What is love? Love doesn’t require us to build a deep connection. We fall in love with babies all the time. We don’t need a deep connection with them. They don’t even have to reciprocate. I think we have to let go of the old idea that I have to be somebody or do something in order to realize this love that’s already here.
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Bio Humble the Poet on Love
The truth is, we all want love. Everything we do is in pursuit of it. But as we count likes on social media and measure our worth by the numbers in our bank accounts, we are programmed to see love as something to earn or win. That programming obscures the simple truth behind what we are: beautiful, infinite, eternal sources of love.
For Humble the Poet, the concept of love has been a decade-long curiosity. What began as reciting spoken-word poetry in coffee shops to impress girls, evolved into a creative adventure that has spanned the last 10 years, crossing genres, mediums, and oceans. In How To Be Love(d), the former elementary school teacher turned rapper, spoken-word artist, poet, and international bestselling author teaches his fans that instead of seeking to be loved by the world, we must be love.
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What is love? what are we doing wrong
Myrna: Wat are most of us doing wrong when it comes to love?
Humble: I think we believe that we have to, find love. And then we have to qualify for, love. And none of that’s the case. I think we need to stop telling people you’re worthy of love, and you’re enough for love. Love is constant, it’s always there. And what we actually need to do is just clear away the clutter to realize we don’t have to do anything magical or specific to, earn love, and have, love, find us. It’s the breeze, we just have to open up our sails to catch up.
Myrna: I love that. So, we’ve got different kinds of love. So, we’ve got God’s love, which is always everlasting. Then we’ve got, parental love, which is always everlasting. But, romantic love, where you know a man meets girl or Girl Meets Boy kind of thing. We feel that we have to earn, romantic love, love is it’s an energy, right? It’s a spirit. So, is that why you’re saying we don’t need to earn, love?
Humble: Yeah, I wouldn’t even differentiate. I think instead of saying there’s, there’s, God’s love, there’s parental love, there’s, romantic love. I would say there’s, pathways of love. So, the permanence of the pathway between us and the Almighty. And permanence is the, pathway of love, between us and our parents. Now when we create new relationships, we’re building a pathway and that’s why those pathways are less shaky. So, if I meet someone for the first time, we’re beginning to create a path for love the, energy of love, to flow between us, right? It’s not the love that is temporary. It’s the path that’s temporary.
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Love’s pathways needs maintenance
So, what is love, it depends on your, pathway to love. The, pathway of love, between us and our parents or us in the Almighty. These pathways have been established, we have to do work to maintain them and clear the clutter from them, obviously, but we don’t have to do as much work than for example that we have a romantic partner. We have somebody we work with, we have an activity, these we have to do a lot more work to established a clear pathway. And there’s a lot more day to day maintenance that’s required for that.
We look at the previous pathways that we have, and we’re like, those are so easy. So, making these new pathways with this person who I want to be my husband or wife should be just as easy. The day to day maintenance is not sexy. It’s like brushing your teeth. But unromantic work is required to keep, Love, maintained.
Brushing your teeth isn’t a trip to Paris and it’s the same thing with creating, pathways of love, between us and other people. It can’t be big gestures; it’s got to be the small things. It’s got to be the uneventful things. It’s got to be the uncomfortable conversations. It’s got to be all of that. So, I don’t differentiate between, love. I differentiate the pathways and how we build them. That’s the, love story.
Myrna: Please explain what you’re talking about a pathway because I’m like here and I’m thinking like a highway.
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Love’s pathways is like a 4 lane highway
Humble: How to love, is like a highway or a river because the highway moves quickly. Things can move quickly on the highway so, let’s say that you know the highway of the, pathway to love, would be the cars and you know if you have a beautiful well paved highway with a lot of wide lanes and it’s built super strong, a lot of, love, can flow through it. Now if you have one that’s not been maintained and has a lot of potholes and it’s crumbling, and then random pieces of garbage in the middle of the road, then everything’s gonna move slow or be obstructed.
So, the work that we have to do is not only to build the pathway, but to clear the pathway regularly. So, what would what would those potholes be? What would the damage be? That’s going to be our insecurities, that’s going to be our need to be liked, or people pleasing. That’s going to be our egocentric behavior. That’s going to be our self-esteem or self-respect. That’s going to be us being unwilling to be vulnerable. Think about it. When you’re not vulnerable. You’re putting up a wall. Now imagine putting that wall on a highway hoping to be able to get rid of a wall. You have to clear the wall. Right? And it’s not an overnight thing it’s going to take time to do but we have to measure progress.
You don’t have to do anything to receive love
You don’t have to be perfect and worthy of love to get qualified for love and if you have love for someone, they have to reciprocate it and it’s like no we are a source of love. The work that we’re doing to create and keep the highways clean, so we can love can flow to you. Some of us are creating and maintaining those highways, it’s easier for some people in our lives and others. No, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just means it’s easier for others, you know, and it doesn’t require the things that we think it doesn’t require history. It doesn’t require being perfect.
Myrna: I love it. I think that is the beautiful analogy. So, we’ve got this highway, right and we want to get somewhere. We want to get married. We want to be loved, so I’ve got this highway, but I want to get to this new love partner. But you’re right, I’ve got all these potholes and I’ve got all these walls and I got all this garbage. You mentioned what some of these things are insecurities like self-esteem. You know, maybe baggage from somebody that’s hurt us. So, I’m on this highway that’s got all this stuff, but I’m not going anywhere because of all this clutter. So, in your book, do you tell people how to clear the, clutter.
