A guest post by Kimberly Kessler
Hey there, dear heart.
Do you know how loved you are? It’s okay if you don’t. It doesn’t change the truth.
I might not know that 2 + 2 = 4, but it still does. It equals 4. Every time. Why don’t we know such a simple truth? Because we aren’t always taught the truth.
Instead, we get shoddy lessons about love from the shit consciousness of our parents.
And every person we interact with learned it from their parents.
And every parent got it from their parents.
And God bless ‘em, they’re all doing the best they can with what they’re taught.
I think deep down we do know we’re loved –– our true self, our highest self, always knows. But we forget.
I grew up believing I was loved –– my parents loved me, God loved me. But little by little my belief changed.
I still believed I was loved, but I didn’t necessarily believe it was permanent. Love began to feel conditional. I was loved because I was a good kid.
One lesson I got from my mother, whether she knows it or not, is that “Love stays.” That’s how you prove that you love someone –– you stay, no matter what.
So the flipside to that lesson was that if someone left, it was because they didn’t love me. That led to a lot of suffering whenever someone, inevitably, did leave … because dads die and high school boyfriends aren’t forever. Go figure.
This taught me to go above and beyond for others, to prove how much I loved them –– how much I loved her. Because after losing one parent, the greatest fear is losing the other. Caught up in my fear, it was easy to lose myself.
More recently in life, I have learned some other things about love.
As an editor who helps people develop their stories into books, I noticed a pattern. No matter what genre a story was –– action-adventure, crime, family saga –– every story was full of relationships.
Every kind of relationship, not just lovers. Parents and children, siblings, friends, enemies … you name it.
Every kind of human interaction could be seen through the lens of relationship.
And something dawned on me … every story is a type of love story. In a crime story, the detective loves justice and shows love for the victim by hunting down clues to catch the killer. And so it goes.
For me, looking at stories through the lens of love and human connection (and lack of love and lack of connection) gave me fresh insight into what a character would do and why.
It wasn’t until I met Rita that I was able to apply this lesson to myself.
We first met at a writing event. Rita’s husband Karl is a fellow story-nerd and she is completely supportive, as you can imagine. We connected and she shared some intuitive insight with me about my childhood. Months later when I had a flare-up of anger around my mother, I reached out to Rita for help. Through an old-fashioned phone call, she walked with me through my messy thought patterns, limiting beliefs, and charged emotions that were holding me hostage.
She taught me that love is really all there is. It’s the fabric woven through the universe, the connection that binds atoms together, in everything all around us and within us. Love is always there. It’s always true.
Fear, on the other hand, is a lie. It’s something we experience, but that doesn’t make it true.
There are only two core emotions: love and fear. And yet only love is real. My husband told me a quote he’d read once: “I’ve experienced many terrible things in my life, a few of which actually happened.”
Fear tells us we’re alone even though we’re connected, that we’re failures even though we can’t lose. Fear is scarcity and loss, but love is abundance and growth. Fear gives us abandonment and rejection, but love is complete connection and acceptance.
Rita taught me that everything we do, think, and feel comes down to either love or fear.
If I’m in truth, I can’t help but be in love. But if I’m in fear, it means there is some piece of truth that I am missing.
After working with Rita, I now look at practically everything through the lens of love (connection) or fear (disconnection).
- What am I feeling? Why do I feel what I feel? Is it from a place of love? Or is it from a place of fear? If fear, what is the truth I am missing about the situation?
- What am I thinking? Why do I think what I think? Is it from a place of love? Or is it from a place of fear? If fear, what is the truth I am missing about the situation?
- What am I doing? Why do I want what I want? Is it from a place of love? Or is it from a place of fear? If fear, what is the truth I am missing about the situation?
I now fundamentally believe that love is the way we are meant to experience life always. In truth, I can experience love and give love to others under any circumstances. It does not mean life will be without pain, simply that it does not need to be spent in fear … walking around numbed out and asleep to self, or steeped in anxiety.
When I love someone and they leave, I may experience pain and sadness that they are gone. But I do not need to be afraid of living without them. And even if I am afraid, that’s okay. I am still loved.
Rita taught me the truth of who I really am. That I am love, I am love, I am love, and I am loved.
Even though my dad is dead, and I was dumped in high school, and my mom gets mad at me for XYZ, and my kids don’t always listen or even like me. I am loved.
From this place of truth, I am not afraid. I can get angry at my mom when I don’t agree with her, and I can still love her. I can not talk to her for a month and still love her. I can leave and still love her. I can be left and still be loved. I can leave and still be loved.
Every story is a love story, but to be more accurate, every story is a self–love story. Your story and my story and my mom’s story included.
So even if you don’t, in fact, know how loved you are –– and want to wriggle away when I tell you –– it doesn’t change the truth of you … that you are love, you are love, you are love, and you are loved.
Rita taught me that.
As a fellow human on this messy journey, you’re not alone. We’re all doing the best we can. Take a deep breath and ask yourself: What can I do to show myself more love today?
Because as Rita says, you deserve more love and not less.
I love you!
P.S. If you’re a woman who wants to stop living in fear and love your true self (mess and all) come join me in Journey to Your Center. There’s so much love in here!
P.P.S. If you want to learn more about how I use stories to change the world, connect with me directly at www.kimberkessler.com.