Written 07.16.16. | Published 08.02.17
Three years ago, on July 16, 2013, I asked myself, “What is the greatest gift you will give in this life?” I sit with that that today, July 16, 2016 and I have no idea what I have truly given.
I do know what I have received.
I have loved and been loved deeply, three times by three remarkable people.
First, by Freddy, who was my first love. Together, we experienced a wild about you, crazy feeling. An introduction to the first set of lessons I needed to learn: first, to find myself and know myself, second, forgiveness, and third, compassion.
Second, by Max, who named me Lotus. Our relationship was completely unexpected, spontaneous and magical. A magic carpet ride of ups and downs with its fair share of adventures and disasters. This chapter provided my second set of lessons: to accept joy, to honor and appreciate what you have, to love oneself, and to be free.
Third, by Feliciano. The longest and most mature relationship I’ve been in with it’s own highs and lows. Somehow, we’ve made it out of the darkness and into the light. Through our relationship, I am learning how to be patient and kind. I am learning to suspend judgment. I am learning about trust and openness. I am practicing unconditional love.
My sister recently shared a quote with me, “Go and love someone exactly as they are and then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered." — Wes Angelozzi
This is my aim, and what I hope to be my greatest gift of all: to love people exactly as they are. To release the desire to push them, pull them, criticize them, change them, but rather to embrace them.
I understand that this must come from the inside out. As I release my need to control, to edit, and constantly improve, coming from a place of dissatisfaction.
This is my ongoing lesson, my lifelong teacher: to love myself exactly as I am in this moment, to appreciate myself in my own essence, and grow from there.