What If There’s No Such Thing As A ‘Wrong Person’?

Romantic movies promise one grand love that will make you realize what went wrong all the other times. In that moment of bliss there will be laughter and ease, happily-ever-afters—even horse-drawn carriages for goodness sake! These images and story lines lead us to believe that there is one person out there searching for us, and that he or she is our Mr./Mrs. Right, making all the others who came before ‘wrong.’

But what if there is no wrong person?

What if every love is real, and valid, and not something you should apologize for? What if every heartbreak is, in fact, a beautiful lesson you had to learn in order to prepare you for the person you’re meant to spend forever with? What if you gave your heart away, and even though you were hurt, this moment was important for you to experience in order to become stronger, to fight for yourself?

What if the purpose of your heartbreak was healing?

We walk around believing that there is a soulmate out there, someone with whom our lives will fall into place. And while yes, that’s true, there is someone out there for us, we can’t search solely for perfection, and we can’t discredit ourselves for the people we’ve fallen into along the way.

There are no mistakes in love. Continue reading

Follow Both Your Heart And Head

Use your head. Follow your heart.

We talk about our bodies and minds as if they’re two separate things, as if these parts of ourselves are not entangled, not aligned.

We speak to ourselves as if we need to proceed with caution, as if, for some reason, it is impossible to exist in a space where we are led by both our logic and emotions, by both our brains and the muscles beating in our chests.

My heart and my mind are inexplicably connected, and yet, I always feel like my body is three steps behind my thoughts. There is a single touch, and before the sensation can flood through my entire being, I am already calculating, already trying to understand the way and the why behind each current of electricity in my veins.

For me, everything begins with the heart, with the pitter-patter, with the laugh that echoes from somewhere deep within, unconsciously, as if my body knows love before I can even process its existence.

But then, the mind comes, flooding me with images, with words, with lines of poetry I can hear, even in the silence. And that’s how I’ve always known—the feeling, then replaced by the words writing themselves effortlessly in my head. Love.

To me, it has always been a combination. Never just my heart, just my head. So why do we tell people to follow one or the other, as if it’s not possible to be wrapped up in both? Continue reading

Maybe Love Is Enough

“This just doesn’t make any sense,” he says. We’re sitting across from one another in a plastic set of table and chairs outside of a coffee shop. The California air is cloudy and damp. I pull the fabric of my romper tighter around my middle and resist the urge to lean over and take a sip of his coffee. I had told him I didn’t want any—to go back on my stubbornness would seem like a surrender, one I wasn’t quite ready to give.

I study the lines of his face—thirty-four today, but one could hardly tell, save for the gentle wrinkles around his eyes. I have the same ones, though slightly less worn, still prominent around my face. Sometimes I catch him looking at those lines in the bathroom mirror, drawing the corners of his cheeks into a frown. I wish he could see them the way I do—markers of his fatherhood, his story, his strength.

“I know…” I say, trailing off.

We’re talking about our future, about the places we’ll go and live. And I’m struck by the thought that figuring out our forever is so foolish. How can we know where we’ll go, who we’ll become? Why is it that we’re supposed to know, have it all planned? Why is it normal, expected, for people to understand how to navigate a road they’ve never even traveled? Continue reading

Pour Into People Who Pour Into You

There are some people you’ll meet in this life who will only love you temporarily. There are souls who will intertwine with yours for a moment, then unravel and wander away. There are friends who are not meant to stay forever. There are people who will only take and never give.

None of these impermanent people, or their eventual departures determine your worth.

But it hurts, oh it hurts when they leave. You give yourself away, only to end up empty. You put your time and energy into a relationship that only falls short. You love, only to be chastised for caring too much. You ache, only to be told you’re sensitive, emotional, or weak.

But there is nothing wrong with you. Continue reading

There Is Love, And It Will Come To You

This morning I paused in the middle of cleaning dishes to watch a bird dance on a little branch outside the kitchen window. I’ve been trying to do that more often—lose myself in the moment, stop rushing and just let the thoughts flow. This little bird, a baby sparrow, perhaps, was hopping on the branch, dancing with another sparrow, their voices blending into one tune.

And perhaps I’ve been romantic lately, (perhaps I’ve always been). Perhaps there’s something in the air; perhaps my own chest is puffed out with the beating of my full heart. Perhaps I’ve been thinking so much about how love simply happens, and how achingly beautiful that is. But those little birds reminded me of humans, how we’re searching and searching and searching for someone who fits. And then, suddenly, our song finds a harmony with someone else’s voice. Suddenly we flit between branches, the sun on our backs, and our bodies swelling with hope, with happiness, with love.

We crave love, we chase love, honestly because it’s so undefinable. We try to define and make sense of it, but we’re only left with emptiness in the wake of heartbreak, or questions in the face of our fear, or an idea that changes with every hand we hold.

We want to know how two souls can be so intertwined; we want to know if we’re foolish to believe in forever. We want someone who will stand beside us, trial or triumph, who will choose us even when we don’t choose ourselves.

But we doubt.

We doubt because it seems easier than believing. We doubt because we don’t want to be disappointed. We doubt because to fall into someone fully is scary. We doubt because, ironically, we’re afraid of being alone.

