With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it would only be appropriate to y’all about love. I know, so original. However, when thinking about where to go with this, valentines outfit, marriage, God’s love? It dawned on me, while sure, God’s love is the purest, no one has ever embodied that love and walked it out for me like my momma.
True to her southern roots, my mom is fiercest woman you will ever meet that can also make cakes in insane shapes and throw elaborate princess tea parties. She is beautiful inside and out, but Lord she can be scary. (Love you mom) But that fierceness, is backed 100% by her loyalty to protecting those that she loves. My mom is Lily Potter and Molly Weasley mixed together. Although I think if my mom had faced Voldy, it would have been a different story. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, me and JK Rowling are weeping)…
So from my mom to you, here are the top 5 lessons on love.
1. People will tell you who they are, so listen.
My mom was a fierce believer that people will tell you exactly how they feel about you through their actions. If people are playing games with you, not making time for you, and sending you “mixed” (or straight up bad) signals. LISTEN. TO. THEM. I am queen of looking for the good in people of thinking I can “fix” people, and my mom would always tell me, “they are telling you who they are and what you mean to them, listen.”
So when someone starts raising their red flags, wave your white and retreat.
2. Not everyone deserves to know your story.
If vulnerability comes naturally to you, you might be giving too much of yourself to people who don’t deserve it. Not everyone deserves to know all your secrets and intimate details of your life. Find your select few that have earned the privilege of knowing your heart so well and don’t share so much of your heart with everyone.
This is a lesson that took me especially a long time to learn, for a long time I thought vulnerability = intimacy. Like somehow spilling my heart all over people made us closer. But I guarantee you will live life with a lot less heart ache if you stop giving so much of yourself away to people you don’t know well. (Except for a blog on the internet)
3. “I’ll always love you, but I don’t like you right now.”
Just because you get into an argument, or they’re being a butt head, shouldn’t affect the love you have for someone. Lord knows there were many times my mom loved me the hardest when she liked me the least. That’s how love works sometimes. Sometimes when someone is the least like-able is when they need you to lean in love them, and sometimes you just have to love them from the other room.
This is a lesson especially important to carry into marriage.
I love my husband stupidly-silly. I fell hard and have loved him hard from the get go. However, there are days, when my dear, sweet husband, is not my absolute favorite person. (*gasp*) Sometimes he puts his dish on the counter instead of in the dishwasher or complains for the millionth times that I have messed the sheets up while sleeping. And while I love him and would still go to bat for him, I also kind of want to throw something in his general direction. This is what love is like sometimes, you don’t have to be stuck at the hip with someone 24/7 and think that everything they do radiates sunshine and flowers to love them well.
4. Loving yourself is a lot more about who you are, not what you are.
I hope that this encompasses this lesson well enough. My mom always instilled in me that WHAT you are, as far as your circumstances matters a lot less than WHO you are and WHOSE you are.
Your job, your house, your car, or whatever it is will change, but who you are on the inside is what matters. Knowing who you are and being true to that, loving yourself as a child of God, understanding that you will screw up and still be worthy of love. That is what is important.
5. Loving your tribe FIERCELY is the only way to do it.
As I said, my southern momma loves her tribe hard. She has shielded me from so many things. Not to say that I was sheltered, but my mom spoiled me with a Lilly Potter type love. She took the brunt of a lot of hard things for me, made a lot of difficult things easier for me, did a lot of things she didn’t have to do so that I would be a little less hurt. And because of how fiercely she loved her tribe and witnessing how hard she loved her family, it made it impossible for me to love my tribe any other way.
I saw my mom love and protect my dad. Even if we all picked on him, heaven and all it’s angels could not have put a hedge of protection around anyone who said anything ugly about him.
My mom raised three daughters, constantly challenging her own vulnerability with daughters that were so needy of her. She exhausted herself emotionally, being someone who needed alone time, and often sacrificed it to us. She showed us, day in and day out, what selfless love really looked like.
This lesson is kind of the epitome of all the other lessons, you find your tribe, you share pieces of yourself and learn pieces of them, intertwining your lives together. You love them hardest during their most difficult times, which means sometimes you give them space and hold your tongue. Other times you tell them the hard truth when no one else loves them enough to give it to them. You hold true to who you are and love yourself, which makes you a consistent source of love and honesty to those around you. And you love, you love your tribe so hard that they grow up to be fierce lovers too.
This is to all you moms. You fearless, fierce lovers. You give so much, and the world is better for the love you give. Thank you moms, for teaching us how to love our people so well.
And thank you to my mom, for teaching me the hardest lessons, and for loving me so fiercely. You deserve all the awards. I hope you know how much you rock and even if you question sometimes how well I soaked in those lessons, I hope you see how many of them stuck in the way I raise my own daughter. I’ll make sure she always knows you get the credit for how awesome her mom is. I love you dearly.