Love, the rest will follow
At the end of this year 2018, I wanted to talk about Love with a capital L. The holiday season is for me a moment out of time, as suspended and it’s often an opportunity to review and consider what life has brought us and what we have given in return.
Our daily lives is not always easy to manage, it is more and more difficult to take time for ourself, to take stock, to learn from our experiences and look over one’s shoulder.
But it's finally an essential moment to take some time to realize how lucky we are to have everything you have (good health / family / friends / work), in short not to take our life for granted.
That's why I wanted to share this article with you at this very specific moment.
It took me quite a while to write this article because love is a complex subject, extremely broad for me... And on which it’s sometimes difficult to put words.
So, I decided to talk about it in a very simple way and from different angles. Because finally love is all about spontaneity, creativity, freedom, in other words a fundamental pillar of happiness and fulfillment.
I think love is also about the infinite, an endless source that must be maintained and constantly reinvented. As my dad says:
"In your life, you will be loved as much as you think you deserve to be."
So, yes, it's true, love is also a matter of self-love and self-esteem. In fact to love, you have to love yourself.
But I also wanted to take advantage of this article to put empower our men, (we have to admit that we, women, have made life tough for them in the last few years). I will explain myself later.
Once again, I only share my point of view with you here, these are just my experiences and my thoughts.
There is no judgment about any of us in my speech, and I don’t want to interfere in anyone’s political and social beliefs.
Discover yourself by love
Love is an extraordinary feeling, no one can say it’s not true. It is magical because it opens the doors of an ultra-creative field. What makes it so unique and so powerful is that in order to gain full access to it, one must know how to let oneself fall completely into it, without restraint, without rationality, without prejudices and therefore in total confidence with oneself, but also with each other.
It is not obvious, because love is vertiginous; and everyone knows that emptiness and the unknown are not reassuring, but we have everything we need to make it exceptional.
Everyone, on his own scale, at his own speed, finds the keys that allow him to overcome his anxieties. And what is stronger than our own fears? It's us. We and our self-confidence, us and our own Self.
You always have to see the glass half full. For example, I learned to see relationships as an extraordinary playground for getting to know oneself. Of course, when I say "playground", I do not mean it in any perverse way when you play with the feelings of the other. I’m talking about a playful playground, rewarding and surprising, when you learn to know oneself, observe the reactions of the other, let oneself fall into the unknown, but that also helps to confront a different individuality, learn to make concessions, and discover about oneself from someone else’s personality.
We tend to overthink because we want to control everything, while love, in the end, remains something quite simple, just because it's instinctive. Feelings are powerful, and precisely because we cannot control them. It is necessary to put self-confidence, acceptance, vulnerability at stake to stimulate our creativity and our sexuality.
Love has no limits, no boundaries, love is about self-creativity and pure imagination. Have you ever gone beyond yourself for love?
Love, we are not going to lie, is also about ups and downs, and the hollows can be as dizzying as the peaks can blow you away (yes, I'm talking about these great moments of loneliness and misunderstanding, or these pure moments of euphoria!).
But all these variations allow us to refocus, to discover and learn: what we want deeply, what we do not want in life, and what we need.
By accepting them, we go forward.
I largely grew myself up thanks to (or because of?) my relationships. They shaped me, made me grow up, helped me understand what I wanted or did not want in life, and allowed me to know where was the limit of my tolerance.
I have loved fully, with all my heart, with all my being, the men I have been with, I think I have been madly loved in return, and I carry in me each one of the men I have loved. All relationships give us a lesson and none of them is useless, they nourish our ability to reinvent ourselves, to love, and never reduce it.
Express one’s love
Love has no limits, that's why I think it's a very inspiring and creative subject. After each of my sentimental breakups, like everyone else I think, I always thought I would never get over it. Each time, I had the feeling that I had been torn from a part of myself, and especially that I could never love so much ever again. And each time, I fell back in love, madly, in a totally different way.
I felt that each of my previous relationships had made me grow, mature and change. I had certainly learned that I did not want to love a new man for the same reasons as the previous one, but I also realized that I had not spoiled an ounce of my love ability.
It may sound silly, like that, but I really realized that love was infinite, it's a bottomless pit. Yes, we love without limits, in number, in time, and in intensity. One can love a man madly and love another one afterwards, as much. One can love all his friends, his brothers and sisters, his family, in the same way his two children. It does not split. It's like cells, it multiplies. And finally, the day I realized that with love everything was possible, I also realized that by expressing it, everything was much easier.
