When I entered into this podcasting realm with you all, I promised to be open, vulnerable and genuine.
I will always maintain this, as I believe this is exactly what humans find refreshing in a world of filters and social-media edited lifestyles. When I sat with what to speak on this week, the resounding answer from Source was love. Naturally, after receiving the message, I have been dissecting all the versions of love that exist in the human world.
In the English language we use “love” to describe an intense feeling of deep affection. This feeling may be what we hold for our parents, our children, our partners, our friends, our pets, and most importantly our selves.
There is surface love, infatuations that burn bright and extinguish with the realities of life.
There is dedicated love, a commitment that says I will be here for you to help you grow and assist you. I think of this love as what I hold for my friends.
There is love that we hold for our family. As many times as they may hurt us or upset us, we still love them due to the ties that bind.
And as I really began to tease apart the diversity of love, I realized the Arabic language has it right to have over eleven different words to define love and its many meanings.
A few example of these variants are:
“I can’t live without you (or may you bury me)”
“You are my life”
“I miss you”
Ohhhh…how to talk about love and not sound corny, right?
Well let’s get into the chemistry of it.
Love is a full body experience. Scientists from Harvard have broken it down into three main categories. There is lust, driven by innate sexual desires. This is how humans are so plentiful on our planet. Lust is a function of estrogen and testosterone in our bodies. These sex hormones drive us to seek out the pleasure of sexual connection.
The second phase is attraction, this happens sometimes simultaneously with lust, but not always. You can be attracted to someone and not lust after them and vis versa. The attraction phase is a function of dopamine release. It's a rewarding behavior to grow this love and the levels of dopamine as well as norepinephrine, tell us to keep doing it because it feels so good. These chemicals, interestingly, are also related to decreased appetite and sleep. So if you’ve ever felt those dwindle in the attraction phase, now you know why.
Lastly, we enter the attachment phase. This space is guided by dopamine, “the cuddle hormone,” and vasopressin. Attachment is when we feel that deep connection. This is my person. The romantic stages of lust and attraction may fade, but the attachment is duration.
As scientists, we know love is actually a chemical cocktail within our brain and can be explained rationally. Yet, as humans we still desire it in all of its delicious glory.
The truth is we all seek love. We seek acceptance. We seek connection. Humans are naturally inclined to desire other humans who we feel loved around. However, often our traumas of the past creep in and we are unable to receive or give what we are asking for. We fight it. We hide from it. We deny it. We run from it. No matter where we go there we are. And still this desire to feel connection in the form of love subsists.
If you tuned in to our first podcast, you remember me talking about my divorce. It took me more than a year to be prepared to date again. And even that was too soon.
I attracted train wreck after train wreck.
There’s a tweet floating around:
That pretty much sums up my dating experiences post-divorce.
The first one was a true mess of a connection. We were not aligned at all. And my little romantic Cancerian soul over here spent the better part of three months trying to convince my head of what my heart was screaming. This guy is not good for us!!! So we live and we learn and we let go. With each dating experience, I would return to self. I started to see clearly that if this was the caliber I was attracting, this is what I was available for, this is where I was in my healing journey.
And progressively there was improvement, the souls that would be attracted were less volatile than the very first, however still most were deeply hurt or emotionally unavailable.
After the end of my last situationship… god I hate that word, but it explains so much…
It explains the not knowing.
It explains the hesitancy.
It explains the on again, off again, light-switch movement that so many relationships seem to emulate in the present.
But mostly it explains… this ain't that.
Whatever that was, after it ended, I began to truly dial in to myself even more.
What happened was a period of immense growth for me.
My business hit numbers I had been working to manifest for years.
My personal relationships grew in the form of friendship and true connection.
My meditative practice became wildly focused and the magic of manifesting is now my reality.
My children felt this security and strength and thrived even more abundantly in the presence of a mama lion who knows exactly what she desires in this lifetime and how to achieve it.
I created this extremely intimate and loving relationship with myself and my spirit.
I began to love myself, without doubt, hesitation or questions of being enough.
I now know what I bring to the table and it will have to be matched for a partnership to thrive.
I began to focus on what love looks like to me, true unconditional love and if it isn’t that form of love, I don’t actually desire it. That’s the one, let’s be honest. That’s the love so many seek and only few experience in this lifetime. The love that says I will love and accept you no matter what comes along in this journey. The love that says show me all of your scars, all of your pain, all of your experiences, as these are a part of you and I want to know them, because I want to know all of you. The love that feels safe, like home, and pushes us to grow into our very best version, simultaneously.
