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Why You Don’t Have to Choose Between Love and Success
by Jared Williams
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November 15, 2018

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5 Minute Read

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Why You Don’t Have to Choose Between Love and Success

He was hoping a checklist would lead him to love.  What he learned was, this list may have been the very thing that kept him away from it.

Courtesy of Jared Williams
Courtesy of Jared Williams

No matter our circumstances growing up, our childhood shapes the trajectory of our lives — a fact that is equal parts frightening and powerful. Growing up, I created my life goals based on comparison, which meant my main priority was success. I wanted a level of financial stability that would permanently change my conditions for the better, but it didn’t pan out the way I’d hoped.

Whether it was school or work, I was great at living a life detached from emotion and justified it through the understanding that emotion only gets in the way.

Time shifted that perspective and actually showed me that my “goals” were based on past trauma and life experiences, not on the life that I actually wanted for myself. At the end of the day, I wanted love.

If you understand anything about modern technology, you know that thousands of people are scrolling and clicking to find “the one,” but I actually wonder how many of them are truly looking for love. Love is not a person, but instead a spiritual shift that changes the plane you exist on by shifting your spiritual being. In my experience, love was a strategic checkbox. It was a person I would find when my career was going well and I could carve out a neat section of my life for that person to fit into. We would find a home, combine our finances, build a retirement fund, and then focus on having children in strategic increments as not to stretch beyond what was fiscally sustainable. Shit was crazy, but if I look at myself with the same empathy I aspire to hold for others, it was a focused response to what I had seen as my biggest challenge growing up  –  money.

My goal was to play it safe and “hold off” on emotions until I felt I could afford to manage them…

BlackLove.com writer Jared Williams
Courtesy of Jared Williams

My goal was to play it safe and “hold off” on emotions until I felt I could afford to manage them, but as Brené would tell you, you don’t selectively numb parts of yourself. By closing myself off to love, I was closing myself off to joy and happiness while keeping designated space for fear and sadness.

That changed a few months ago when I cut the shit and got real with what I wanted out of this life. At the end of the day, I’ve always been a person whose first instinct is to love and feel love, but past trauma and life experiences colored my world in such a way that I convinced myself that love was the problem. Love would get in the way of me choosing the perfect job or would distract me from investing my time and energy in my success, and I couldn’t have been more wrong.

When you accept the fact that a key part of your purpose is to love and feel love, it shifts the field that you’re playing on.

Giving yourself permission to love reshapes what had been shaped through trauma and pain into something created from warmth and joy.

Does this mean you’ll find your soulmate tomorrow? No. This means that you’ll work to rediscover the moments of joy that you let yourself forget. It means you’ll strive to see love before you see anger. It shifts your focus from the deficits in your life to the assets that have always existed. That is how you find love in everything you see and do  – you look for it before you look for anything else.

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