Say it clear now
L.O.V.E. love
That word, how can four letters mean so much

I’ll tell you how!

With its Greek origins,  we have 8 different types of love.

Except at some stage, someone decided to go and Marie Kondo the thing and simplify it down to one word.

Then we romanticised it and forgot about thinking outside the box.

Ugh.

What. Were. They. Thinking!!

Welcome to a word that I chose back on 1 January, thinking it would be all sunshine and lollipops and I’d fall in romantic love and

you know,

well….

cue any happy ending  movie that goes “boy meets girl boy gets girl boy loses girl boy gets girl back and they drive off into the rainbows Sandy and Danny style in GREASE…”

If you’ve been with me awhile, you may know I have a couple of Bridget Jones’ing type traditions for New Years

One of which is writing a carthartic sometimes accompanied by cab sav or chardonnay blog close to the stroke of midnight  in my mum undies on what I learned  (you can check  out  a few such  posts here and also here.

I’m gonna go a little 80’s playlists on what I learned about  my 2019 word – LOVE.

Love is a Battlefield – Pat Benatar

And if you are going into battle, you need some freakin armour, peeps!

If we expand our hearts, minds and souls, we will find that our humble words are quite often much more broad in their application and definition than we think.    

Love isn’t all rainbows and unicorns and shiz.

Sometimes it plain out made like a lollipop and sucked.

But, going after joy, which is the nice risk prone side of love, means being brave and putting your heart on the line, getting shot down (in a blaze of glory) and then being brave. Again. And putting your heart on the line. Again.

Cue a little self love to keep going.

Love lifts us up where we belong – Jo Cocker & Jennifer Warner

Perhaps you don’t belong on Tinder –

Perhaps you belong in the real world. Where you do things you love, and love will find you (spoiler alert, it will).

BUT

If you  have friends who have become single and their checklist looks like this:

  • last time they dated there was NO internet, and
  • the last dating filter they encountered was beer goggles at a bar, and
  • SNAPCHAT was a quick talk or a debrief on who won a card game

Be gentle – they need your support as they bumble through broken hearts that haven’t healed and aren’t really ready yet.  They are relearning EVERYTHING. Your judgement is not helpful.

Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier… Cue Whitney…

I never found anyone who fulfills my needs..Whitney Houston

A lonely place to be, and so I learned to depend on me.

This is really where I had an epiphany that we can learn something, but the change doesn’t actually happen until we actively apply it.  Hands up who else has felt like a dumdum who keeps repeating the same familiar pattern

My big lesson from 2018 was that I don’t deserve to be hidden – and neither do you.  You are worthy of such good things

Which is where I need to kick list mode into play and share

All the love related lessons from 2019…

  • Sometimes you meet someone  on the mountain, but they need to go their own way…and so do you.  People heal at different rates, grow at different rates, and are open to feel at different rates.  As much as we may meet and want someone to journey with us, they need to diverge.  Be kind – love is the only thing that can heal.
  • Speak from a scar, not from a wound...you’d think after writing a book and experiencing the power of words unfold, I would have learned to edit myself a bit better.   My biggest regret of 2019 was writing a post to be funny (it no longer exists) after a series of events where I realised the importance of boundaries.  That post hurt someone I cared deeply about, and no amount of sorry corrected it. (girl loses boy, girl gets condemned)
  • Isolating Insecurities is tricky especially if you are practicing being vulnerable.  People who are sharing there fears do so because they are being brave, and see you as a safe space.  Be gentle when someone is insecure.
  • Find spiritual love….This was a game changer for me, really.  I had to reconcile with my beliefs on a war that I had waged for a looooooooong time.  I sat in church and ugly cried LOADS.  I had to recognise that I still needed to heal, so on 30 June I got dunked like a donut and came out Christian. Honestly, it feels like being dipped in sunshine.
  • Love your AWKWARD The whole word thing, well lets just say that I really had to love writing and releasing Awkward is the New Brave. It was scary, I had no expectations, really, and it helped others in ways I did not expect.    It also kept reminding me of my humanness when I realised my new church fam were going to read it 😱, ex work colleagues were going to read it 😱, and yet everything is better than ok.
  • Love your BRAVE personally I still battle imposter syndrome, and abandonment issues.  As Brene Brown says, Shame can’t exist if you speak it into existence.  It’s awkward.  Be Brave, keep doing that.
  • Love is the Solution.  I went to Bali in October for the Ubud Writers Festival.   I met Feminists.  Angry Feminists.  It’s probably the first time I did not want to speak in front of a group of women.   Anger worn by anyone is not attractive.  Anger which creates problems is not the solution to the problem.  Love is.  And that Love requires forgiveness, or as one of my fave people I encountered in Bali said –  “I’m trying Radical Empathy on for size”.  She wore it beautifully.
  • Love the Surrender. Once again, I got schooled in word choice. While in Bali, I wrote a post on Insta saying “I surrender”.  What unfolded though was a call within an hour from a major client which ended my forecasted cash flow in October abruptly.  Not. Ideal. Timing. BUT Everything I surrendered was returned, and I know in my heart I am being looked after.  It is actually when love started unfolding. errywhere.
  • Love the simple process of living.  I found some awesome peeps who do what I love to do – go swimming in the ocean during winter, at 5:30am.  If you simply focus on loving you – in how you rock up in the world, your light shines that little bit brighter, you wear your heart with a few less creases, and you step a little more lightly. People notice.
  • Self love is more than affirmations it’s bravery, its awkwardness. It’s taking action to go and do the scary things in life and in business that make  YOU happy and set you in alignment with your words, your purpose and plan.  Sometimes aligning that self love means you are going to have to scarily close one door before you open another, otherwise you are just going to be standing in a hallway.

So how would I sum up LOVE?  Well, just as we say goodbye to hits (positive, negative and neutral) from one decade, we say hello to a hit from another.

You know I love you, I always will – Wet Wet Wet

Love is not easy, light and fluffy at all.  It’s  also hard, messy and totally worth it.

It’s kinder to say goodbye if you need to be free to say hello.  You can love people in more ways than one.  If you can’t love them one way, choose another.

Allow love to grow, evolve and change as is appropriate.

Be a good gardener.  Prune where required to love you as much as others on all fronts – spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, financially.  It’s ok to say goodbye if you need to be free to say hello.

Remember these three things:

  1. Just because the past didn’t work out as you wished doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you could possibly imagine
  2. Find love that is both your safe space and your greatest adventure
  3. The furthest to separate you from hate….is love.

So no… love is not a case of boy gets girl.

It’s a case of self “gets” self.

Let me know what got your love in 2019 for you and what you want 2020 to feel like.

You do you, Boo
Belle x

PS – Seeming this post is late, may as well tell you I broke the Jonesing-undy-wine-drinking daisy chain – I’m happy to say… Cheers!

2020 is off to an awesome start… 😘  JOY FTW!