There was a lot of time spent talking to little girl Jessica and coaxing her out to show why these core wounds exist and how to address them. I spent much time thinking about when unconditional love was shown to me as a child. If I was manifesting this type of love in my life, I would have to be capable of giving it.
How did I learn it?
How do I recognize it?
Where does this desire for this level of love come from?
I was taken back to my Grandma. She was the first one to see me when I was born. Recently she flew out to Arizona to celebrate my fortieth birthday with me. She has loved batt naked, brand new Jessica fresh out the womb, teenage rebellious Jessica, Jessica as a mother, Jessica as a wife, Jessica as a divorcee, and Jessica as a business owner. She loves every version of me, even Jessica, who made her hike down a mile path to see Horseshoe Bend in 103 degree heat.
Ooops. Sorry grandma.
My sweet grandma is nearly 77 years old. I forget that because she is an active aerobics instructor, school bus driver, and gym manager. She’s a force to be reckoned with. But as we hiked back up that path, I saw her in a new light. She was out of breath due to the incline and we had to stop and rest. We didn’t have much water left and it was HOT! I knew we had to get out of there but we also had to take our time. So we rested and eventually she was ready to continue. When we left that first shade structure on the way out, I began to sing to her
🎶 “Lean on Me.
When you’re not strong.
I’ll be your friend.
I’ll help you carry on.
For it won’t be long, till
I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.” 🎶
As we continued on, step by step, I watched her determination set in. I watched her posture shift as I imagined she told herself, "I am getting to that car and into the A/C." She scooted right up that last incline and we were magically at the trailhead to be doused in water and cooled down.
In that moment as she walked diligently, I saw unconditional love.
I saw that sometimes it's downhill and so easy, like breathing.
Sometimes it can be beautiful and take your breath away with the magnanimous power of it. Sometimes it can be an exhausting uphill journey.
Sometimes you have to stop and rest.
And sometimes you need to lean on your person and they need to lean on you.
But all the time, you have to want it.
You have to fiercely protect the connection with the tenacity of my sweet grandma making it up the hill and to the A/C.
You have to hold the determination that you are going to make it through any obstacle.
And believe it.
Above all, unconditional love begins from within.
If you can’t love yourself throughout the entire journey, then how could you expect someone else to?
This is the duality of our existence. We must love ourselves in the dark and in the light. We must celebrate the angelic beauty and become best friends with our inner demons, loving them both equally and respecting them as a part of the journey, the process, this life.
Let’s talk about the Hindi Goddess Kali. When I was going through the divorce, someone advised me to ignite my “inner Kali.” Kali is the feminine counterpart to Shiva, the God who creates, protects, and transforms the Universe. Kali is known as a walking dichotomy, which I have been called in the past by more than a few suitors.
She is love, light, and a brutal warrior Goddess. She is called upon to slay a particularly recalcitrant demon who multiples into another clone every time his blood hits the Earth. She murders his clones by slaying them and drinking their blood and eventually does the same to the demon. Her bloodlust is ignited and she becomes extremely lethal. The Gods call on Shiva to stop his wife. He comes down to the battlefield and lays down among the corpses, where she kills him by dancing on his chest.
This moment of killing her one true love snaps her out of her bloodlust driven fury, and she comes back to her own form, and the killing stops. She slows down and breathes life back into her one true love. Yes, she is a killing machine, but Kali is known as the Goddess of Tantra, and before you get your minds in the gutter, back up one second. Tantra is actually not an act of promiscuity, as the western world has translated it. Tantra is an act of self-discipline. It is knowing within you, you have the ability to make and unmake life. It is knowing the level of mastery you exercise will be a direct link to what you are capable of doing in this life. Kali represents the wild in all of us and she also represents the ability to harness that wild, cease on our path of destruction, and breathe life back into our Divine Masculine.
The reason the Arabic language has so many words for love, is because love is diverse.
It is unbridled wild passionate tsunamis.
It is gentle lapping waves coming home to the sand.
It is hope and despair.
It is life and death.
It is intangible, yet palpable.
It is completely within you and radiates outward the more you nurture it.
It is conditioning yourself to give and receive unconditionally.
Just be love. The rest will work itself out in Divine order.