Go first.

I used to wait for other people to love me, and I didn’t even realize it but it totally stressed me out.  It was like I needed an invitation to open my heart.  Does he like me?  Are we friends?  What does she think of me?  Who will be the first to say “I love you”?  If I say it first and he just says “Thanks” I’ll feel so stupid and awkward.

Growing up, I was a wallflower at school dances.  I wanted to dance, but I felt shy and self-conscious.  And there is this feeling of wanting to be chosen.  Of wanting someone else, on the outside, to see and choose me.

I still have some of that.  It’s a familiar feeling and it can show up unexpectedly.  It still smarts.

Yet at some point in the last year or so I decided to try something new:  I would go first.  I’ll choose myself.  Ask myself to dance.  I’ll show up already loving you, and let’s see what happens.  I’ll lead with love, and I’ll go first, and guess what?  That love is not dependent on what happens outside of me.  It’s sourced internally.

It’s immediately freeing.

When I go first, I move from a place of I love you without needing to say it, and without needing to hear it back.  It’s like a secret power, and I use it all the time.

And what happens is that I have become more familiar with this feeling of being loved, of being in love.  It’s much closer to the surface.  It’s not a buried or hidden thing.  It’s not like fine china that only comes out on special occasions.  It’s a treasure for everyday use.

The more you use it, and the more you release it, the more love you have.  Let it go and more comes in.  It moves through you, like breath.  You can’t hold onto love any more than you can hold your breath or your heartbeat.  It’s gotta move.  Keep a light touch.

Of course, once you open the door to love all kinds of other guests come in.  You will feel everything.  But that’s just part of living a vibrant, full in Technicolor life.  It’s part of having a broad-spectrum emotional range.  It’s illuminating, and uplifting, and flavorful.

There’s so much more I’d like to say about this.  And I will.  But for now, my love, just know that I’m wishing you all the best that life has to offer.  Maybe go first today, or for just a moment, and see what it feels like.

Be curious.  Savor all of it.

You can see more of my photos at instagram.com/thisbrilliantliving