5 Lessons I Learned On My Journey To Love

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Lessons I Learned On My Journey To Love

Love is bittersweet and unpredictable like life. You need to fall in love to understand love. Love is not the epitome of happiness but a journey, a journey that needs to be learned. Being in love, and having relationships is learning about yourself. Only your experiences can teach you about yourself, and these love lessons will help you see the clear picture, that can be of the foundation of trust and commitment or the illusion of kissing the frog.

All, everything that I understand, I only understand because I love. — Leo Tolstoy

Love is very individual and experiential. 

We tend to learn how to love the hard way – by making mistakes and hopefully learning from them. We all have lessons we’re meant to learn based on where we’re at and where we are meant to be.  The distance between these two places is bridged by the experiences that help us learn and grow into our best selves.

If you tend to compare yourself to other women (i.e. can’t understand why they’ve found love and I haven’t, let these comparisons go.

Keep in mind that every woman is on her own journey – some paths are more direct while other paths take indirect routes – all meant for each individual’s greater good.

Love Lessons

The Typical Journey to Love

Most every woman’s process of finding love (myself included) goes something like this…the trial and error approach such as making mistakes, repeating the same unhealthy patterns, dating and being in relationships with men who aren’t right for us, blaming the other person when problems come up, sacrificing our integrity, etc.

Then after much heartache and having had enough, an awakening happens when we realize things have to change.  This is what happened to me after two breakups with the man I dearly loved.  These breakups caused me to look within and reflect on how I had been approaching and perceiving love.

Read How To Make A Relationship Last: The Love Tank Theory

5 Major Love Lessons

By reflecting and making positive changes within, I’m able to share these valuable lessons to help alleviate further heartache and shortcut your journey to love.

Lesson 1: Everything happens for your greater good

Everything happens for your greater good, especially love’s difficulties.  It may not seem like it at the time, yet these difficulties are happening to help you learn, grow and become your best self.

When you’re in a challenging situation, don’t ask, “Why me?  Why is this happening to me…?  Why is he doing this…?”

Instead, ask, “Why is this happening for me?  What is the positive lesson I’m meant to learn from this?  How I can take this situation and apply it in a way that helps me grow?  What is perfection in this situation?”  Then stay open to the answers that come up.

Lesson 2: Love happens when you are ready

Love Lessons

If you think that time is running out, it’s understandable to want love now.  Wanting love now can actually be harmful because you will tend to be desperate, overlook red flags, and settle for a guy who isn’t the best fit for you.

Love doesn’t just happen, and it doesn’t happen in the time you want it to. It takes a conscious effort by preparing yourself for love; putting yourself in places to meet the one; getting comfortable with the unknown; and having faith that loves happens at the right time.

While you’re preparing yourself for love, live your life by doing things you love, discovering your passions, soothing your soul, spending time with people who care for your well-being, and living a healthy lifestyle.

Read 7 Daily Rituals Intentional Couples Use to Cultivate Lasting Love

Lesson 3: Individual choices matter

Don’t make short-term decisions hoping you’ll get a long-term commitment.  Every choice matters.  They either lead you closer or take you further away from the love you truly desire.  For instance, let’s say you go out with a good-looking guy who tells you he only wants something casual.  You get caught up in chemistry and think that in time, he will change his mind after getting to know you more.

Believe him when he says he only wants something casual then leave so that you are available to meet someone else.  Every moment you spend with him takes you further away by keeping you unavailable for someone who wants the same kind of relationship as you do.

Get clear on what you want, take steps in favor of your heart’s desire, and let things happen naturally.  In doing so, you will be in a long-term relationship with a great guy.

Lesson 4: You are the common denominator

If you are continuing to experience the same dynamics with different men it’s because you don’t realize you are the common denominator in every one of your relationships.  What this means is what’s been happening in your love life is a result of who you are being and what you’re doing.  I share this to help you become aware of how you have been contributing to the results you’ve gotten so far.

Understanding that you’ve been the one in all of your relationships is empowering With this knowledge, you can discover the habits and patterns that haven’t been supporting you to have your ideal love life.  Knowing these habits and patterns helps you to do the inner work to then have true love.

Here’s what you can do to get started.

Lesson 5: Self-love is the way to a high-quality love life

Looking for love from a guy ultimately won’t make you feel truly happy and fulfilled.  Instead, it will be elusive making love seem hard and unattainable.  This external love is wrapped up in expectations, obligations, needs, and shoulds. 

Needing love from a guy when you don’t love yourself will suffocate him and squash any desire he has about committing to you.

Read The Art Of Self-Love

There’s a reason why there’s a lot of talk about self-love.  It’s because self-love is the most critical piece of a truly happy and fulfilling love life.  The more you love yourself, the more you’ll experience a higher quality of love that is filled with happiness, meaning, and ease.

I’d love to hear about the lessons you’ve learned on your journey to love.  Feel free to share them in the comments below.


Written by: JANET ONG ZIMMERMAN
Originally appeared in: Love for successful women

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