When we search for Love in all its forms, we may be surprised where we find it. Much of the time, it does not appear to us as we have been conditioned to recognize it. Love does not always make everyone comfortable. Love does not always please. Love is not always cheery and positive. Being loving does not mean throwing away our personal boundaries.
Consider these three scenarios that are expressions of “love in disguise:”
1) Love Says, "No"
There are times when "no" is an expression of love. Being honest with yourself and others is action that comes from a place of love. Love, in fact, may require others to feel the lesson of discomfort. Sometimes love, in the moment, is about nurturing oneself, not someone else. Love is being honest with requests for help. If you want to help a friend, then by all means, do so. If your heart, however, feels as though it’s being made to do something that doesn't resonate with it, then say, “no.” We naturally experience "burn-out" when we compassionately and lovingly attempt to assist others, but we are not first treating ourselves with at least that same love and compassion. The result is depletion, a draining of our energy, when instead, we should be replenishing it always. For how are we to help others if we have nothing left to give?
2) Love Does Not Tolerate
Love does not tolerate abuse in any form: physical or emotional. Abuse can take the shape of intimidation, control, or neglect. It isn’t loving to allow yourself to be dishonored, nor is it loving to allow abusers to continue to dishonor you or themselves through their behavior. If a close relationship does not honor you, celebrate you, or nurture you, then Love is showing you that it is time to end it. Love may require tremendous courage and feel very lonely. Be your own loving parent, guide, and best friend, and know that insisting upon safe, loving connections in your inner circle is the only way Love wants you to live.
3) Love has Not-So-Proud Moments
You were trying. You were seeking love. Love allows self-acceptance of our negative emotions. Love lies beneath those angry outbursts that demand better treatment for ourselves. Love can boil and bubble up to the surface to let you know in no uncertain terms that it has better for you. Love is all there is; therefore, sadness, anger, and fear can possibly be the highest expression of love you can find in that moment. It shows us where we are bound by the chains of disharmony and limiting beliefs, so we can break free of them. Love may not express itself in a happy, positive way. In fact, it may express itself through making us uncomfortable and unhappy so that we see there must be a better way.
Love is strength; it is where we hold our power. Love may demand our bravery. It may be the wrecking ball that crashes through the walls in our lives, revealing where healing is needed. So, just allow Love to do what it must do in your life, because the end result will always give you wings to fly.