Love is all around us, all the time, within every month and every day of the year. Not everyone realizes how love is all around in their lives not stopping only at romantic love. Love is shared between siblings, parents [biological or adoptive], family members, friends, pets, and more. Love is giving the last slice of pizza to someone else, love is paying for the person ahead of you in the coffee line, and love is looking yourself in the mirror and reminding yourself to have a day as bright as you!
Science has declared oxytocin as the love drug or hormone. Although, many researchers and clinicians alike go back and forth about what the true definition of love is. Everyone has a lot to learn about love, especially because there are a lot of misconceptions that surround it. One of the biggest myths about love is meeting and getting with the right person so that your life may feel be complete. News flash, the right person has been in front of you all along! I promise, go look in the mirror and you will find them (hint, it’s yourself!). The saying that in order to be in love or in a romantic relationship only then will your life will be complete is a false and mythical narrative since you can begin that relationship with yourself.
What helps to put things in perspective is having a conversation with yourself and asking what love means to you! What does love look like, feel like, how do you express it? It can be important to ask yourself what love means so that you are able to establish and associate how you convey these feelings towards yourself and others in your life. Reframing love so that it doesn’t look and feel like you need to rely on someone else to give you that piece, because you are well and able in giving it to yourself. Whenever we think or talk about romantic love, most of the time our preferences are shaped by our biology and culture; two of the most influential factors in our lives. What’s just as important as these factors are the types of self-love we give and nurture to ourselves. The one person who has been with us our entire life! Remember to prioritize yourself, be true to yourself, and most importantly to forgive yourself when you feel you aren’t being kind to yourself. Self-compassion allows for more effective emotional regulation and a greater capacity for intimacy. Give that special person, yourself, an extra boost of affirmation because you deserve it!
Catron, M. L. (2016, February 12). Five myths about love. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-love/2016/02/12/78703f20-cf65-11e5-88cd-753e80cd29ad_story.html.
Self-Compassion worksheets & Handouts. https://www.psychologytools.com/professional/techniques/self-compassion/.
Written by: Abrea, 2021 Undergraduate Intern
Want to talk to someone who can help? If you would like to speak to a professional counselor or psychologist about this or other negative thoughts and are in the Chicagoland area, please feel free to contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.