But the truth about love that we see over and over again, is that it finds us. When we stop the search, the relentless pursuit, when we slow ourselves down and focus on what makes our hearts beat instead of who, the right person slips into our lives with silence and ease.

As we’re minding our own business, moving through our days, learning, for the first time, what it means to be on our own—this person appears—in their mess and wonder and confusion and perfect imperfection. And we build love. Continue reading

Say ‘I Love You’

Say ‘I love you.’ Say it softly, whispering the words into the ear of the one you love. Say it loud. Say it without fear. Say it when the emotions overflow your and you can’t help but let the phrase escape from your lips.

Say ‘I love you.’ Say it with intention, with purpose, with a boldness running through your veins. Say it because you mean it. Say it because it’s true. Say it because if you don’t the moment will pass and you’ll forever wonder why you didn’t, or what could have been.

Say ‘I love you.’ Say it to the man, the woman who has a grip on your heart. Say it to the one who raised you, to the person who willingly set aside their dreams for you, without a backward glance. Say it to the child looking into your eyes with awe, to the friend who has selflessly supported you, never letting you stand alone. Continue reading

I Want Every Uncomfortable Moment With You

You shrug into your seat on the left side of the couch, cushion tucked under your arm and the television on softly in the background. I watch the softness in which your body folds, relaxes. In the pale beige of the tired material, your sun-kissed skin makes a sea of neutrals and pinks. I long to fit myself into the crevice between your arm and the leftmost pillow, to feel the warmth of your chest, a reminder that in people we find comfort. In people we find homes.

Life, lately, has been in juxtaposition. My heart feels steady, but my dreams are running wild—ideas scrawled on paper napkins sprinkled throughout the room, to-do lists with feathered edges, notes and pens and scattered thoughts doing mazes in my head.

And then, every time I look at you, I remember I don’t have to be running so fast. I will get there. But right now, this moment, with you is what I have.

Right now, the space between us is merely physical, soon erased as I nuzzle my chin against your shoulder. Right now, there are no words left unspoken, or emotions hidden behind quiet faces, begging to be set free. Right now, we are in harmony, in rhythm, and I love the way your heartbeat feels so strong when I’m leaning on your chest.

We are comfortable. And I’m learning to be okay with this. I’m learning that comfort is not wrong because it does not have to imply stillness, or stagnancy, or settling. Comfortable, I’ve learned, is synonymous with secure. And to know that where we are is healthy, is safe—that’s more than I can ask for.

With you, I’m slowly redefining how I understand love. Continue reading

8 Ways To Show Love (Even When You’re Busy)

Yesterday night I came home from work at 7PM, exhausted, hangry, and wanting to just eat food and lie down in a puddle of tears. (Dramatic, I know, I’m a Pisces.) The absolute last thing in the world I expected was my boyfriend (who had told me he was “being lazy at the apartment”) to be sitting on the couch with his date night attire on, the carpet vacuumed, kitchen floor mopped, dishes washed, and a big ole smile on his face. It melted my freaking heart.

In the busyness of both of our days, sometimes it’s so hard to people we care. But the truth is, sometimes the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference. Sometimes it’s invaluable to understand what your partner, friend, family member, etc. needs in order to best serve them. And sometimes when you pay attention to the love languages of the people you care about (even in the crazy schedules you both have), you can do something that really blesses your relationship. Continue reading

Maybe I’ve Been Wrong About Love All This Time

You smile at me from across the table. The lighting is low, our voices are whispers, and the breeze moves past the window like a long, steady exhale. I feel so safe here with you. The space between us is not alive and pulsing like it used to be, but soft and gentle, like the warmth of falling into bed at night, like the security of knowing someone is mine and there’s nothing to be afraid of.

You speak and I trace the pattern of the placemat with my fingernail. I wonder how it got like this, so easy. And is that a bad thing?

Love, I’ve been shown over and over again, was complicated. Love sounded like slammed doors and raised voices. Felt like bruises, like scuffs on your knees from falling too much. Tasted bittersweet, like chocolate milk left on the counter too long.

I always saw love as this challenge—that two people would have to fight for and with one another, and that every day would be difficult, but you would choose each other, no matter what.

But sitting across the table from you, the sound of your voice like an old favorite record, the scruff of your beard like a map I want to trace with my fingers, the gleam of the kitchen light in your eyes like the warmth of coming home—I know, now, that love is not supposed to be hard. Continue reading

5 Strategies To Remove Toxicity From Your Life And Relationships

1. Reset your energy.

Take a step back and think about the attention and focus you’re giving the things and people in your life. When you wake up, what’s the first thought that crosses your mind? Are you stressing about interactions/confrontations from yesterday? Are you thinking about the list of items you have to do and feeling pressured or overwhelmed before you even begin? Or are you reminding yourself that today is new?

Sometimes toxicity becomes pressing when we give it the space to grow in our everyday lives. Instead of allowing these negative emotions to suck your available energy, see if you can shift your focus from yesterday to the present moment. See if you can wake yourself up with a forward-thinking mindset, encouraged to meet your daily goals, rather than burdened by them. See if you can start each day completely over, removing any guilt, shame, frustration, or anxiousness from earlier moments to refocus on where you are right now. Continue reading