What Does Love Look Like?

What Does Love Look Like?

Kiss the Frog So It Can Fly (36" x 36" Tammy Vitale)

This isn’t a romance post, unless you’re romancing yourself (which we all should absolutely do more of!).

This is me trying to figure out how to dwell in love when I would rather pout and be angry and point fingers at someone/thing over which I have no power, and that one/thing is not doing what I want.

Because my first reaction is anger.  And if I’ve learned anything, anger is *very* often an overlay of fear:  fear that I’ll never have whatever it is I’m trying to get to.  (I won’t fill in the details here because the details change and the reaction feels the same.  So use your imagination).

I guess, then, that the first thing that love looks like is taking a breath so that you can get to the second thing which is:  stop thinking in all or nothing:  “never” “always.”  As someone who taught me a lot about a lot used to say:  “Tammy, the world is not black and white.  It is shades of gray.”  I’ve never been a pastel type.  Sigh.

Take another breath (breathing always and everywhere helps whatever it is you are doing as hubby always points out when I’m lifting heavy stuff with him and holding my breath).

Ask:  What is it that is “never” or “always” going to happen and why does it upset me so?

Ask:  Am I just reacting from fear and there is indeed a path there that I’m not seeing?  Or am I starting a transition phase (kicking and screaming because I want THIS !).

Path?  go ahead and follow – put on your special glasses so you can see it.  Meander, pause, take your time.  No hurry – there it is for the walk.  Is there a map?  What do you think?

Transition?  15 minutes of screaming into the pillow and then you might as well get down to the work of going with it because it’s going to happen anyways at some point.

So maybe what love looks like is compassion for yourself:  where you are, whatever it is you are dealing with, the little girl who thinks she must be nice to everyone, the woman who knows she must honor herself first, take care of herself first before she can really give of herself to anyone else.

If this were easy, we’d all be doing it.  So that other one(s)/thing(s) that is blocking me – have compassion for them to as they are on the same path (this is where it gets hard). Speak your truth – you will know you are in the spot of it because you’ll be able to say it succinctly, clearly and without emotion – just a statement of fact/truth.  No anger because you love yourself enough to speak up and love the other (one/thing) enough to understand it isn’t *really* about them, it is about you.

Just thinking out loud.  If you’ve had experience with this – please share with me!



About Tammy Vitale

Tammy Vitale's life’s passion - to make a safe place for women to claim their Hell YES!!. Discover more about her and her passion. She's published Shift , a book of poetry; a short story in the anthology Fearless Voices: True Stories by Courageous Women and numerous poetry chapbooks.

You can follow her and Wylde Women's Wisdom on Facebook or connect on Google.


  1. dearest tammy!had to think on this for a day. it is so exactly what i go thru its uncanny. not claiming to know the answers here’s suggestions along the road. its a spiritual need for sure..needto recognize and align w/divine energy to Help Us! Meditate more/cuts reaction time to fear! Believe in ourselves even more and keep affirming positive truths..make list of the tons of accomplishments you’ve already made and never ever give up. your friend always; myra

  2. Beautifully said and so very true. I have FB’d it, tweeted it, Linked it, Delicious’d it, Google+’d it, and Stumbled it, and emailing it. Definitely something everyone needs to read. You are awesome!

  3. I think one of the hardest things for me to learn was that I could stand firm and have boundaries and still actually be nice. I didn’t have to get angry or scream into pillows anymore. ;) I think I had it in my head that I had to fight to be me or to take time for me or whatever…when 99 times out of a hundred I really didn’t. And if I did because of the people in my life, honestly, I learned to either ignore them or remove them.

    When things don’t go the way you want them to I like to think that you’re being shown another way or that there’s a lesson involved. Some of the things that scared me, angered me, frustrated me the very worst that made me feel like my life was spinning out of control–turned out later that I ended up in a better place than I was before or I was a better person for it.

    Anyways, that’s my experience with when my idea of where my path should be going is thwarted beyond my control. When I stop fighting to bust forward and look at other possibilities or just wait until the door opens…things go along easier. I just hate to give up the control. Mental gymnastics or monkey mind was a frequent past time of mine I’ve been learning to quiet and let go of.

    Very, very best to you, sweet lady!! Life ain’t easy or simple, dagnabbit. ;)

  4. “the first thing that love looks like is taking a breath…”

    THIS. This sentence totally resonated with me, Tammy. Without pausing to take that breath, it’s incredibly hard to get anywhere further in the process.

    Thank you so much for that reminder.



  5. First, I have to say I love your artwork!! It’s quite magical. I agree that love is about compassion for ourselves …something that can be so hard to do in our moments of anger, frustration and despair. But, if I can be kind to myself in those moments I’m less likely to project my crap onto others (a.k.a my husband :-)), and I’m more likely to understand my behaviour than stay stuck within it. Self-compassion is definitely the way forward and one of my learning edges!

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