HOW TO STAY, AND LOVE, EVEN WHEN IT FEELS TOO HARD

Sometimes in love and life, we will feel like our heart is exploding with technicolor love confetti. And sometimes we will feel like it’s taking everything to just stay and love.

Last week I confessed the turmoil I was going through. Do I leave. Do I stay. Days after I wrote that post, I let myself feel all the feelings.

I went and stayed with another friend of mine — to give us some space — to sit with the questions, to feel, to breathe. I found myself running a bath, sitting on the tiled floor, wailing and crying hysterically. It was the ugly, snotty, uncontrollable, heart-breaking kind of crying that needs to be done alone, and in a bathroom.

Falling in love is easy. The start of love is filled with romance, chemistry, excitement, and cascades of endorphins coursing through our bodies, making everything fill with love. Staying in love, takes commitment, effort and more love.

It means loving someone though the cracks. Loving them through the ordinary moments. Loving them through the wounds and the fears. Loving them even when loving feels too hard.

To stay, and love is an art. It means loving even when we feel most broken, most vulnerable, and most like running away.

To stay and love, you have to believe that love is worth persevering for. Love, contrary to popular belief, is not always technicolour confetti. Sometimes it’s trudging knee-deep through the sticky mud of miscommunication, taking things the wrong way, and subjecting each other to your ickiest flaws and fears. And then still staying.

To stay and love, you have the courage to say what you feel, and hear what they feel, and to hurt. To have the courage to hurt, and still stay. To wield the hurt into an opportunity to learn, to grow, to expand. To stay and love means that you have the courage to use your hurt to make your love deeper, wider, broader.

To stay and love means you have the willingness to do your inner work. Inner work refers to the ongoing journey you are on with yourself, as you grow and change as an individual. It’s the phases of growth and stuckness, pain and hurt, confusion and being lost, change and transition, new beginnings and endings, connection and disconnection. When we do our inner work, we learn how to love, and stay, even when it feels too hard.

To stay and love you have to face your fears. Even when you feel so alone in your fears, the truth is, we all fear the same things. We fear rejection, we fear abandonment, we fear loss, and we fear pain. Allowing yourself to feel those fears, to acknowledge them and to face them, even when you want to run, means that the fears start to dissipate, and you can acknowledge them for being what they are: false beliefs that feel real. Here, you soften, and fall in love again.

To stay and love you have to let go. This doesn’t mean letting go of love. It means letting go of the beliefs that were stopping you from loving. Letting go of the ego, the fears, the stubbornness that things have to be a certain way, and trusting that love is here to serve, to teach and to expand into more love. It also means letting go of the need to be right. Letting go of the idea that the other person is inflexible. Letting go of what you each think you want, so fiercely. It means letting go, and letting love lead.

Last week I felt I had to make a decision. I received a beautiful influx of loving words, kind support, wise stories, and gentle encouragement from you. Thank you, to each and every one of you, for being there for me, when I most needed it. Your bright, luminous presence in my world, means more to me, than words can say.

I chose to love. To stay, and to love, even though it feels hard. Because I believe in love. Because I have courage. Because I am drawn to growth, and to do my inner work. Because facing my fears means freedom. Because letting go and softening is my favourite lesson. And above all, because love.

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