10/23/2013 10:48 am ET Updated Dec 18, 2013

'Love Is a Battlefield'

Oh love how you wound thee... dressed to appeal you flaunter around jousting your beautiful smile, spinning and dipping, and then holding close. But are you the devil in disguise? A wolf in sheep's clothes? Are we all being fooled by love?

We've all been raised on books, movies, TV, commercials based on the glory of love. The wonderful aura of this state of being, its drug like effect it has on us, the euphoria making us blind, speechless and sometimes dumb. You hear stories of betrayal, domestic violence, mental abuse, unions living separate lives always followed by, "but I love them." We allow ourselves to be tortured by this thing called love for some of its euphoria.

There are many forms of love. Some twisted, some one-sided. But what IS love exactly? If love is this beautiful thing that we yearn for why does it hurt sometimes? With love there will always be pain. One cannot exist without the other. In order to know what LOVE is, we must know what LOVE is not. We must also accept that when we love with our entire being then we completely give everything of ourselves so we are easily hurt, we are vulnerable in love; we are easy targets. There is no one you can could probably hate (I dislike this word very much but for the sake of literary explanation I'm going for it) more than the one person you love with your entire being.

I am at the age where I am for the most part done with wedding and baby showers. I find myself not planning these events but rather getting calls to go out with friends that are on the cusp of relationships/ marriages falling a part or falling back into again. People holding it together unhappily for children; burying hurt, pain, and tears seems to be easier than carrying the black cross of failure. Why?

We all want to be respected, heard, and admired. We all want to be loved but we also want to give love without the fear of being hurt. We are often fooled by love's appeal. It comes in all shapes and sizes. It is sometimes cloaked in beauty bearing gifts and other times it is hidden and suddenly exposed once you see a person's inner beauty.

My business partner is currently consulting a famous family where the man has three wives. Now there's a lesson on love. Wowza! Interestingly, my partner one day made a valid point -- imagine having two other sister wives to help? Help with house, the kids, the daily needs. It's genius really! Personally, I just don't think I would be able to get over the "sharing" part although the sheer fact of having others help you out is dazzling! These sister wives are not jealous, they claim to be in love and loved. Hmmmm? I laugh because men will make statements about woman being needy and emotional but yet I am still waiting to hear a story of three men catering to the needs of one woman. Where is that story?

I don't think that is the answer but it clearly signifies that there are all kinds of love and that there are people out there for everyone. Instead of looking for people to complete us or take care of us perhaps we should look for a partner that complements our being. One that cheers us on as we grow rather than just tries to take care of us in a sense holding us down. When we truly love ourselves inside and out, accepting our own "flaws" (I use this term loosely as I do not believe anyone is flawed), acknowledging our weaknesses, at that point we have been embraced by unconditional love from our own soul. How can we give love in its truest form if we don't feel it intimately for our own selves? How can we see past others "flaws" if ours are always dancing on the stage stealing the show? We end up projecting our own insecurities onto others; we play tug of war with our own pain of being not in love with ourselves. When we demand respect from the beginning and not look to someone else for a sense of worth is when we really start to flourish in love.

I walk this journey in faith. I have always believed in this thing called love. I believe I have it; the good and bad of it. I try to nurture it to keep it growing. I am always learning how to maneuver thru love's pain and still come out unscathed. I have learned to accept ME. My "flaws" I have learned to see as genuine markers of me and my weaknesses have been put on the To Do List to strengthen. I am mastering the Art of Arguing! The art of figuring out your significant others ways and then mastering the dodge. Strategically sizing the situation up and then doing the tango. In love there is passion and there is only one thing more passionate than a good argument and that usually follows the ugliness of throwing everything on the table. Phase 1: Let It Ride! Phase 2: Let It Be! Phase 3: Ya'll Come Back Now you Hear! Get heated and then be still. Say what you need to say (thanks John) and then let it go! People get hung up on words. Some guys / girls have a favorite "name thrower", their go to gut puncher. Learn the name, breathe it in, let the name become nothing to you. Fighting can become a game of pushing buttons. Swallow the passion to defend your own honor. Realize that there is no defense being called to the game. Walking away is keeping you in the offensive position. Keep it together and - Walk Away (said in a Pulp Fiction Marcellus Wallace kind of voice). Go to the fight with your face painted in peace and love.

There is nothing easy or as beautiful as love. Love yourself, reflect that love. When you do, you live a thoughtful, kind, respectful, giving, appreciative kind of life and love cannot help but blanket you.

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