Love: Look At The Two Of Us


loveLast year, we travelled to Jamaica to celebrate my birthday, as well as to introduce my granddaughter to her grandfather and his family. It was a great trip for the most part but being me, it was difficult not to notice the contrasts of life and love.

A few days after the big “Hottitude,” the name I gave to my celebratory event, my thoughts turned to the question, “What is love?” Being as we are only 72 or so hours away from Valentine’s Day, it felt right to republish my post-birthday piece. Do check it out and share your thoughts with me, as well as take part in the poll at the end of the post.

A Year Ago…February 2015

Love ought not to cost you or the recipient anything. That is the bottom line. If it does, it is something other than love. Lust perhaps, greed or neediness maybe.

christeningYesterday, my granddaughter was again christened in Jamaica. Again as she was already blessed in her parents’ church in Edmonton, Alberta, back in October 2014. However, she travelled with her mother and I to the land of my birth to help celebrate my 50th birthday. It was also an opportunity for her to meet her mother’s paternal side of the family. She told me she has plans to visit somewhere like Grace Christian University when she gets older, but that’s a long way off!

Heavily faith-based even though it was, we felt that a second, more traditional and communal blessing, one that would be witnessed by a larger group of people who shares her heritage, would be special. We also wanted her to experience the love of family.

That is something I never did experience and to some extent, an ingredient that was sorely missing from my life to now. The expressions masked as love that filled my childhood years, costed me a lot. Self-esteem, confidence, dignity and, for many years, my voice. At my birth-night party, a couple of my childhood friends remarked on how much I talk now. They were drawing comparisons to how little I spoke growing up. Those gathered who met me much later along my journey, could not relate to that Claudette being described.

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Voiceless Women

At my granddaughter’s christening, I watched and listened to a woman who is still very much like that Claudette – voiceless, low self-esteem, afraid that she cannot survive on her own, despite being arms and legs ahead of so many other women – economically, educationally and socially. Love or what she understands it to be, has cost her her identity.

My instinct was to pull her aside and slap her straight! I did not because from personal experience, I know self-love, the agape kind is not taught but is to be opened up to.

I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.” Neil Gaiman

This quote has been shared before but bears repeating. When I broke up with the last person who I thought was the next “big love,” of my life, I hardly shed a tear. Truth be told, I was dumped but in actuality, it was more of a deliverance from what would have been my next “big folly.” Months later, a telephone call between said gentleman and I ended with him remarking how happy I sounded. My response was, “What did you expect? You thought I would be crying in my cups, eating out of a garbage can?”

heartThing is, I will never be made speechless again – not for love or money.

Love Is Freeing

Sometimes I refer to it as having a Plan B or even a Plan C, however, it is more a ‘trick’ I learned from Cheryl Carter-Scott’s book – “If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules.” Using the power of my imagination, I hold my greatest desire in that moment in my right (receiving) hand. I savour, roll around with it and enjoy its deliciousness. Then, moving it to my left (releasing) hand, I open my fingers and let it go.

That is how the gift of goodbye became one of the most precious treasures ever bestowed on me. You “must” love something or someone enough to let them go, release them and invariably yourself from obligations and a debt to love you back. It is not love if it has a price.

What Is Love?

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Claudette P. Esterine


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54 thoughts on “Love: Look At The Two Of Us

  1. CourtneyLynne

    I feel all love, weather it’s for someone else or even ourselves is key. You need to know how to give and receive love in life to be able to grow and become a great person.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, you first need to have love before you can really give it and receive it in such a way that maintains your identity. Thanks for dropping by. πŸ™‚

  2. Love gives you wings to be all that you can be..I’ve voted for this. Great article! I really enjoyed reading it! Thanks!

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are most welcome Yonca and thank you for voting. πŸ™‚

  3. Love don’t have expiration date. Love brings you joy and happiness. Love is when you spend 2 hours time with someone and still it feels we just met. 😊😊😊

    1. Ms Claudette

      That’s what I’m talking about! That is the kind of love that we all deserve. πŸ™‚

  4. Jenn Peters

    Love that, “love has no expiration date.”

  5. This is a beautiful entry, and I love what you have to say about recognizing your past self in another person. It reminds me of the line in Les Miz “To love another person is to see the face of God.” I wonder if that is really the heart of agape. Lovely post!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you Paula for your comment and for that wonderful and on point quote!!! πŸ™‚

  6. I have to say love really has no expiration date and it should help you become a better person. You should feel free to grow from your love and experience and hopefully become the person you have always wanted to be.

  7. I voted for number 1. That, for me, is love.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Awesome choice! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the visit.

