“Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.”Dr. Brene Brown
Part of my wonderful journey with cannabis was the awakening to the ability I gained to plug into my intimate partners and the larger world around me. And honestly it started with reacquainting myself with ME. I have been in a wonderful relationship for 4 almost 5 years with my wife JT. We, as so many couples met on good ole Craigslist (thanks Craig..lol) and we had a connection that we infinite and deep from the start. Maybe something in my wild gemini heart called to her eccentric aquarian soul but it clicked, and so did we.
Fast forward a handful of years later and through all the struggles that most couple encounter; I came to the realization that I have forgotten how to be me. To cause catalytic changes and growth because of my innate powers of empathy, love and #blackgirlmagic and I was become the one thing I never want to be the ‘angry black woman’. I know that my joy is found in the place of the divine feminine and that is flows through my creative, my authenticity, my vulnerability, my softness and magic. That which gets blocked when I am not living in any of those truths. I had not been living in that truth for quite some time and as with all things that get bottled up, eventually it has to be resolved or it will implode. Suddenly I was drowning, in my own hubris, in my own fear and my inability to stand in truth.
I didn’t know which way was up of down and as the waves of insecurity, guilt and judgement washed over me almost becoming too much to bear, I realized that I (we) needed help navigating this. I was dosing much more heavily then what I would normally just to cope with the overwhelming thought of the journey I was about to undertake. This journey would implore me to be brutally honest with myself and my partners. And that was scary as hell, being seen and vulnerable as much as I preached it, I wasn’t practicing it. As Dr. Brene Browne puts it vulnerability is defined as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.” Brené says that “vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity. No wonder I was feeling sagnant, stuck and just plain ‘meh’ about life. I wasnt risking a damn thing! I was going with the flow, comfortable in my relationship, being okay not being seen or trusting my partners to risk “emotional exposure”.
There is this song that I like by Amber Marks it is called ‘Love me Right’ in part the lyrics say:
Because the drive it is alive and honey, it is calling you
And I’m numb, you’re tryna hide it, baby, I need more from you
So could you please respond to me because I’ll never understand
I give you the keys and while you gladly take ’em you, don’t use them
You tell me all the time, baby
I’m the light in your life
And you love me more each day
You are starting to drive me crazy
Why won’t you realise you gotta love me right, baby
We all carry around this Disney-fied version of what love and romance is supposed to be; that we will fall in love and this person will be our ONE true love and they will automatically know how to love us and we will ride off into the sunset in a horse and carriage (or maybe a motorcycle or a boat…Haha!) But no matter what they will inherently know how to “love us right”. That isn’t the case for me, and we often assume that our partners have this extraordinary powers to read our minds. What does love me right mean, anyway!?! I thought that I understood it but I realized that I didn’t and the search for that showed me 5 things:
- I had to get back to being and loving me, which meant pursuing my passions, being creative, taking care of my health physically, mentally and spiritually and not being afraid to share those crunchy bits with the world. #selflove
- No checked bags on this flight; which meant I was not responsible for other peoples feelings or of helping them cope with how they felt because of their own trauma. I am no responsible for baggage lost on the flight. #sorrynotsorry #boundries
- Standing in my truth fully and as genuinely as possible no matter the outcome or consequence. Never compromising on what my intuition is telling me I need. I named her the the soul calling. #vulnerability
- Partaking of my doses were helpful in keeping my on track with my accountability, opening up more freely, letting go of the small stuff and also allowing me to confront my own deep fears and fuck ups and take responsibility for them. #accountability
- Practice #gratitude. I know I can be a handful, I am not easy to love. And not in the way you think, I am a catalyst and when with me and I am strolling on the path of my soul calling; it will force you to step up or step out. So I thank my partners everyday that they choose me because there are easier fish in the sea (but none as worth it as me) and pray that we continue to choose each other for as long as we desire so.
Those 5 things (self-love, boundaries, vulnerability, accountability and gratitude) were how I realized how to LOVE ME RIGHT. It wasn’t about my partners, it was about me. We are always looking to validate how we are feeling through the barometer of other people but that ‘connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.’ So we must sow the seeds and being able to not only verbalize but demonstrate when needed to our beloveds how we want to be treated and loved by setting up the greatest and most fulfilling love of all, the one for ourselves.