A friend shared this amazing letter John Steinbeck wrote to his son about love. First as a father to read the heartfelt devotion he has for sharing with his son was deeply moving. And he was sharing from a position of his own experience which is even more powerful.
The thing that really stuck with me most is how someone's love makes me feel. Sometimes I doubt myself. Like maybe it's the fact that I don't know how to receive love or maybe I just feel unworthy.
But he mentions the idea of the first kind of love (selfish and grasping) that makes one feel "small and weak". I don't know if I can confidently say that this type of love isn't love but I can say how it makes me feel (which he sort of implies is the domain of "girls" which I don't completely agree with!). If someone's love doesn't feel right it's not necessarily about me.
The second kind of love that recognizes others as "unique and valuable" does exactly what he says (including releasing wisdom that I never knew I had). I feel it almost every time I'm with my daughter.
My heart broke free when he mentions that my unreturned love doesn't make my love any less valuable. Not only will I not say it at times, I won't even explore its possibility.
My heart which I give so freely to friends and my daughter still has some walls around it still with women in particular, I'm human. However the letter broke them down a little more and that's what it's all about.