It’s Sunday and my cat Bella wakes me early.
I don’t mind, and as soon as I settle into writing she is fast asleep.
I sigh and think of a different kind of love: the love I long for and the love that I am slowly becoming.
As I lounge, I reminisce. I’ve had an entire weekend of this and it started on Friday night with a call from my lifelong friend, who now lives in California. She reminded me that I am loved. I needed that.
I now think back to the period of time before my daughter met her husband. I recall her saying, “Mom, I want you to listen to the song ‘A Sunday Kind of Love‘ by Etta James as you read my paper.” I did this and my daughter smiled.
“I want this,” she sighed.
At that moment, my heart warmed for my daughter. I wanted it for her too, more than I did for myself, and I prayed to God that she would find a partner. She was a single mom going to school, and I wanted her to have love and support.
We both fell in love with this song, as it summarized the kind of love we desired, and it became our morning commute song and the one we listened at the end of day. Shortly after she introduced me to this song, my daughter met her love outside the university after returning from a trip to Montreal—and the rest is history. They married and moved away to start a life together.
Theirs is a different kind of love for sure, and it continues to grow.
Softly settling into my bed again this morning with my snoring cat, I think about how life is pretty good and I ponder how I can become this different kind of love that I desire. I’m working on this with my existing relationships. I am working on loving others the way I wish to be loved. It requires patience and presence. It requires us to “show up” and be honest with ourselves and others.
This type of love has healthy boundaries, with a strong back and soft underbelly. This love is evolving, growing up, and maturing. This love isn’t static; it is ever changing.
How do I become what I desire? Well, I can start by believing that these qualities are traits, skills, and values that I already have.
We all want this authentic, unconditional love. But we must remember that this love is already here; it exists within our own heart if we allow, accept, and are open. Any heart-opening exercise or meditation we practice is really about our own heart.
Today, my Sunday kind of love is self-love. It is walking and having coffee outside with friends. It is taking care of my own health and well-being and communicating with others by expressing love. Love in the shape and form of a partner doesn’t really matter; it will happen (or it won’t) in a matter of time.
What does matter is living life believing that this different kind of love already exists, and then exuding it. In doing, so we become that which we desire and we fall in love with living an authentic and full life.
I hope you feel the “love” today and every day, and if loving and accepting yourself, unconditionally, is something you feel needs work, start with baby steps. This can happen if you are partnered or single. It can can even happen if you are currently struggling in a relationship.
Ask yourself with gentle curiosity, “How can I show myself some love and what would this look like?”
You might be surprised what comes up.