How to be Love(d)

June 13, 2023

Book Notes

How to Be Love(d) book cover

When I read a book I have the habit of highlighting certain passages I find interesting or useful. After I finish the book I’ll type up those passages and put them into a note on my phone. I’ll keep them to comb through every so often so that I remember what that certain book was about. That’s what these are. So if I ever end up lending you a book, these are the sections that I’ve highlighted in that book. Enjoy!

Instead of trying to win the race, we should enjoy running it.

Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.

Love is less of an achievement and more like a way to live.

There is no pot of gold, the rainbow is the reward.

Big L love is that all-encompassing, change-your-life rush of emotion that fills every part of your being kind of love, and Small L love is the quick fixes of attention and affection we chase to make up for our lack of Big L love. Small L is just a hit that has us wanting more, always leaving us depleted shortly after. Big L love isn’t spread, it’s tapped into. It’s the love we all crave, and when we can’t find it we settle for the Small L love. Big L love makes us feel more and do less, while with Small L love, we’re constantly chasing new hits, new sources, thinking at any moment that if we can feel it one more time, one more victory, one more win, we’ll finally feel satisfied, but we don’t. Small L is the flowers we give; Big L is the compassion and empathy we share. Small L is attachment; Big L is connection. Our chase for Small L blocks our path to Big L.

If you want to find your dream partner, write down all their qualities, and become them.

What we are is what we attract.

We revisit our crappy past because we’re already in pain. Same with nostalgia, Nostalgia usually stems from not enjoying the present.

Love isn’t found, it’s realized.

We’ve been striving to be perfect before allowing ourselves to experience love. The problem is we reduce ourselves to only those two options: perfect or a piece of garbage.

No matter the size of secret, it grows in our mind over time.

Love can be the intention behind even some of the least heart-warming gestures.

“A week so crazy you couldn’t find 8 min to talk to me?”
“It would have been more than 8 min, and I would have absorbed everythign you said and needed time with it after. As the person most responsible for taking care of me, I have to do what’s best.”
“Honestly, I apologize if this hurts you, but I haven’t been thinking about you. I’ve been busy with other parts of my life. That’s why I told you I would need another week.”

Approval from others will never be as nutritious as our approval of ourselves.

I’ll experience more love from sitting in a tub of ice, waking up at the same time everyday, choosing journaling over looking at my phone, and stretching than I will recieveing any type of attention of approval form anyone else. That’s because these tough activities promote attention and approval toward myself, building my self-respect, which will always be a stronger foundating than my self-esteem.

Love for self will have the biggest impact on our lives. It’ll decide how much love we receive from others and how well we treat ourselves.

In order to discover more self-love and to actualy have juice in our battery to be there for others, we have to put our needs first, because the most important community we’re a part of is the community of ourselves.

It doesn’t matter what others think of me if I don’t like myself.

To further love myself, I have to identify my needs as clearly as possible and put them first.

Without a strong relationship with ourselves, we’re limiting our ability to have growing relationships with others.

Impress yourself with the effort you put into your life.

To really love ourselves, it’s simply treating ourselves the way we treat those we love.

As weird as it sounds, be your own best friend. The next time you’re feeling down, take a breath and ask, What would my best friend do? the spirit and effort of being your won best friend will yield an abundance of love, both fro yourself and for others to share in.

“I forgive you” translates to “I love myself enough to no longer hold on to this.” So when we don’t forgive ourselves, we deny ourselves love.

To better understand your true values, ask yourself: Do you talk to yourself about positive or negative things?

If you want to know what matters to you, look at who you envy, and why.

We live in society of consumerism, so the mantra will always be “You’re not good enough, spend money to be better”.

To feel “off” is to assume we know what it means to be “on”

I’ve also leaned about shadow work, which is voluntarily going back and re-visiting the darkest, most traumatic memories I have. By doing so I’m able to give those experiences new context and process them with new tools I have, even tools as imple as intentional breathing.

Our emotions are all important, and we have to abandon the idea that only some should be welcome over others.

Not all self-care leads us toward self-love.

Self-love feeds and informs self-care. Self care doesn’t always do the same for self-love. Self care is having that overdue ugly cry, self love will be cleaning up afterward.

The version of me that thought my ex was my soulmate wasn’t an idiot, he was a nice, endaering guy trying his best to figure things out.

Our yesterdays prepare us for our tomorrows, they’re not just here to haunt us.

Pain is often a message, so let’s first acknowledge that somethign is being told to us.

It can be helpful to look at the emotion as an alarm clock bringing something to your attention.

Identify your emotions out loud to get a better understanding of what exactly you are feeling. Accepting these emotions with kindness and giving them space to exist will do a lot to decide how long they’ll stick around.

Remember, emotions always pass.

Find out the trigger for the emotions you are having.

The healthiest way to deal with uncomfortable emotions is to be open to them, feeling what we feel and allowing them to do what they do. It will eventually burn itself out as long as we don’t give it anything that continually feeds the fire.

It’s normal to be afraid of loving yourself–the confidence that comes from it can easily be misinterpreted as offensive and cocky.

Explaining is draining, and true confidence means you don’t feel the need to explain yourself to other people. It’s that lack of needing the validatin of others that’s the confidence, and it exists because that vaildation already exists within.

Don’t try to be the smartest in the room, be the quickest to admit when you’re wrong.

ur goal isn;t to be right all the time, it;s to learn and grow.

Being loved for anything but who we truly are puts is un a prison of being somebody else, and the longer we are trapped, the more of ourselves we’ll lose.

If others choose to judge us more than be curios about us, that’s their problem, and their ill-informed opinions are stuck with them, not us.

Sometimes girls fill your ego quicker than your heart.

I, like all humans, enjoy things that tickle my ego, but I understand how unsteady that ground is to stand on, and how it can all go away tomorrow.

If you’ve been doing the work to better yourself and establish who you are, you shouldn’t settle for someone who has done any less.

There can’t be any guilt of shame around wanting and not wanting something physical, and that safe space has to be established early and honored throughout the relationship.

Very quickly you’ll realize that you can’t keep up with your own expectations and it’s completely unfair to put them on others.

You don’t always need a reason to end a relationship, you can just trust your gut, and if you have to go, you’re free to go.

The more we love someone, the more they fit us just as they are.

It’s never healthy to compare, especially when you can’t see fully what’s actually happening with other people.

We’re not just IN relationships, we’re building and designing them. We need to design our relationships for success, we need to design our marriages so we’re not part of the high divorce rate. Much of this depends on abandoning old scripts and traditions that dictate how these things are supposed to work. We are unique individuals with unique needs, and we connect with other unique individuals, but then try to cram ourselves into a traditional partnership that has roots in times before electricity. The pressures of those traditions weigh on us and make it hard to build a relationship together. Couples go broke throwing lavish weddings and crumble as a unit because of financial stress. The gap between how a relationship should be and what it is starts to widen, and we start to think we’re with the wrong person when really we’ve just been approaching thing the wrong way.

@joekotlan on X