Jennifer Van Uffelen
A love story 💌
Updated: Nov 17, 2022
12th August 2022
I've got some happy personal news to share and decided to write to you today in the theme of LOVE.
He asked the question and I'm a fiancée!
Here's our love story: a mutual friend (one of my now Belgian favorites who we've both met separately in Australia) got us to meet up when we were both in Dublin. We explored and talked all day (he keeps up with my walking) and when he invited me for a bottle of red at his place I naively thought this was a friends request. Yup, that's what I decided to let it unfold to, best friends for about 8 months until it changed (thank you for the bravery and honesty to make things real with me). It was scary in a safe way. We said I love you before we first kissed (7th May 2018 on the grass at Trinity College) and now we are engaged and settled down in Kilkenny.
Love stories are my favorite! Lately I've been receiving lots of news in my circle on new relationships, engagements, newborns, ... But what really got me glowing has been hearing how beautiful souls are falling in love with themselves.
Here's my love story: More than 7 years ago I got a one way ticket to Australia, I was always in long relationships in younger years and never far away from loved ones in Belgium for long, but at that time I was truly committed to myself. No plan other than following joy and beauty in the world. Friends and family I met along the way were my tutors, teaching me who I was and who I wanted to be. I stopped missing the distraction of unhealthy or self-destructive behaviours when I was truly living in the present and the wild. Along the way I learned again and again that who I was as a little girl is who I'll always want to be, a curious believer, my own muse! Looking back, I can see clearly who would have made great partners, friends or mentors to me and now I know how to find these people. I can see that I fell hard in love when I was ready to step in relationship, but move through heartbreak. I can see that I was dating better when I thought I was making friends. The more I felt that love is always there for me and that I have my own back no matter what, the more I was able to ease into a committed and healthy relationship to another. I loved myself first! Myself and I really are best friends forever.
The world said I love you before you ever kissed the air.
Love is a verb and the more we do it, the more we become it. The desires that instantly fill our needs in the short term, might not be what fills our soul on the long run. So we need to start discerning which decisions and choices are feeling hard or uncomfortable right now, when deep down we know they mean change towards what we truly desire.
What action can you take to love yourself?
Is it detoxing from your phone, decluttering your inbox, your fridge, your mind, saying no and claiming time back just for you, reaching out and making time for loved ones, taking up some of your own advice that you would offer a dear friend?
Is it asking the real questions, the ones you joke away or come up with excuses for, the ones you'd really like to find an answer to, the ones that make you clear on the world you want to see yourself living and loving in? Ask and then listen to what your soul is whispering, go do that!
Send yourself a little love note in language that describes the deepest romance you can imagine ever existing. Go love yourself a little more each day and find joy and beauty in the world. I can see it in you.
If you or anyone you know is wanting to build a better relationship with themselves or with others, I've got space in my calendar. Investing in the right support systems has helped me tremendously to embrace myself, cut the drama, take responsibility and live and love on purpose.
I still fall in the trap of dishonoring my sensitivities, but know that I am there to catch myself and reclaiming their powers. Let's catch ourselves!
Celebrating our engagement on the Beara Peninsula!
My trialed and recommended prescription:
delete all your social media and go off the grid for 10 days to immerse
yourself in the calm and the wild of West Cork (and of your soul).