Our emotions rule us. Whether we want them to or not, they play a huge part in how we move through our world, our life, our day-to-day. They affect us physically as well as in the feels, and can bring us stress as well as relief.
And that brings us to love. We mean “love” in every form it takes and the beauty of opening your heart to others and being welcomed into someone else’s with open arms. Not only does it feel good and validate you in some way but honest to goodness, real, true love relieves stress and creates a sense of positive optimism, belief, and motivation that makes living life just a little bit easier.
Your posse, your crew, your urban family
The family we choose — not are born with — has a hold on us that can never be denied. The ability to look over and find your equal, your familiar, your “second,” beyond your blood is magical. The love we share with those who just get us, who are not our romantic choice but our platonic “got your back” equal has a depth that is indefinable. Friends — true, real friends — stand by us no matter what. Something like that has the ability to lift so much off our shoulders that it makes it possible for us to face the day when we don’t think we can. The relief we feel knowing our friends are there for us and the joy we gain from truly meaning it when we say we are there for them fills us and completes us.
Sure, many friends will come and go. The ones we had as kids may not be there as we get older. We drift apart, we have fallings out, we shift and change. It’s part of life, right? But there are those we hold onto and who stick with us through thick, thin, good, bad, bright and dark. Whether you call them “brother from another mother” or “sister from another mister,” these are the people with whom our bond is so tight, just hearing their voice makes us relax even as we feel excitement at knowing we’re going to hang.
Thicker than water
Relatives can be complicated. We often feel judged or we judge, they know us like no other or don’t know us at all. We can tell them anything or we can tell them nothing. They get us or they’ll never understand us. See? Complicated. And yet… our blood, our family are ours and ours alone.
There is that thread of familiarity that bridges so many gaps that surprise us and wear us thin. I know there is a lack of ease where relatives are concerned and yet, there is also a depth of understanding that nothing trumps. We’re not attempting to explain all relationships and give them a “one size fits all” veneer to them. No. However, when these are good, warm, reciprocal and welcoming, our family relationships create a safe haven, a recognition of our worth that permeates our entire being. No one can set us off like family just as no one can boost us and make us feel worthy like our blood. That is the kind of love that has no equal.
I’m not trying to be trendy, really. However, as I’ve become more familiar with the “1437” moniker, I find myself enjoying and embracing it more. You all probably know what it means but for those of you who don’t, here it is:
1 — “I” (one letter)
4 — “love” (four letters)
3 — “you” (three letters)
7 — “forever (seven letters)
“I love you forever.” What a wonderful, deep phrase. Forever is a long time, ya know? And while that could be used for any sort of love — friendship, pet, family, experience — in this context, it’s romantic, heart pounding, palm sweating, “you’re the one” love. The kind that keeps us up at night, makes it impossible to eat, gets our heart fluttering when we know we’ll see them or they are even near, and makes us write or recite poetry even though we absolutely have no aptitude for it (my hand is raised with that group, by the way).
Falling and being in love is extraordinary. Positive loving relationships kick off all sorts of good chemicals in our body and make it easier to sleep at night. Laying down with the person who makes your heart soar literally helps you snooze. Did you know that? Well, of course you did. We’ve discussed it before. We’ve shared tips on sleeping beside the one you love, because we are big believers in indulging in the “spoon” or, well, whatever works for communal rest with all of our hearts.
That love you share with the one who “completes you” is a rare, wonderful thing. And yet, we believe giving power to any one person to determine your happiness is a lot of pressure for both of you. Our loved ones enhance our lives, they don’t define it. We are who we are because of us and relaxing into our essence through ourselves, our eternal wonderfulness (is that even a word?) is energizing and fulfilling. Which leads us to our final love…
Me, myself, and I
We are our best friends. Truly. And if not, we need to learn to be. There’s a saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.” You can take that to mean a variety of things, but at the end of the day, it means exactly what it says, “Wherever you go, THERE YOU ARE.”
Loving ourselves is that ultimate gift in times of trouble, stress, woe — you name it. It’s when we need to be our biggest cheerleader. Then when things go brilliantly, we need to allow ourselves to bask in it, revel in it, allow it to boost us and encourage us. Because wherever we go, there we are. Self-care is a wonder, a gift. Whatever that looks like for you, do it, warm to it, wrap yourself in the beauty of who you are. No matter how much shit hits the proverbial fan, the one person you can always rely on is yourself. This vessel, this heart, is yours. Loving you by eating well, sleeping well, experiencing life on your terms, and living life to its fullest is a forever gift.
“i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)”
The love we carry brings us joy, relief, calm, and fulfillment. It is also delicate and precious. Whenever you feel it regardless of how and what — a moment, a memory, a thing, a person, a pet, an experience, ad infinitum — it thrills us, moves us, brings us into a state of being that energizes and also calms us. Knowing we are loved and that we truly, honestly, and completely reciprocate it has a healing property to it. Care and consideration are extraordinary salves and lights in the dark.
Indulge in some love, enjoy the thrill of the feeling in all its forms. It has a power that cannot be denied and will bring you such peace and ease when it’s right, when it’s good and when it’s real. We don’t deny it can come with some rather unique caveats sometimes but for the most part?
Love is all you need.