What Is Love Anyway


A couple of months ago over fancy tacos, a dear friend said something I have played back in my head many times. She’d being feeling rudderless. Because I can’t help myself, I asked her some coachy questions. I’m not supposed to do that in a stealth way but I’d had a couple of margaritas.. so shoot me.

“I honestly have no idea what I want. What I am even interested in. No clue what’s next for me.”

I know that place. Being about everyone else to the point where you are a stranger in your own skin. It is REALLY hard to live there.

It made me take more seriously this practice of self-inquiry. You’ve heard it here before. If you didn’t take up the practice then, here’s your second chance:

What do I want right now?

I am thirsty actually. I’ll have some water.

What do I need?

To get better organized. Try your witchy new planner from Natalie Miller. Since it’s mid-February maybe upgrade to that from the phone calendar?

How do I want to feel?

F!cking amazing. And I’ve got solid plans for that..


One little sign post at a time leads you home to yourself. Trust me, you need to go home now.

If you aren’t supplying the directions to yourself routinely, I am begging you. Please do it. We are all going to die someday. I have this on good authority.

Asking these questions is an act of self-love. The foundation of all love, actually. All vitality and magic. Really. You want that.

With no answers to these questions, it’s impossible to make the kind of self-honoring decisions that lead you to your best life.

In this month of formally honoring love, it brought me to the question of what I really want love to look and feel like. All month I have been rolling it around and watching it take shape inside me.


I’ve made my list. This is what love is to me.

  1. Real love means you don’t need to be any kind of way except yourself. All of you. Not just the shiny, happy parts. The crumbly bits that break apart way too easily are invited too. The ones that require picking up and reassembling with tenderness. Love welcomes all of who you are.
  1. It is releasing the list of expectations that our culture has convinced us that we should be and should expect our partner to be. The perfect lover, co-parent, best friend, confidante, masseuse, cook. Instead we allow the space for them to be who they are without judgment. You love them because of all their uniqueness. Not in spite of it.
  1. (This one should have been first, but who cares.) You can’t really have the good kind of love if you don’t start with you. Self-love builds empathy in every direction. Liberation in every direction. It is the space from which all love grows. If you neglect yourself, love for others gets all twisted up in lack. It feels controlling and sticky. Self-love looks like getting the proper support for your own growth so you can show up as your best self. And be available to receive the love you want. It means caring for yourself physically, mentally and spiritually FIRST. It is the only way you can show up for another person. Self love is not beating yourself up for not being the way someone else wants. It is being your best version and making no apologies.
  1. Loving you means I want what you want for you. No matter what that is! It’s being fully who you are and holding wide open space in your heart for the whole person. You get to say what feels good for you. You get full agency over your life. Love is total permission.
  1. Love is curiosity that allows you to be fully seen. It is making no assumptions about what you have before you in that other person. Releasing control over the narrative. Control is the opposite of love. You only want to control what you don’t trust. Trust and love are inextricably linked. To love completely, you must trust completely. We don’t own anyone. And we don’t know anyone until they invite us into their world.

  1. When you love the version of yourself in the presence of that other person, you know you have found it. Your highest good is magnetized by them. If that’s not your partner, ask why not, no matter how scary the answer.
  1. Love is when the giving of it feels just as good as the receiving. It is fully embodied with the knowledge that we are all one, with each other and with our Creator. Aligned with our power and the expansiveness of freedom. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Do you want that too?
  1. Real love heals. Sometimes it hurts…when we are broken open to expand our capacity. Ultimately it absolutely and completely heals, if we allow ourselves to deeply surrender to it. If we know deep in our bones that we deserve love, that we are worthy of it and give our souls the permission to both want it and to open to receiving it.
  1. Real love is growing. Inviting the other person to reach their full potential. Not demanding. INVITING. Neither of you shrinks from stepping into the brightest, most vibrant version of you.
  1. Love is a peaceful knowing. It is the coziest. And wildest. It is freedom.

Happy Love Month everyone. And welcome to my once a month story.

When you are truly open to the exact kind of love you need, the universe will bring it right to you. It really really will. And then you get the sense that it’s all going to be okay.



WRITING PROMPT: What do you want right now? How do you want to feel? What tiny steps can you take today to get there?

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