… with love
Noun & Verb
1. Strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal growth
2. Warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion.
3. Sexual passion or desire.
1. The instinct or desire to promote one’s own well-being, regard for or love of one’s self.
“A flower can’t blossom without sunshine, and a man cannot live without love.”
– Max Muller.
I am and I will forever be a Lover of all things beautiful, simple and natural. I can not live without loving myself and others and feeling that love in return. The feeling that genuine love and compassion gives me is too great to ever deny myself of it along with those around me. Love is not just something that you do. It should be given, received and felt. Love to me in one word is appreciation. Appreciating everything about yourself, everything around you, your friends, enemies and all the simple joys in life. Every human being deserves love, it is what makes us feel good and helps us continue to grow and be better people. Hate can be a driving force, but so can compassion, positivity and optimism. There is never a need to choose hate as a fueling force when love is always an option.
Love is Action.
Love is Tolerance.
Love is Understanding.
Love is Generosity.
Love is Believing.
Love is a Language.
People love to complicate what it means to love and be loved but there are no real rules to Love. “I only love her if , I only love him if..” People question what is greater, to loved or be loved but they are both equally as important. No true love can be given to another if you don’t truly love everything about you. People who love themselves respect themselves, are confident, intelligent and understand that they are worthy of love. Loving everything about you, the good the bad and the ugly and respecting that in your friends, your spouse, mother, father, brother, aunt, uncle a stranger… whomever. Remembering that no one is perfect and still loving them anyway, is real. Love can be as simple as making someone smile. It doesn’t have to be filled with extravagance like many people like to believe. Love can be fantasy but it can also be your reality. It is the simplest thing that causes the greatest effect. God is love and God lives inside of all of us. So you respect your God, respect your heart and respect the God that lives inside of others. You will come across many people who don’t respect your heart but that doesn’t mean that you put it in a box, smother it with masking tape and throw it in the back of the closet because you don’t want it to be hurt again. Let it free. We expect that when we give our love it will always be appreciated and we just have to understand that it won’t be, but that doesn’t mean stop giving. I’ve learned more times than none to be cautious when giving my love to people, but overall I can’t change who I am because someone doesn’t respect themselves enough to exercise compassion. A lot of lessons are learned through love and in the end we realize that it is all that we really need to grow. I used to get angry, actually I used to go off when I felt disrespected by people who I held close to my heart but I’m learning to just let people go to do their own thing. I can’t lose my peace of mind because someone refuses to understand. My mother used to always tell me “Shana, everybody is not like you. So you can’t get upset when people don’t do what you what them to do.” Once I truly understood that, life became easier… MUCH EASIER. Even if you want better for someone, give them time to figure it out. Nothing forced ever last long. But on the same note, I see everyday how people set out to bring others down and make someone else feel bad about who they are. Kill all that damn noise and continue to be as beautiful and as brilliant as you want to be. Not everyone is going to want to be by your side, friends included. People will praise you then put you down. Don’t let it affect you, feel free to outshine ’em. True Self love is not giving people power over you, though they will try and continue to try as you journey through life. Be strong enough to persevere regardless of any situation.
Loving without ownership is key. It’s not about controlling those who you choose to give that emotion too, but allowing them to feel it, be immersed in it and if they respect you, there won’t be any worries. No one person raises their hands and says ” HEY, PLEASE COME OVER HERE AND HURT ME RIGHT NOW.” but we have to understand that in our friendship and relationships everyday will not be as perfect and steady that we want it to be. The ups are great but the lows are valuable. You learn a lot about yourself and who is really for you when you are at your “weakest” or time of need. In relationships people get over the honeymoon phase and get into love and don’t even know what to do with it or where to go. Everybody wants to fall in love and honestly you shouldn’t want to fall at all. Grow in it. Rise in love and allow your love to flourish and get better and better over time. Marriages are no longer significant to people no matter what race they may be because so many are failing. That’s because people don’t have the will power or the devotion to stand by someones side through the things they don’t understand. You will not always agree, but if the bigger picture isn’t more valuable to you than your arguments then there is no real love there. Sometimes we believe that we are “In love” with people who were only sent to teach us a lesson about ourselves. So just as loving and standing strong is valuable, allowing people to go that don’t bring positivity into your realm that needs to be released is just as valuable. You know what works for you and the point of having people around you is for those people to make you better, not worse. Negative energy is not helpful, at all.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
– Lao Tzu.
Levels of Love in Poetry
When I think about love I think about the women that made me who I am today. My Nana and my Mother embody what love is to me. My Nana, not my biological grandmother, took me and my mother into her home without knowing much about the two of us or where we even came from. I being nothing more than a couple weeks old and my mother at the time not being at her best, that didn’t stop my Nana from being there for us. She laid her eyes on my mother and I, saw that we needed to be loved and she gave it, under the condition that my mother went to church with her every Sunday. She saved our life and journeys with me even in her physical absence. I am thankful for her every day and continue to love her for all that she did for my family over the years. My mother, loving through her past pains, loving through her struggles and accomplishing goal after goal when according to statistics she shouldn’t be where she is today. The mother of two great children, very high up in her profession and a woman who is respected by everyone she encounters, she is love. She loved me and my brother so much and took very good care of despite all the difficulties that we tried to bring her. Such an amazing woman and an amazing mother. Coming from a very difficult and troubled past, seeing her reign supreme despite all that happens shows me that I am able, I can continue to love and I can move forward. The women in my life are important and are my biggest inspiration. My Nana was the rock of our family and the smile that she had will always be remembered. My mother, who is now a “Nani” since my brother had his first child, is our foundation and truly loved by her my brother and I. My mom calls me her “Little Life Saver” and she continues to save mine the older I get. The relationship between a mother and her child is golden and I pray to take some of the things my mother instilled in me and pass them on to my own children.
My Nana, Clarece Beatrice Fletcher.Nani, Sharon Guidry
Bra: American Apparel
Shoes: Steve Madden
Bag: Urban Outfitters
Styling and Photography by Kaya Marley.
Don’t be afraid to Love and Don’t be afraid to receive. Pain is inevitable, so worry less about what can hurt you and more about all the things that make you heart pitter patter and makes you smile. Life is worth living, so live it! 🙂
Peace and Elleohvee,