It’s love, who dis?

by Ren

What does love mean to me? That’s a loaded question considering I spent a majority of my formative years without it. I never really knew what love was. I had an idea, through books and television but thought it was something that only existed fictionally, or for entertainment purposes.

So now that I’m a grown woman and have been flying blindly when it comes to this tricky yet overpowering little emotion… what does love look like to me?

Love looks like consistency. Doing your best to show up everyday.

Love looks like being the biggest cheerleader and hype girl. It’s so hard for us to see just how valuable we are sometimes. Reminders and affirmations for what an amazing human you are feels magical.

I think we operate as humans from two places. Love, and Fear. Love is trying to silence the fear (especially when the majority of your actions are fear based because you fear losing love) and only operate from love.

Love looks like connection. Late nights and soulful conversations. Grazing of fingertips, or pushing hair out of your face.

Love looks like being seen. I’ve never truly had someone look at me. Only the curated version I’ve created that I foolishly thinks makes me more lovable. Real love is being able to stand in front of someone, in all your imperfect humanness and have them truly know you inside and out.

One of the things I’ve loved about being in love, the few times I’ve been lucky enough to experience it, is the feelings it ignites in you. That it showed me just how deeply I could feel for another life. Even in the instances where it didn’t work out, it was so amazing to see what loving someone so strongly could create.

Love is utter thoughtfulness. It’s hearing someone you love had a hard day, so you have a glass of wine, or dinner ready for them when they get home.

Love is compassion. Not only for the one you love, but for yourself.

Love is solid communication. I grew up in a world where no one knew how to communicate. I find myself now over compensating to communicate. I try to leave nothing unsaid, and in times of conflict, being committed to respectful, open communication even in times when you’re not feeling it, is love. 

If I had to describe the feeling, I’ll equate it to some of these things that have always felt like love to me.

The smell of a bookstore. A local sub sandwich on the beach after a day of surfing. A beautiful sunset. A dog greeting you when you walk in the door. A cat under your neck purring. The swell of a John Williams score. Bowing after a musical. Laughs that make you pee your pants. Kissing a woman. Kissing a man.The surprise of Santa coming, with everything still dark, but the glow of the Christmas tree shining on despite how horrible you felt about yourself; you were a “good girl” that year. Creating, literally anything. Being embraced in a long lingering hug because someone knows you need it.

Love is …. Not happening right now in this world. We’re collectively doing the opposite. I’m hoping one day I can find the hope and magic and love in humanity once again.

You can connect with Ren on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

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