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  • Writer's pictureVicky Huang

Practicing love.

Hey there, friend :') Thank you for opening this post.

I wrote this piece below on love a few weeks ago -- swipe right to read it ♥

(this can be found on my instagram too)

"Give yourself permission to just, love; for

joy comes from its expression, not its reciprocation."


I wrote this piece originally for Valentine's day, but ya know - love exists every day c': I was torn whether to post it on Valentine's Day to celebrate and embrace all different kinds of love, or to post it another day, to point out that there isn't one day, or one kind, of love.⁣⁣⁣⁣


And well, I'd say that the world is certainly in need of some love right now - one month later.


I also ran into some problematic thoughts while writing this piece, because there was an underlying question of - but when is just giving love not okay? We aren't made of endless unreciprocal love. We will burn out, we will hurt ourselves, it's not healthy to keep giving love to something or someone who doesn't return any.⁣⁣⁣⁣


Because relationships are a two-way street, we all know that :) They kinda need to be. And I'm not suggesting otherwise! But my point was more of, maybe instead of viewing all love as needing a return, to be reminded that the joy lies in simply the giving. Sure, there is a lot of joy in having it returned, but that joy is a separate joy, that joy shouldn't leech and take away from the joy of giving. You see, the two are often confused and muddled together, when really they are each their very own.⁣⁣⁣⁣


You definitely not only need, but deserve, love returned. Love in general. From yourself, from people around you, from your hobbies and endeavours. Let me remind you too, that return-love can come from yourself. You give love out, you return it back to yourself too. This is not to say that you shouldn't want love returned by others. It's more like - you shouldn't expect it just from your own love you give. Be content with what you do, and don't place the value of your love based on how it's taken.⁣⁣


Because you know the value of your own love, you know what it's worth and you know it can fill oceans and depths beyond words.⁣ :')


There are times in my life where I find myself within an internal battle, because I debate myself on whether I should give some of my heart out. Whether that be doing something for somebody, sending a message, following up on a conversation, showing support, or expressing love for a human being not just when they're feeling down, but just on any regular day.

I can see how me doing some of those things makes me too much, or too cheesy, too cringy, too sweet, etc. I can see how it can turn some people away - if they take it that it's not genuine, or me trying too hard, or me just putting so much energy that they're not ready for or that they're a little taken aback by. Or that maybe it sends the wrong message.

But then, I think - but this is an expression of me. If I hold back, I'm holding back on me. If I want to be extra and add a little cherry on top, a little sprinkle, a little sparkle - who's to tell me I shouldn't?! This is how I put myself out in the world - and I should be, no, I am proud of that. If I have love to give - if I'm happy to see someone, if I'm thankful for someone, if I appreciate someone; if I want to take a full 3 minutes to write a warm fuzzy, if I want to spend a full hour writing an effortful email for my students, if I want to participate and engage with my whole heart instead of acting like I'm too cool, if I want to go say hi to someone even though they're across the room and in the middle of something; if I want to write a long message to explain my thoughts, if I want to personalize my little good-luck-on-exams notes, if I want to message someone to apologize for something otherwise-insignificant or follow up on a chat and say that it was nice meeting them, if I ask for a hug even though everyone else's greeting wasn't as warm - why do societal norms have to make me feel bad for it? The amount of times I've felt self-conscious at my positivity, my encouragement, my intentionality and genuinity (which is genuine, honestly its potential misjudgment is one of my greatest fears, but that'll have to be another post) because somehow it's cooler to not seem to care, it's cooler to be distant, it's cooler to be cool...makes me almost give in to the coldness. But even though my hands seem to have given in (as they are just always cold), my heart is still warm.

And I would like it to stay warm, thank you so very much.


I mentioned that I can see some problematic themes in this piece. And to be completely honest with you, I know. I know that it can be framed as a false justification to keep giving at times when I should re-evaluate. As a way of making a non-reciprocal situation seem okay to myself, when I should deem it otherwise. I know that maybe it's not the healthiest way to look at love, because sometimes you need to be able to choose to and know how to hold back, but I feel like at most points in my life, I would still like this reminder. Because every time I think, "Should I? Should I say this? Should I write this? Should I do this? Should I send this? Is this too much?" - I think of this, and I am reminded that yes, I would be faking it if I held back. It would be actually ingenuine for me to hold back my love, which is interesting because to often I'd be scared it would seem the other way. So I believe this reminder. This doesn't mean that I won't ever feel conflicted at certain particular circumstances though, where I know I should hold back, because I can be hurt; circumstances where I actively do need to try to do that (although it can be the hardest thing). Becauses although this piece reminds me that real love doesn't expect anything back, there will be people who say "But Vicky, every kind of relationship needs mutuality too"; "Vicky, you can't just give and give and not receive, that's not healthy"; "Vicky, I can't say I fully agree with those lyrics you wrote because I don't think that the hi's and waves and smiles and are-you-alrights are enough for what you put out, I don't think so and I don't want you to think so're just tricking yourself because this way you're allowing yourself to settle for less and not feel deserving of what you actually deserve".

Trust me, I know.

But I can either come from a place of hurt, or a place of empowerment. And I choose.

So I choose empowerment. I choose strength. I choose perseverance. And I choose unwavering genuinity. This piece reminds me that it's possible. It reminds me before I put love out to not get attached to an outcome. It catches me after I put love out to stop being attached to an outcome when it is indeed unreciprocated. It reminds me to reset my disappointment each time, for me to refocus on the real purpose of my love, which is to just express myself; not to get a certain response back.

I choose to still give the love I give, because I want to. It's for me. Not anyone else.

For me to know that I've done all that I could, for me to know that I've put my all into what I love and what I do, for me to be able to look back and feel proud - to look back without any regrets because I did what my heart told me to do.


Honestly, at this point I'm just repeating myself over and over in different words (which is what most of my writings end up being anyway), but I guess to whoever actually reads these writings, they'd hopefully be able to understand what I'm trying to convey more fully.

So thank you for reading. Whether you agree or not, whether you do anything with these thoughts or not - thank you. Taking your time to read this means so much to me 💕

Oh yeah - also :')

This is the first of a series for practice-ment. Of different values that I hold.

I have many values that I want to share about, mainly about how I go about expressing them in my day-to-day life.

...I guess you can say it's a part of what I mean by "value-transfer". If you'd like to follow my value-transferring journey, feel free to subscribe :')

My next ideas include, but are definitely not limited to:

  • Practicing gratitude

  • Practicing empathy

  • Practicing vulnerability

  • Practicing (quality) self-care

  • Practicing sustainability

  • Practicing resilience

  • Practicing creativity

  • ...and more ^~^

I am beyond excited to continue this journey with all of you. If you want to ever reach out, ask me about anything, propose differing opinions, please feel free to! I am here for y'all and I'd love to connect with you 😊💕

Take care -- stay strong, stay kind, stay courageous and stay you.

Until next time,

~ Wildheart 🐾

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