Love is such an abstract concept, it is a lot more than the happily ever afters.
Love is one of those things that cannot be explained (if it was easily understood and commonly defined, then I am guessing a lot of therapists would not have a job!) Every single person you meet is an experience and every relationship you have is different, containing a kaleidoscope of emotion, circumstance, and absolute random chance.
I have come to realize that love is not quantifiable.
Like how you cannot love someone "more" or "harder." Love is bigger than us, almost like a religious idea, like how you cannot see God, but you can see God through other people. Love works the exact same way. Love is not tangible, but it is visible through words and actions.
I can radiate love and sprinkle it on everything I do and every person I meet.
However, I do not accept love easily. This is not just a mere self-perception of my reactions to love, it is a reflection of the effect of unconditional love. I like to test the waters, making sure it is absolute. Like trying to see if unconditional love really means an unjudging, steadfast, and concrete love. Looking back, I have realized that I have self-sabotaged a handful of the most valuable relationships in my life. The lack of relationships do not affect me today, but in the moment, they were extremely important.
The most impactful example is during the two final years in high school.
I have always been extremely close to my parents, but throughout those years, I rebelled in every way possible. (I would like to think that when I am a parent, my kids will never get away with anything because I have already done everything before, but I have a feeling that is not going to be true...) I was kind of the daughter from your worst nightmares, the kind of girl that people make movies about. I would like to blame my prefrontal cortex for not developing quick enough, but deep down, I knew what I was doing.
Thankfully with bountiful forgiveness and unwavering patience, I have remade myself and my selfless parents are undoubtedly by my side, being my favorite and loudest cheerleaders. My other examples pertain to (ex)best friends and (ex)boyfriends. I seek comfort by always having one foot out the door.
I say that being "more vulnerable" is my New Year's resolution, just like everyone else who makes resolutions with hopes to magically wake up a changed person.
However, it is going to take work. Like a sports practice or daily homework, every day and every week, I need to learn to push myself out of my comfort zone and gradually create my interpretation of vulnerability to sprinkle into my world in art form. So here I am, putting pencil to paper (more like fingers to keys, but you get the point) and going to work.