Love is kindness, complete acceptance, authentic vulnerable communication, freedom, empathy and compassion, and respect. Love is also discerning, and just, prudent and humble. It is generous and allowing, while being boundaried and courageous. It is only when we give ourselves these things, that we begin to learn how to give them to another.
Love doesn’t mean compromising away your own happiness or comfort, nor making another responsible for it.
Love doesn’t ask for sacrifices or obligations to keep another happy.
Love doesn’t require selflessness; it doesn’t ask you to put the needs/desires of others constantly above your own.
Love doesn’t mean never having to say you’re sorry; it’s always eager and ready to acknowledge and apologize for mistakes.
Love doesn’t mean you can take your stress or bad moods out on another.
Love doesn’t mean you make the other your enemy; you’re always on the same side, even when embroiled in conflict or disagreement.
Love doesn’t have defensiveness.
Love doesn’t ask for pity.
Love doesn’t use guilt trips or threats of punishment.
Love doesn’t mean you owe anything, or that anything is owed to you.
Love doesn’t mean worrying or keeping track of the other.
Love doesn’t require obedience or rules.
Love doesn’t hurt another in retaliation.
Love doesn’t require pain.
Love doesn’t make ultimatums.
Love doesn’t ask you to give up your life’s dreams.
Love doesn’t put your happiness, security, or confidence in another’s hands.
Love doesn’t ask you to be different.
Love doesn’t make you hide aspects of yourself because they are uncomfortable or unpopular.
Love isn’t mean, critical, or sarcastic; it doesn’t use humor to put you down, and it doesn’t make jokes at your expense.
Love doesn’t make you feel small and powerless.
Love doesn’t try to fix you or make you “better.”
Love doesn’t have conditions (“I will love you if…”)
Love has solid boundaries, not selfishness.
Love is not anxious or uncertain; and needs no pre-requisites to be expressed.
Love doesn’t seek validation or worthiness in another.
Love doesn’t have expectations or demands.
Love doesn’t keep score.
Love can teach us harsh lessons, but when done truthfully and with complete integrity, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.