, or even pet love.

We become so accustomed to having certain people around that we sometimes get caught up in our own “stuff” and forget to pour our love into those relationships.

Think of your nearest and dearest and picture each person as a small pond hosting a beautiful lotus. The lotus is a water plant,  and while it can survive when the water begins to dry out, it won’t live forever that way.

Think of the love you give and receive in a relationship as the water that helps that lotus thrive. You both need to provide water before one of you becomes resentful of carrying around heavy buckets of water all the time while you sit around admiring the beautiful lotus you do not feed.

Sometimes you’ll carry most of the water, and you may take “shifts,” with one person doing the work sometimes until you swap. It’s not always going to be a perfect 50/50 split.

It feels nice to see your plant thriving without having to do the work yourself, but it feels even better when you come upon that lotus and it is beginning to wilt, trying to lap up any moisture left in the mud, and you give it a hearty drink yourself, and watch it blossom and relax in the coming days.

Our people are our life lines. Of course, you don’t need anybody, technically speaking, but human beings are social creatures, and it doesn’t only take a village to raise a child, but it takes a village to thrive as a human.

None of us are perfect, and sometimes we can get caught up on the imperfections of those we love. Often, though, the things we judge in others are the things we are ashamed of in ourselves.

When something pisses you off about someone you love, ask yourself if you see that quality in yourself. You might be surprised at what you find if you are honest with yourself.

As a self proclaimed independent woman who finds pleasure and growth in solitude, I have to say that the older I get, the more I realize the value of my relationships- family, friendship, romantic, business, community, etc.

We need other people. It took me so long to admit that. Cherish the people you have in your life, no matter how imperfect they are.

Look at your own shortcomings, and ask yourself if you always do the perfect thing. None of us do. Pour your love into your relationships.

We have to fill our own cups before we can fill others, so learn to overflow in self love and self care and rest so that you have more to pour into your relationships with others, and you don’t let that lotus wither.

Reach out to those you care about. Send cards and gifts. Offer to help. Listen. Be there when your friends need a favor. Put people in contact with each other. Show up to their parties and events. Support their dreams. Encourage them. Smile at them and look them in the eyes. Give them hugs. Squeeze their hands. Kiss their cheeks. Accept them as they are. Bite your tongue on criticism or judgement. Offer praise. Tell your people what you appreciate about them. Say thank you. Be a light. Or maybe, just sit quietly with them and be there.

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