So, it is true for love with a partner, but it also concerns love in a larger meaning: the love of one’s work, sport, food, friends (s) / family... In short, all these elements that nourish and boost our daily lives, but above all that bring us fulfillment.
We can be annoyed by our fast-daily lives and it can make us forget to celebrate these little positive vibrations, which are there to give us hope and allow us to make life more beautiful. It is therefore essential to take time to let these feelings go through us, but above all it’s important to say them out loud.
Love is about sharing, and our feelings must absolutely be shared.
For instance, there is a difference between waking up every day with your family and telling yourself in your head that you love them and tell them in real life. Believe me, it does not have the same impact at all.
The power of words and love is absolutely incredible.
What I mean is that too often we forget to tell people we love that we love them. It is true in the family environment, but also at work, either because we are with them every day, or because we are caught in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, stuck in habits, or just because we are too shy. Yes, it can happen that we lose the habit of saying "I love you", or "Congratulations" or "I'm proud of you", but the impact on the person who is told is absolutely incredible and the impact on the person who pronounces these words is also very magical. Try!
My relationship to conflict has also completely changed since I learned to express my feelings.
I never liked conflicts and tensions. I do not avoid them because I think that conflicts are useful when they are needed, but a few years ago, when it happened to me to have an "argument" with someone, everyone had the chance to give his point of view, expressed his disagreements etc., but then it was everyone on his side:
"Everything has been said, thank you, goodbye."
Today, I finally do the same thing with the only difference that I always try to close the conflict with a kind word, or at least I try to reach out. A conflict is not a declaration of war, it is simply accepting differences of perspectives. I understood that we did not need to agree on everything or share the same points of view to love each other.
It totally changed my relationship to people.
Women, yes, but men too
In this article on love, I really wanted to talk about men too. It is important for me to honor them.
We live in a period of time where more than ever women have spoken out, set themselves free, and I am proud to belong to this generation. Our mothers fought for us, our freedom and our rights, and we are moving in the same direction.
But it must be said, our men have been overburdened for a few years.
I am 100% for the cause of women, equal pay, equal rights, all that, but I am also completely respectful of our differences (psychological, reactions, emotions etc.).
I deeply love men, virility, strength and all the clichés that make a man a man. Different roles, different tasks. I do not try to be equal to them simply because we are two different sexes, our bodies are different, our hormones, our priorities and our brains work differently, and I like this difference because I think it complements us as individuals.
I love the feminity buried in a man, his vulnerability, his sweetness, his sensitivity that are often hidden behind something else. I have often judged and considered all these as weaknesses, what I consider today as qualities.
Yet, I grew up in what might be called a unisex family, where my brother, my twin sister and I received exactly the same education, without distinction.
I grew up telling myself that I would be a strong woman, well I did not say it as such but finally, I have the feeling that I always had a feeling of independence and power (unconscious!) as if it had been anticipated and given by our parents.
Girl or boy, it was in our blood, our genes, my education.
As a child, I was called a "tomboy", my hair was short, I played football and was called "young man" when I went into a shop. Caroline (my twin sister) was very feminine, her hair up to the bottom, she was riding. And my brother was finally a mix of both of us.
With only 18 months apart, we were raised like triplets, girl or boy, we had exactly the same education, the same activities, the same friends, and absolutely no taboo between us, we spoke completely freely about our feelings, we asked ourselves open questions according to this or that situation.
I would say that we were girls with a masculine sensibility and our brother, a boy with a feminine one.
It may sound a little naive, but this way of growing helped me somehow to understand that men were so sensitive and that most of the conflicts I previously had in my relationships were often driven by a lack of communication or a fear of expressing feelings, either positive or negative. On one day, I suddenly realized that my lovers were not the superheroes I have ever imagined, but that they were ultra-sensitive and vulnerable too.
Love, the great one
Then at 29, after a very painful break up, where my ego was torn apart and my hope of falling in love again with someone was close to 0, everything changed and most of all, what I had learned and was buried in me made sense after all and appeared to me as an evidence, as a thread that unfolds.
I met the man who became my husband, Onur, at the bar of a New York hotel, The Bowery Hotel, on one evening of February 2012, totally by chance, since I had an appointment at 6.30 pm with journalists for Heimstone.
I met my husband because I arrived 30 minutes too early, when "red beanie" (he wore a red beanie that night) was leaving.