  8. I like the note that self-love is not really something you learn, but something that is opened up to you. That really is the truth. πŸ™‚

    1. Ms Claudette

      That was my experience Rosey, hence my message. πŸ™‚ Glad that it resonated with you. πŸ™‚

  9. Wow. What a lovely post.
    What is love for me? .
    It’s never one way, but fits us the way we need it to.
    Happy celebrating.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you Colette and I really loved the way you said that – that love is never one way. Some of us tend to put love in a particular box which is the antithesis of what it really is. Namaste. πŸ™‚

  10. self dependence is very important for one and all. Loved the way it’s depicted here in the post.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am glad that it resonated with you! πŸ™‚

  11. wow that really struck me when you said “it is not love if it has a price”. that is so true and yet i think most of think that putting a price on love can show how much we value someone. i think that the only way to show you value them is by not capping the love or putting any kind of restrictions or requirement on it/them.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Amen, Michelle! If there is a price then it is a purchase you are making. πŸ™‚

  12. I agree love shouldn’t cost anything and it should be freeing. Often though people guilt us with love. I love you, so there for you should do this for me….etc.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I hear you on that Heather! I learned that lesson the very hard way! πŸ™‚

  13. We need to know how to make ourselves happy and not rely on other people to do that for us! πŸ™‚

    1. Ms Claudette

      Truth is, they can’t and that is the mistake we make so often thinking that happiness comes externally. πŸ™‚

  14. I think it’s a fluid thing. It’s not the same when you first fall in love as when you’ve been together for a while. Hopefully it’s deeper!

    1. Ms Claudette

      One can hope that it will deepen! πŸ™‚

  15. Your happiness will only make you happy. Yes, we have our own things.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Indeed Lexie, indeed. πŸ™‚

  16. They don’t teach us these things in school but we can teach our children these things. As early as my daughter was able to understand I started teaching her about how she is to be treated when she gets into a relationship. We have to let them know before someone else gives them a warped idea of love. The things that many women accept in the name of love just makes my blood boil sometimes and I realize that those of us who know better should teach those who are struggling.

    1. Ms Claudette

      However, you cannot teach someone who wishes to remain in the dark. The woman I alluded to in the post has so much book knowledge, earns great money, dresses well, etc. but remains in a relationship/marriage where she has been cheated on so many times, children born outside of her marriage and a couple at the same time as her own children! And she keeps going back for more. As the saying goes, you can lead a donkey to the water but you cannot force him to drink. πŸ™‚

      1. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR….I am not going to say it…LOLROTF…Duppy know a who fe frighten, that is what I will say

        1. Ms Claudette

          Crazy, crazy lady! πŸ™‚

          1. Ms Claudette

            LOL! The feeling is mutual! πŸ™‚

  17. We don’t need someone just to be happy. We had an own little ways to make happy

    1. Ms Claudette

      And to me that is the sweetest kind of happy – those little ways! Thanks for dropping by Nicole. πŸ™‚

  18. I chose the 1st answer about love.. Love with no expiration date πŸ™‚

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thanks for voting Miss! That was a great choice! πŸ™‚

  19. april grant

    I prefer to be a single mom and i am very happy in my own little ways

    1. Ms Claudette

      After being single for a few years now, I get why you would feel the way you do. I can honestly say that I really do not think I would want to be in a live in relationship again. Thanks for the visit, April. πŸ™‚

  20. I’ve voted for this

    True love frees you. It helps you to grow, not suppresses you. Love gives you wings to be all that you can be

    and I believe in this saying
    If you want something very, very badly, let it go free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, it was never yours to begin with.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Well thank you for voting Sargas! I love your choice. πŸ™‚ We too have that saying, that what is yours will always be yours – no matter the time and distance between you. Thanks for the visit. πŸ™‚

  21. I have never been to Jamaica but it sounds like a place I would want to visit. Your post is very inspirational.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you for the visit, the comment and the thought of visiting the country of my birth. Should you ever choose to visit Jamaica, do let me know how it went. πŸ™‚

  22. Elizabeth O.

    You don’t really need someone to make you happy. You have to learn to be happy on your own. I love being single, the alone time is something I enjoy. It’s nice to have someone to spend time with though.

    1. Ms Claudette

      The alone time is so awesome!!! Yes, from time to time it is nice to spend time with “someone,” but I get over it. LOL!

  23. I will know love when I find it at the moment i am happy staying single and it feels liberating!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Amen, Ana, amen and amen! πŸ™‚

  24. I selected in the poll option 1 Love is something you feel for someone, people, without thinking about it. It has no expiration date.
    There were a couple of great answers however!
    It is sad to read about disempowered women but there are many of them.
    Congratulations on your granddaughter’s christening, going to Jamaica too! Happy belated birthday and happy Valentine’s Day to you.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you for all those wonderful wishes Joely! Thank you also for taking part in the poll! πŸ™‚

  25. I believe that love give you the wings to be yourself, to grow and to become a better person. I used to be in a relationship where I completely lost myself and it didn’t work so well. Now I’m happy with my other half that I can be myself and free with – and I’m grateful I met him.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am so happy that you are happy Kata, if I may call you that. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful snippet of your journey. πŸ™‚

  26. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    While I prefer to have a man in my life, I enjoyed being single when I was. I think women need to be more independent in general.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I could not agree with you more Robin! πŸ™‚

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