To my beloved niece and nephews,
I feel strange offering you advice as you seek your way. I don't have much input. But I do have unconditional love and support and an happy ear to listen and be there for you. I will share with you what I have learned about love: pay attention to how you feel.
1. Do you have a sense of home when you spend time with this person? Do they bring you warmth and comfort and make you feel calm? Does it feel like they could be your best friend, with your best interests at heart? A sense of joy in their company is huge, notice those with whom you feel replenished and recharged and seek out their company.
2. Do you find yourself laughing and smiling with them? Yay! Another wonderful sign. Listen to yourself -- you know how you feel. I've noticed that people have a tendency to rationalize how they think they should feel, but how you actually feel is most important. Grant your comfort level the space it needs to settle. If you're not sure how you feel, that's okay. You'll be unsure until you're not. It's all okay.
3. Do you find yourself worried if they like you? Pay attention to this too. Each of us are perfect in our imperfection and it's important to feel appreciated. If you find yourself thinking "Maybe they will like me better if I am ___" then this is a sign of possibly conditional love, which can leave you wanting down the road. Try to compare your feelings to the way your best friend makes you feel. Honor your feelings and give them room to breathe. Your gut will be one of the most valuable tools you carry with you throughout life.
4. Experience much and see if these experiences feel positive inside. You have a wise sage living right inside your chest and if you listen quietly, they will tell you how they really feel. If an experience doesn't feel positive, try to think about it with the perspective of learning a lesson. I am always here if you need anything.
5. Kindness is a wonderful attribute in a mate. You want someone who will cover you when you are cold, bring you aspirin when you are sick, empathize with your long hard day. And be sure to give as good as you get. Pick a partner who gives 100% of themselves and you do the same. If you both look out for eachother, the world will feel like a gentler place.
6. It can be hard to support what's best for your partner if it differs from what you think but it will be important to support them anyway (as they should you). As much as you can, put yourself in their shoes. Don't nag. Have fun.
7. It's okay -- indeed, crucial -- to turn off the wrong people. Don't fret if you like someone and they don't like you back. It will be okay in the end.
Love you so very much,
It's such a beautiful gift, to feel this swelling of heart, to love so completely. Such good kids, I want them to have the world. I want all kids to have the world, they deserve it. ::sniff::