INSPO x THOUGHTS: WHAT IS LOVE? Defining love and happiness.

by misscarlytan

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Art makes you feel things // Mirror art installed by Raif Adelberg.

Taken at an art exhibit at Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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Here’s a truth I’ve grown to realize through friends and experiences of my own: love is not always enough. Sounds cynical, doesn’t it?

Trust me, this isn’t some angry message written by a scorned lover, jaded by love. In fact, I love love. Having a crush, being infatuated and chasing love are all wonderful feelings, and being IN love is probably one of the warmest, happiest experiences a human can be privileged enough to know.

What I mean is, beyond that, what makes a relationship truly lasting is much bigger than just love itself or attraction to another individual (although attraction is of course, very important). After all, being loved and loving another does not denote the presence of positive traits in either individual. You can love someone despite their downfalls and flaws – but is love enough to look past them and would you truly be undeniably happy? Would that type of love be deep, mature, patient and kind?

The truth is, we can absolutely fall in love with what isn’t good for us; people do it all the time. Whether out of infatuation, habit, immaturity, self-delusion or simply bad timing, we fall in love with men and women who are selfish, stingy, calculative, manipulative, shallow, unsupportive, controlling, abusive, passive aggressive or exhaustingly pessimistic. Those with views so different from ours, it brings on more stress than it does happiness because the communication is non-existent and the respect is lacking; whose life goals end up being so far from our own, that a life together may mean being forced to make unbalanced compromises. Or even those who are seemingly perfect, but in a split second can turn into someone you hardly recognize or like. And most importantly, when all is said and done, the people who simply do not bring out the absolute best in us – even if we love them with all our hearts.

Beyond love, we need somebody that we can:

+ Laugh with in moments of happiness or strife
+ Rely on for support and to be there when it counts
+ Express ourselves to with minimal fear of judgment
+ Communicate with, even in times of anger or disappointment
+ Trust to never intentionally hurt or guilt-trip us, or hold a grudge
+ Freely be generous with because it is a two-way street
+ Comfortably explore with in life, adventure, the bedroom, etc.
+ Not have to worry about when they are out of sight or reach

But most importantly, going back to what I was saying, when the right person for you stumbles into your life, you’ll know because all of a sudden you’re going to want to be the best version of you you can possibly be – whatever that may mean for you in your life.

Being more considerate, less selfish. More confident, less insecure. More generous, less calculative. Healthier, fitter. More sensitive, less callous. Going after your dreams. Working hard. Open to trying new things.

All of a sudden you are covered by a blanket of warmth, like a safety net that you know is there when you need it but does not hover, or attempt to suppress who you are. You are not restricted, but free to be yourself and explore without fear of losing love. It feels quiet and peaceful like you’re coming home, yet you’ve never laughed so hard or had so much fun in your life. It’s not an unrealistic love, nor is it always pleasant and may even be far from perfect, but the underlying message is always the same:

I will love you and support you to the best of my ability; and if the time comes I can no longer do that, or we’ve ceased to bring out the best in each other, I will let you go.

Because real love is always selfless. And for those of you going through heartbreak right now, time heals all wounds. And just know that when you are ready, you will find someone, or experience multiple wonderful someones over your lifetime, whom you deserve and will deserve you in the best sense possible. But even if you don’t, always remember that the deepest love runs within yourself.

Who knows. I’m only 24, so my perspective on love may change again; but for now, this is how I choose to define it. Have you ever been in love?

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