I always wanted to believe in love. From a young age, I fell for the fairy-tale, idealized version of what love was supposed to look like according to the world.
It seemed so easy for the people in the movies to find love and to KEEP it. So why, I wondered growing up, did love seem to be so hard for the people I knew? Why was it so scary for some people to let themselves experience it? Why did I found myself in relationships where love seemed more like a forbidden word than a cherished experience.
But the movies don’t tell you the truth about love. As a daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend and now wife I know love is complex. It can be simultaneously a conscious effort and a feeling that provides great joy. Sometimes it feels like you’re fighting for it, while at other times it feels completely natural. The reality is: Love is work.
I have come to realize that while I always wanted to believe in love, I didn’t truly understand the ingredients needed to create a love that lasts. I didn’t realize I needed to first be able to love myself before I could love someone else. When you begin to cherish the struggles you have and love all the little things about yourself you used to despise, you experience life through a completely different lens that makes you better able to give and receive love.
Becoming a therapist has shaped the way I view love and has helped me to recognize it for the gift that it is. I see people give the gift of love in my office every day through forgiveness, by standing up for themselves, by reaching out when they are desperately struggling, and by taking risks to be vulnerable. Through the bravery of seeking love, I have seen people experience a greater love than even they had imagined possible!
Now, without a doubt, I can say that I DO believe in love. It’s different than what I thought when I was younger, but no less beautiful. I have seen and experienced its ability to heal brokenness, to fulfill promises, to strengthen bonds, to create new life, and to fulfill dreams. There is no question in my mind about the power of love. This is why it has become my passion and life’s work to help others pave their own way to experiencing a life and love beyond imagination. Love is always possible if you want it! I believe in love because it’s work well worth it.
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