This piece started as a letter to my teenage daughter. Much to my dismay she now has a boyfriend. Although I would have preferred she wait until she was a bit older, love had something else in mind. My husband and I decided to embrace it as an opportunity to teach her about life and relationships. Six months later, we are still in it knee deep. Before the situation progresses too quickly I wanted to share with her what she ought to know about love. I wrote down the ten points listed below and put them in a card.
Love and fear are not the same. In fact, fear cannot exist when love is present. Fear can push you into wanting to control what is happening, while love releases these urges. Love happens when you feel a connection. Anytime you feel a connection – whether it’s with an animal, nature, a piece of writing, music, or another person – you are interacting with love. It’s almost as if the love that exists in you and the love inside another are synchronizing. This is because love is made of energy. Therefore, love can never disappear; however, our belief in it can.
Here are ten points teenagers should know about love:
- Conditions, stereotypes and expectations will hinder the love experience. Pay attention to those moments you want rescue, change, or make others feel better. Know this is fear not love. Fear drives you to make quick decisions like sending a text out of anger while love provides you with the space to process your feelings.
- Relationships come and go but love is permanent.
- Fear fills your head with lies such as the prettier or more popular you are the more love you will have. Love operates off truth.
- Love doesn’t depend on anything. It exists no matter what your background, age, or history is.
- Fear causes you to second guess yourself or analyze someone else. Love brings you compassion, strength, and understanding.
- Fear is a planner and attempts to put things in a certain order. Love encourages you to trust the process.
- Fear consumes your energy while love produces it.
- You are better off investing in the love that exists within you rather than attempting to gain it from someone else.
- Self-care such as breathing, getting outside, playing, and nutrition water the roots of love.
- Taking responsibility for other people’s pain interrupts the process of love revealing itself.