Three Things You Should Know About Love

Marble Pieces in Lekki Arts and Crafts Market. Taken by MA Okupe

I am such a sucker for love.

I love love. In all the many forms in which it presents itself. I love familial love. Nothing like a mother’s embrace, my father’s mouth spilling with laughter and being chased by my sister as we display the exuberance of youth. I love the love of sisterhood. Of my best friend completing my sentences, drinking wine with my best girls and laughing till we’re breathless with tears in our eyes. All forms of love are so beautiful.

What we must always remember that what makes love so beautiful is the vulnerability that makes loving possible in the first place. You cannot love from a place of hardness. Any love from a heart cased in concrete is not a love that will be felt deeply by anyone.

For so much as we know of love, there is always more to know. Bell Hooks in her phenomenal book ‘all about love’ takes us on a beautiful journey on the complex yet astonishing journey we call love. I will be sharing three of my favourite quotes and what they mean to me. I hope you enjoy them.

“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.”

Bell Hooks (All About Love)

Too often, when we think of love, we immediately think of another. Our conceptions of love rarely ever start with our own selves. You should always be the first to enjoy your own love. In your search for love, it is very important that you do not lose yourself. Get comfortable with your own company. Know yourself. Love yourself. Spend time with yourself. This is so important for two reasons. One, it will help you to be safe with yourself such that you will never endure any rubbish just because you depend on companionship. Secondly, in the event that a love comes to an end, when you are deeply in love with yourself and complete on your own, although you may feel pain, you will still be whole. Knowing how to be on your own, enjoying your own company and a high level of self-awareness are crucial to the art of loving. Remember that. You existed before them, and you will exist after them. Love them with your wholeness, and watch how much freedom will exist in your love.

“All too often women believe it is a sign of commitment, an expression of love, to endure unkindness or cruelty, to forgive and forget. In actuality, when we love rightly we know that the healthy, loving response to cruelty and abuse is putting ourselves out of harm’s way.”

Bell Hooks (All About Love)

Do not endure any suffering in the name of love. Never ever ever.

That is not the love that is called for you. Reject it.

Say after me: I deserve a love that comes without suffering. Yes, love is work, love is effort, love is commitment but it is certainly not suffering pain and abuse. You do not have to endure suffering to prove that you are worthy of love. You are worthy of love as you currently exist. You do not have to swallow your tears to prove your readiness to love. Perish that idea immediately. You see that first quote above, here is where it comes into place again. Choose to protect yourself and your well-being. There is no love that is worth your safety and your peace.

“The practice of love offers no place of safety. We risk loss, hurt, pain. We risk being acted upon by forces outside our control.”

Bell Hooks (All About Love)

One of my favourite Bible verses that discusses God’s love for me is ‘where can I run from your presence’. Ms Hooks said the practice of love offers no place for safety. And she did not lie. There is nowhere to hide when you are truly truly in love with someone. What that love and vulnerability does is that it exposes you completely to your love(r).

Every flaw or fear is bared for them to see. But it also means every beam of light, of magic within you is also shared with them. That level of vulnerability can be terrifying. And with good reason. Bell Hooks said we risk loss, hurt and pain and that’s true. We risk that because nothing lasts forever so one day, this love will end. You need to accept that. I stopped fearing the end of my love when I embraced its inevitability. By accepting that loss is inevitable, I have renewed strength to love even more fearlessly. I love with reckless abandon because one day, I will no longer be able to. To love is to surrender to whatever that love will show you. You need to be ready for that. You need to let go of your desire to control everything. You need to be navigate new difficult situations that may come your way.

All of this may sound super intense but just always remember to breathe and relax and release yourself to the magic of love. Surrender to be nurtured and to nurture. Love yourself to wholeness and then share yourself, your magic with those who deserve you.

The best things come when we are not looking. Do not break your back looking for love frantically. Live a life that gives you joy and peace. And when the love comes, you will be ready to let go and let love.

We will always have words 🤍

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