Love Fiercely and Independently
Have you ever thought about the concept and practice of love? I mean really thought about why love looks and feels so different? Hm. I’ve been thinking more about love the past couple of weeks.
Thinking more about how loving fiercely is so important to our lives; and, yet, paradoxically, how living independently is also just as, even maybe more, important.
Right, well, before we get too far into our discussion, let’s define love, shall we? I know, I know. We all know what love is, right? So, why define it?
Well, I think it helps us create a specific context that will aid in our discussion of love.
Alright, here we go.
noun /lʌv/ /lʌv/Idioms
[uncountable] a very strong feeling of liking and caring for somebody/something, especially a member of your family or a friendOxford Learner’s Dictionaries
Alright, now, what do I mean by loving independently. Well, just that. Loving fiercely, and yet loving in a way that allows you to always be who you are. Always.
Right, so here is the definition of independent. You knew I would.
adjective OPAL W /ˌɪndɪˈpendənt/ /ˌɪndɪˈpendənt/
(of a country) having its own government
confident and free to do things without needing help from other peopleOxford Learner’s Dictionaries
Okay. Here is what we have thus far.
Generating fierce feelings of liking and caring for somebody or something, especially a member of your family or a friend, with the confidence and freedom to do things without needing help from others.
Well, that’s close, yet not quite right. Again, it’s more about always remaining true to the human being you are. Let’s try that again.
Generating fierce feelings of liking and caring for somebody or something, especially a member of your family or a friend, with the confidence and freedom to always be true to the human being you are.
There, that’s much better.
Why is the notion of loving fiercely and independently important?
Because if you live your life fiercely, you will do everything fiercely, love included. It works that way. And, it is beautiful.
And, to love fiercely, which is to experience vulnerability, nay, to practice it, is also beautiful; and, to do so always remaining true to the human being you are now and will be in the future is also beautiful.
Here is how Brené Brown describes loving fiercely.
“To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of ImperfectionGood Reads
You may be asking yourself, okay, and if we become dependent?
Becoming dependent on another human being happens. In fact, it, at some point, happens to us all. Yep, that is true.
Yet, we can remain true to our independent self, while also being dependent. A paradox? Yep.
In this context, independence is more about being your true self, today, and always. And, even if you are dependent on another human being, you can retain your true self, thus continuing to be independent.
And, what happens when we become dependent, while not remaining true to our own true self?
Right. Well, we lose ourselves in the process. Or, rather, it is more like we bury our true selves under tons of emotional debris. It is very hard to begin the process of finding our true selves when buried that deep.
Yet, it is possible.
The most important thing to note is that it is the awareness that is missing.
Thus, loving fiercely while also remaining true to our true self for many remains a paradox in language, and, more than likely, in practice.
This paradox is especially true in the United States where we are socialized with a very narrow view of love, called romantic love, which, in the end, can become more like attachment. The issue?
Well, when we are attached, dependency follows, and then? We end up sacrificing the true self we know ourselves to be. Not all at once. Nope.
Yet, over time, without an awareness on how attachment and dependency function, it happens that our true self becomes, as was aforementioned, buried. Phew. Difficult.
Loving fiercely is a wonderful experience, the scope of which includes much more than romantic love.
It starts with us. How we treat our bodies and minds, which is exactly how we will treat others. Yep.
Love is such a beautiful experience. When we love all there is to love about, well, ourselves, each other, every person, and thing on this planet, it is magical. Really.
And, when we do so, while also taking care to always retain and honor our true self, guess what?
The love we hold for ourselves, and for others, is also more true. Why?
Because we are not sacrificing our true self for others. We are always true to our true self. Doing the opposite is a road full of pain and suffering.
Love you first.
Love everything about you, the way you look, the way you are, the way you feel, all of the ways you occur. You are just as you are supposed to be. Right now, at this very moment. Just so.
When we really get that and feel it for ourselves, it goes out from us and spreads to everyone and everything else. Yep.
We send love inward, and it radiates outwards. A beautiful experience. Love firecily. You did, do, and will always deserve it.