There’s this idea that love and hate live beside one another. We think this means that passionate and intense emotions tend to be familiar with and linked to each other. And while this might be true in some cases, we want to take a moment to acknowledge all that love is and what love is not.
Love can be challenging. It can be trying. It can require effort. But something it should never be is harmful. Love should not hurt your well-being—physically, mentally, or emotionally.
Love can look like wide-open, welcoming arms, a safe space to share your dreams and fears. It can be a quiet night in, a song that can only be sung at the top of your lungs with all the windows down, or maybe for you, love is the truth that you are complete and not half of a whole.
But love does not encompass manipulation or abuse. Trauma does not equate to love. You deserve love without intentional hurt.
Some might try to claim that love led them to the hurting. But love is never the culprit of pain. Fear, rage, apathy, and gaslighting are not siblings or even neighbors of genuine love.
Love is patience. Love is empathy. Love is anchoring. Love welcomes autonomy and the room to make choices. It reminds us why we’re here, why we chose to stay. It gives us the courage to trust and be honest. It invites us to believe in the good of today and the hope in tomorrow. It’s connection, community, and gratitude for one another.
If you feel love has hurt you, we’re here to validate all of your emotions and ask you to consider the root of that pain. Love helps us remember how alive we truly are and how very much we matter.
Because you do matter. To the people around you. To your pets. To your plants. To yourself.
Maybe your soulmate is you. Maybe the perfect partnership looks like the platonic dynamic you’ve built between you and your best friend. Maybe the ultimate date is a night in with a good book.
Love has no limits. It arrives free of judgment. You do not need to earn love, just like you do not need to earn your breath.
You matter so very much. Your existence is love in real-time. Your choice to stay is love at work. You are love itself.