Jodeci, Red Velvet Cake and the Real Love of My Life

Love is a journey that we begin as little girls. We have our first crush, our first kiss and the first time we think we have fallen in love, which is usually followed by our first broken heart and the second time we think we have fallen in love…but for real this time only to realize that was not love either. So many of us starting kicking rocks by the time we are twenty-five years old.  No? Just me. Okay.

Little girls doodle hearts and names of cute boys on their notebooks.  Little girls dream of love… swooning over the poster of Michael Jackson in that yellow sweater. As tween girls, we sang about love…bellowing the words of New Edition’s “Candy Girl” and choosing which member was our guy…Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky or Mike. Nobody ever chose Ralph since he was actually offering up our choices.  Anyway…

As far back as I can remember, love has been a perplexity in my life. What is it? Where do I find it? How do I get it?  While still a teenager, I was smart enough to learn that the dizzy feelings and twirling tummies of girlhood were not love.  Not only are those things NOT LOVE, but they are not even true indicators of love.  Listening to Jodeci can make my head swoon and I do not even know those dudes. A good piece of red velvet cake can make me fall back in the chair and moan. So we say things like “I love red velvet cake” and “I love Jodeci”.   What we really mean to communicate is that Jodeci and red velvet cake give us moments of happiness that make us feel good.   

So….

Here I am many decades past being that teenage girl perplexed by love. I have devoted my entire life to the miraculous study and exploration of love. My purpose in life is to encourage people to love God, love who they are, and love everyone around them.  So not much has changed, except… I have found real love of my life. It is real love that does not require me to fake it one bit. I don’t have to smile between clenched teeth or say “I love you” when I really do not mean it.

So here’s my personal TOP 5 countdown to real love.

#5 Love might be patient, but we are not

LOVE is amazingly patient, but we are not very patient when waiting for love. That is why we force relationships that we know are not the right ones.  Because we are tired of waiting for the “real thing” we give up on love and settle for our red velvet cake. Each time you settle you back further away from real love. (Note: This does not mean you constantly search for an upgrade. Don’t ignore 80/20 rule. If you got the 80, you’re good! )

#4 Love can’t be sampled

You cannot listen to another person’s journey to love and then overlay those details onto your path.  That is why love shows up in many ways. Some people can marry at 18 years old and stay HAPPILY married forever. Others will marry at 18 years old and be divorced by 20 years old. Some people can meet and marry in 3 months and be HAPPILY married forever.  Other people spend years in courtship only to divorce after a few years of marriage.    Your love cannot be sampled like Jodeci samples James Brown for “In the Meanwhile”.  (Note: Side Chicks don’t waste time mentally inserting yourself into his current life. It’s not going to work like that. You don’t get to swap out, sweets.) 

#3 Love brings good feelings

Love definitely brings good feelings. However, good feelings do not necessarily mean you found love. Love is not a feeling, but a state of being. Regardless of what is happening around you, love remains in your heart. Even when you feel bad about something on the outside, the inside is still filled with this tremendous, peaceful, calm settled love. That love always propels you to a good place. Red Velvet cake doesn’t do that for me. (Note: Love does not make you feel used, abused, or angry no matter how much he says he’s sorry.) 

#2 Love is not destructive

Yes, ABCs Scandal is all the rage and adulterous affairs are getting empathy from all over.  But not everyone in an affair operates in love like Liv and Fitz.  So let’s not romanticize the pain that comes from destructive, self-motivated relationships.   Love is not destructive. Realistically, when two people fall in love there are sometimes casualties on the outside, but the heart of love wishes for only peace, joy, love and kindness to all involved. Life can be messy, but LOVE is pure. (NOTE: Side chicks who secretly wish for pain and humiliation of the main chick- you don’t really love him!) 

and….

#1 Love is about YOU!

We often spend our love journey looking for someone else.  When we say we seek love, we are actually looking for the object of our affection. Love exists inside of us in the form of God. When we meet the person that helps us clearly see ourselves, we see the love. The true love you are looking for is inside of YOU not someone else. That is precisely why you cannot truly love someone else until you love yourself. And once you love yourself, you have to find another person who loves himself in order to live in love with someone else.  So look in the mirror. When you can look into a mirror with honesty, transparency and courage, you know you found love. (Note: Soul mates are real, but you might not be sleeping next to them. That mirror can appear in someone you least expect.)

So be patient in your journey. Do not settle until your heart is filled with love and nothing else can exist.  Keep living. Keep loving and Love yourself first
because REAL LOVE NEVER FAILS.

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