My philosophy of love is oftentimes an unpopular opinion. And I understand why. It is with only love that I accept this and simply hope to spread my message of love organically ❤️
I went out the other day, proudly reppin' my Only Love. hoodie and tote bag. "I designed these," I told myself with pride and astonishment. And while I started out just being proud of the accomplishment and getting my husband to snap pics of the clothes for my Instagram, I noticed people checking my out and my heart settled into one very clear though, "I hope they get curious about the message."
"I hope they ask, 'Why Only Love? And what is Only Love?'"
I wrote about the basic meaning behind the Only Love. flower and why I both created a line of products and tattooed myself with it, but I want to go a little further. A little deeper.
Instead of, "Why Only Love?"
Let's ask, "How to Only Love?"
Why a reminder to love is important
I have a hard time remembering to come from a place of love when I'm scared.
I have a hard time remembering to come from a place of love when I feel shame, regret, hurt.
I have a hard time remembering to come form a place of love when I've been buried in the 9-5 style of life to pay the damn bills.
If I'm totally honest, making this art is more about keeping myself grounded than anything else. Turning this flower into a clothing line is about having a little fun, spreading a message, and surrounding myself with reminders of the life I truly want to build in my own world and the world around me.
It's really easy to get distracted by the day to day of life.
We can't all just go live in a van by ocean (though I'm about as close to being there as I can at this point in my life 😅 ). So sometimes we need to engage a little in that stereotypical Americanized Canadian life. And that's OK. At least it's OK for me. I'm not here to judge anyone and I'm working really hard on not judging myself anymore. It's good to keep reminders, though, of what really matters beneath it all. You bet your ass I've purchased more of my own Only Love line than anyone else 🤷🏻♀️
It's about loving ourselves, too
When it comes to other people I've long-held the philosophy to remember that everyone is doing the best they know how based on their lives. I've not been perfect at that, though. There are days that I feel pulled into the world of judgement and hate - usually out of some self-protective place.
And that's when I realize - it's about loving ourselves, too.
Giving ourselves space to be imperfect.
Giving ourselves compassion when we fuck up.
Giving ourselves a chance to just be who we are and who we want to be and let past versions of ourselves fall away.
To free ourselves of the hurt, the shame, the fear that we carry for feeling like we aren't what someone else wants us to be.
To love ourselves.
I've spent most of my life hating myself
Unbeknownst to me for many years, I've struggled with ADHD my entire life. I talked about my ADHD a bit on the blog for my marketing business, but I haven't really talked about it here. I haven't really talked about the effects it's hard on my mental health and my ability to love myself.
I had a hard time fitting in the mold. I had a hard time controlling my emotions. I was falsely labelled with a million different things and basically just made to feel like I was something that needed to be fixed or tolerated.
I'm too loud.
I never know when to stop.
I say the wrong thing basically all the time.
I can't sit still.
I can't shut up.
I dominate conversations.
I shouldn't do this, shouldn't say that.
I dress different.
I can't pick a style.
The lows are really low.
The highs are something I run with.
I carried this with me for a very long time. I never really understood the way our society works or our economic system. As a kid, my parents joked that I should join a hippy commune when grew up. They probably weren't wrong.
The status quo just makes no sense to me.
But you need money to survive in this world and the people I love live in this society. And so I've tried to make it work. But instead of making it work by accepting that I don't quite fit and being OK with that, I tried to force myself into the tiny grey, square boxes of conformity and nearly killed myself doing it.
So here is my...
Hippy philosophy of love for 2024
It's pretty simple, right?
In action, it can be pretty hard 😅
Listen, this isn't something new. It's not my own philosophy. That's the point though. We need to get back in touch with this simple message.
Love each other.
Love is forgiveness.
Love is patience.
Love is compassion.
Love is tolerance.
Love is having hard conversations.
Love is opening difficult doors.
Love is listening to viewpoints we don't agree with.
Love is not censoring the world to meet our comfort - love is understanding WHY things like hate and prejudice exist and how they grow so we can plant new flowers, instead.