These 30 minutes rocked my whole life, exploding my wounded heart, because my heart and my head had never worked so much in unison before that time. Everything become obvious.
Onur was born in Turkey, and grew up in Australia. He was in New York for his work. He was living in Australia and me in Paris. Convenient.
I just ended a 6-year relationship with someone who lived between New York and Paris, useless to say that I had given enough in long distance relationships, I was used to this, and while I just swore to myself not to reproduce this pattern, I was jumping with both feet back in it, with an Australian guy this time ...Great.
But the most important thing in the story of meeting my husband, which was magical, is the evidence that it was him and that it was me (the story says that when Onur saw me arrive in the hotel that evening he would have told his friend that I would become his wife and the mother of his children!).
It was Pure love, simplicity, I completely surrendered myself in his arms, I was impressed by how easy it was for him to be ultra-sensitive and vulnerable and so purposeful at the same time.
We loved each other madly, so madly that everything was so easy. He left Australia and came to Paris with me after three months. Eight months later, we moved to New York because we both wanted to.
We both had our own compagnies, mine was in Paris, his in Sydney. But as I said, everything was simple: Onur moved his firm, FOUND to the United States, and his partner did the same thing. For my part, I had my team in Paris and I worked from New York. It was as simple as that.
Fifteen months after our meeting, I was pregnant with Ellis, our first daughter.
I always tell myself that it's amazing how much determination, love and trust make life and decisions easier.
So obviously, when you read that, it seems to be the ideal love story where everything worked perfectly fine without hardships, but it was only because I decided that this story would be nothing but simple. Nevertheless, believe me, at that time there was more chance that this story will never work than become a fairy tale! We did not live on the same continent, we did not have the same culture and above all we did not speak the same language!
But then, I decided that I wanted it to work, and Onur too, so rather than finding challenges that could drive us away, we made these differences our strength, our playground and ultimately our life.
And today if I wonder how, and my answer is communication.
Onur is incredibly good with putting words on his thoughts and his ideas are sharp and right (well, not all the time, I'm often right anyway!). But he's a man with clear ideas, because he has the honesty and courage to express his thoughts, frustrations and feelings all the time.
In fact, the more difficult it is to communicate (English is not my mother tongue), the more we listen to each other and search for the right words to express ourselves. Thus, it is a virtuous circle and the more we express what we feel, the easier it is to express ourselves and the more our thoughts are simplified. It's a matter of practice and above all it teaches you how to trust yourself.
Trust in a couple is for me the most solid basis of a relationship, because it avoids misunderstandings, the unspoken resentments, facilitates conversations and avoids friction.
“Whatever is well conceived is clearly said, And the words to say it flow with ease.” Boileau
Just like me, Onur doesn’t like conflicts that last. And as I said, it's not because we love each other that we have to agree on everything, but we agree on the fact that love must be at first all about tolerance and acceptance. A conflict that doesn't last is very healthy, letting the disagreement spread by sweeping things under the rug can only create areas of tension, whether we like it or not.
And as I like to say, you only live once so it is better to love every minute rather than HATE for a few seconds.
Love as a powerfull engine
So, love as a motor in life works in every way, it is a fuel for everyday life and a source of an incredible creativity because with love everything is possible.
I am often asked on social networks how I can manage my schedule on a daily basis with two children, my own firm, sports, cooking, sleep etc.
The answer is love, the love of my family, the love of my husband, the love of yoga, the love of cooking, the love of my job, the love of sleep...
What makes us waste time in life are all the things that do not do us good, frustrate or annoy us.
When we do things driven by love, we do them quickly and well, we find an incredible satisfaction and above all, as I said before it is a pit without funds. Love makes mountains move, anything can happen to you, if you like and you feel loved, you will go after your dreams and your ambitions, and on a smaller scale, at the end of your day, in a very light-hearted and efficient way.
For example, in 11 years with Heimstone, I’ve had incredible ups and downs, I have been challenged several times, I was told "no" probably too often, but I never lost faith because I've always made Heimstone out of love and always been so confident, I've always loved what I do every day, all the different steps, even the most difficult ones (we will discuss this topic in a future article on entrepreneurship).
I love passionately every part of my life, I'm not afraid to love and say it, I realize how lucky I am, but it's also because I opened big doors to let love enter into my life. And whatever your path, whether you are in the deepest hollow or on the most incredible top, do not be afraid, we all have a great L that watches over us, who waits for us. It is in you.