The Freedom to Love

The 4th of July reminds me of love.

Perhaps it’s the warm heat that smells of romance and “Summer lovin…happened so fa-aaaaast” (Greece, anyone?)

Perhaps it’s people hosting BBQs, friends and family gathering together and potential future couples meeting for the first time.

Or perhaps it’s the fiery explosion of sparkles in the sky – matching the endless rainbow feeling of love in my bones.

Last year on this day, I was walking hand and hand with my love, down a path near my parents’ place in Washington State. Lying down on the cool park grass staring up at the explosive glitter in the sky and giggling about how we were celebrating my home country’s independence from his.

I remember feeling so grateful and intrigued that this man had magically came into my life – not just from another state, but another country. It felt so silly to be celebrating the 4th of July with him, and yet, at the same time, pretty liberating because although our home countries had become independent, we still had the freedom to love each other.

How often is the freedom to love celebrated?

Think about it for a moment.

We are free to love whomever we choose – literally ANYONE! And while I get that there are a slew of visa, immigration and prejudice issues for many lovers (all of which I have experienced with various partners), we can celebrate the possibilities for love.

It wasn’t that long ago that our freedom to love was limited. Only certain class levels would have had exposure to people from another country outside of theirs (and even then it was a political arrangement), blacks and whites were not allowed to marry in the States until 1967 and same-sex couples across the states until just last year! (2015).

But now, while our societal structures aren’t perfect, we need to really CELEBRATE the freedom to love whomever we want.

The Freedom to Love

So many of us put limitations on our freedom to love.

Perhaps it’s messages rolling around your head about who you “should” be attracted to.

Or the type of guy that your parents want you to marry.

Or expectations about what certain people look like or don’t look like…and what that could mean for your potential relationship.

Or it’s that pain in your heart that won’t stop screaming “Keep yourself safe! Don’t allow him in like you did the last guy!”

I remember one afternoon upstairs in my room, when I was home from college during the summertime, hearing my parents discussing concern about my Vietnamese boyfriend’s family expectation to take care of his parents. This was foreign to our family, who didn’t live with their elderly parents and weren’t expected to directly take care of them. And yet, this was normal for his family.

Hearing this discussion could have held me back from continuing to date this guy, for fear of upsetting my family, but it didn’t. We dated for 4 years.

We are free to love, and yet we keep ourselves trapped with limited possibilities due to opinions from our friends, family, society…and our past pain.

But in doing this we are limiting ourselves immensely from the freedom to love…and ultimately, our own happiness.

If we don’t break free, and gain independence from what other people think, we will never get to the core of our own desires in a relationship. We will always be aiming to please someone else, instead of opening to, attracting and entering a partnership with a man who fulfills what we really want.

I’m not suggesting that you go out and seek a guy from another country, race, ethnicity, religion different from your own (unless that’s really what you desire). But what I am encouraging you to do is ask yourself:

Am I truly giving myself freedom to love…whomever I choose?

My invitation to you is to begin the process of celebrating your freedom to love, so that you don’t keep yourself in a prison of limited possibilities…where you could very well remain lonely and without love.

Here’s a few steps to start:

  1. Toss the “list” – you know which one I’m talking about. The one with all the qualities that your future guy MUST have. It’s not serving you…it’s only limiting your freedom to love whomever you choose (and trust me, you just never know who may step through your life!) This isn’t about lowering your standards (hell no), it’s about opening to possibilities. So, go find it – in your journal, in the drawer – and rip it to pieces. And don’t create another one!
  2. Stop answering when people ask if you have a “type.” Look…you very well may have a type, but just like the “list,” it is limiting your options. Keeping you trapped and preventing you from really attracting a man who fulfills your desires. Not only is it reinforcing your desire to NOT get to know certain guys, but it’s also telling your friends not to connect you with amazing guys they may know for fear that they aren’t your “type.” When I stopped answering this question, I found that I got out of my own way and a variety of amazing men who I would have never labeled my “type” began to come my way. (Oh, what was my “type” you ask? Mine used to be “anyone who isn’t a white guy,” said with a giggle because that’s not how I intended it, but that’s what kept coming to me.) So, next time someone asks you, “What’s your type?” just respond with:

    “An amazing man who adores me, supports my ambitions & fulfills my desires.”

This is true freedom to love. And you deserve it!

To Your Radiance,

jess e-sig

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