Love is a decision, not an emotion.

I’ll be the first one to admit most of my conversations are with myself. Sometimes others are present to plant a few seeds and other times, it’s quite simply an exchange between my head and my heart. Sometimes the conversations are via the blog; Sometimes the conversations are getting lost in Jess World; and when my head is in need of some knowledge, the conversations are with other people.

My heart is heavy. My head is all over the place. Last night they [head/heart] were somewhat at peace. Last night, I made a conscious effort to talk about anything except my family situation. I failed. It was a safe place though. A number of people that are kind despite their inner demons and a VERY important exchange with another survivor. I honestly think that survivors can spot one another from a mile away. Each person helping others by sharing their story.

One of the difficulties of being an empath is the desire to help others. One of the difficulties of being a survivor is the desire to heal. One of the benefits of being an empath survivor is once your juju is all cleared out, you are able to tell the difference between the people that want to help vs the people that want to cause harm.

“I’m so sorry that you had to endure that. I admire your strength and I hope to be at peace like you at some point.”

I recently said this to a kindred soul. She wanted to talk about her situation and my soul welcomed the exchange with open arms. Absolute open arms. Her sharing was powerful in so many ways. Raw. Reflective. Real. She asked me a few times why I am still physically in the situation that I’m in. “Why haven’t you left yet?” was a repeated question to me.

(deep breath)

I believe with all my heart that love is a choice. It’s not an emotion but it’s a choice. Each person wakes up in the morning with the power to decide on whether or not they are going to love someone. Love is a choice. My current location is with someone that I love. Deeply. My patience is simply because my heart refuses to acknowledge that this person is hurting me. The tidbits that I shared, the others gave me a sympathetic ear… the survivor, she was an Earth Angel. She asked some difficult questions. Questions that inspire growth – questions that force me to challenge my own thinking and current life decisions. I can acknowledge the [family] situation for what it is. I do not agree with it but I understand it. In context of Fight, Flight or Freeze… perhaps I’m still in the freeze mode. I learned early on that Fight mode resulted in an increase of abuse. Flight mode saved me from physical harm but did nothing for the emotional turmoil. Freeze… am I in freeze because I’m still making the decision to love someone that doesn’t love me? Am I being harsh on myself with defining love as physical proximity? What am I proving? And to whom am I proving anything to? Is it to others? Myself? More specifically… my head or my heart?

How do I define love? What is love? To me, love is the ability to put others before myself. When in a situation with another person that defines love in the same way, it’s pure magic. This is where you see people blossom. Most of my pockets of friends around the world are in this mindset. Love is having an abundance mindset and sharing that with others. Nothing more and nothing less. Love is giving a piece of yourself to another person.

“Why haven’t you left yet?” – such a powerful question. Another layer, her love language is time. I was unable to offer that in abundance for 11 years (when I lived overseas). Of course, I came home for the summer and then for Christmas. Typically a 2-week visit on each occasion. In addition to that, we would have daily video chats. So am I here out of guilt? Obligation? Perhaps to prove something..? I’m not sure.

13 weeks ago something changed. According to my heart, perhaps that’s when she decided that she does not love me. According to my head, perhaps that’s when she decided to allow others to influence her in a very toxic way. Whether self-inflicted or externally influenced, 13 weeks ago is when she decided that I’m no longer worthy of being loved. As hard as it is to write those words… that’s when things shifted from being in a situation of thinking of another person first to thinking of only themselves. And so I’ve been brainwashing myself with #LoveDoesNotHurt but the reality is sometimes it does. Sometimes love is doing things that you don’t want to do. It’s weathering the storm. Love is a decision. Love is a decision to continue to love another person even when your feelings have changed. Love a person despite their flaws. Love a person despite their brokenness. It’s a personal decision. But it’s a decision, it’s not an emotion. Love is not an emotion. It’s a conscious decision.

I have a dirty habit of packing a bag and disappearing off-grid. When my heart gets to the breaking point, I require space to reconnect with myself. To heal me. Whether it’s a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat, a road trip with an old friend, crashing on the couch of a new friend or simply sharing a story of overcoming adversity with a complete stranger… all of these interactions with kindred souls help me. It reminds me of my inner strength. It reminds me of my resilience. It reminds me of my purpose… and the WHY behind everything; My driving force to just.keep.going.

Love is a decision. For years, I have put others before myself. Sometimes at the cost of my own wellness. “Why haven’t you left yet?” is such a powerful question because it calls me out on taking the next step. Embracing with a full heart my next chapter. In 2006, leaving was flight mode. It was me avoiding conflict and then dealing with it head on a few weeks at a time. In 2018, leaving is accepting that I’ve put in the time and done everything in my power to fix a situation. I made a choice to love others despite everything. My heart accepts that since I’m the only one that thinks there is a problem, the people I love will never be inspired to change. And my truth is they simply do not love me. They have chosen to stop loving me.

Why would I stay someplace where I’m criticised rather than celebrated? If love is a choice, then maybe it’s time that I re-define love. Re-define who I love. Is it me? Perhaps, it’s time that I love me first, then others.

#WhyIWrite #SelfLove #IAmWORTHY #MentalWellness #DomesticViolence #EmotionalAbuse #TraumaBond #LoveDoesNotHurt #BreakingCycles #Rewiring #CoreWork #Healing #Light #Love #JourneyToPeace

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