10 Things I’ve Learned About Love in the Last 10 Years

8. Hold love. Don’t grab it.

Someone once told me to hold love like you would sand, with two open hands. I love this metaphor and remind myself of it when I approach relationships. Many people grab love, and then it slips from their hands. Because behind grabbing is control and blueprints and definitions and judgment. People think grabbing love is what it means to love hard, but it’s the opposite. Think about love like a bird you’re trying to feed: Chase the bird, and it will always fly away. The more you try to grab it, the faster it will flee. But if you just hold the food out, the bird will come to you. And the more it trusts you, the more frequently it will come. I think love is the same. It’s not something to be grabbed. Love is about holding space. And in that space, it grows. Grabbing love will always prevent growth. It sets off one’s fight or flight. It breaks trust. It makes people flee.

Hold love. Don’t grab it.

9. You can always love harder.

First, you have to define what harder looks like for you. Loving harder doesn’t necessarily mean caring about someone more. It may mean giving someone more space. It may mean looking at yourself and your unhealthy patterns. It may mean acceptance. It may mean working on yourself. It may mean letting go. Or it may mean not giving up.

Ask yourself what loving harder looks like for you. A good place to start is, are you giving or taking? Many believe they are giving when they are actually taking. If you are using love to make yourself feel better, then you are taking. If you are using love to control someone, you are taking. If you are using love to fill holes in yourself, you are taking. Giving is sharing yourself with someone. Giving is coming in as a whole person, always looking inward first, and accepting someone for who they are and championing their story.

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