Humble: Absolutely, the first thing I do is say you have to be aware of it. I’m gonna go as far as saying needing to get married is, clutter. So, what I’m saying is understanding what the, clutter, is super important and the, clutter, is not stopping you on a journey. The, clutter, is stopping love, from flowing in between you and the other person. So, our needs to have these external things outside of us is always going to be the first issue and then recognize as I said first thing is recognizing, clutter.
Be aware of the clutter blocking love
The second thing is okay, that it exists. Okay, there’s nothing wrong with any of us for having, clutter. There’s nothing wrong with any of us. We’re having imperfections that nothing wrong with any of us are having insecurities, that nothing wrong with any of us from wanting to be liked and accepted by others. All of these things are, clutter, but there’s nothing wrong with us. Love is to accept that you have, clutter. So, we need to accept ourselves as we are. And now we need to focus on progress over perfection. If somebody was perfect, but not be able to be vulnerable and if they can be vulnerable, then you cannot connect with them.
Let’s abandon this idea that everything needs to be perfect. Let’s make baby steps every single day in the right direction and celebrate those baby steps. And from that standpoint, where is the love, isn’t finding a partner or, true love, it’s about being honest and saying I’ll be good either way. I’ll be good if I have a partner or if I am single. With a partner, I can build a, pathway of love, with them. And then both of us have two independent people pillars, not my better half, not you complete me, but instead, I am a pillar. They are a pillar. And now that we are two pillars, we can hold up more together something bigger than ourselves, whether that’s a family or an empire or generational increase.
Now we work together for a purpose bigger than ourselves, but also saying I am a, source of love, and I don’t require anything other than that. I’m not encouraging isolation. We are social creatures. Our human design is to be around people. But at the end of the day, what we’re creating is, pathways of love, to be created between us and anybody. The thing is the isolation is our ego thing that we’re separate from others. When we really tap deep into that, what we start to realize and I don’t and for me personally based on you know where my family comes from in the world.
God is love
We don’t differentiate God from love, this is the same energy. Because when you genuinely love somebody that’s when you begin to melt into them. That is, how to love, the type of relationship that is possible with everyone and everything. I think that the ultimate beauty is when you can actually honestly say I would be okay single.
I don’t require something outside of me to make me feel better or complete. They said we have a 56% divorce rate. We need to focus on nutrition instead of what’s delicious. And I think a lot of the reasons we chase these types of relationships because they’re delicious or not nutritious. How to love yourself, we need to establish healthier relationships with ourselves. That will also allow for healthy relationships with other people.
Myrna: Oh, yeah, self-love. We must have, self-love. We must be vulnerable. I know being a female, I’m not understanding how the male energy works, but female we have to be able to receive, we have to be able to make yourself vulnerable and be able to receive. You said that being aware of our imperfections and the potholes is the first step. You’re saying that we don’t need to get married to be complete, or to have a better but we don’t want to be in isolation and the Bible says Two are better than one. So, if we are, looking for love, how do we find it? This love that we want to attract? Where is the love?
You have to be vulnerable to let love in
- Humble: I’m not here to say it’s better to be married versus single or what have you. The numbers are 56% divorce rate, so you can rush to get married and get in the wrong relationship and then you can end up being alone anyways. If a plane had a 56% chance of crashing, people aren’t going to get on to it. So, I think learning, how to love yourself, will set the tone for all the other relationships that you have. Okay?
- That means you have to be, vulnerable, with yourself.
- That means you have to accept your imperfections.
- That means you have to go easy on yourself.
- That means you have to date yourself.
- That means you have to journal and get to know your deeper, darker side.
- That means you have to pray.
Prayer is Important, prayer helps with self-awareness. Journaling helps with self-awareness. Dancing by yourself in your room, gets you more aware of how your body moves and feels and flows. That’s a level of intimacy with yourself. That’s important. There’s something called self-havening. When you hug yourself that is important.
We can hug ourselves, this level of intimacy with what we do for other people with intimacy with them and vulnerability. We can do that with ourselves. And what that allows us to do is set the tone of what we enjoy, what we don’t enjoy, what our boundaries are. And this is really important especially if you have a female audience, but we have to realize that the woman’s greatest power in a relationship is her, boundaries.
Women lose their value when the reduce their boundaries
Women cannot compete with other women. For a woman to compete with another woman for a man requires her to reduce her, boundaries, thus reducing the power, thus reducing her value. Men can compete with men. Because here’s the thing if I’m competing with another man, all I’m trying to do is look better, and make more money. And if I lose, I still look better and make more money. If a woman has to reduce her, boundaries, to get the man, she also lost her value. And the reason we are hesitant to maintain, boundaries, is we think they make us unlikable. That’s why we all say yes when we really mean No.
Myrna: Truth, when a woman competes with another woman for a man, she’s willing to do more than the other woman to keep the man.
Humble: A lot of us learnt to people please as children. Maybe you tried to win over a parent’s love one day and you weren’t received well. And then you internalized thinking it’s your fault. So, then you work harder. What you may not realize is your mom or dad just had a really bad day at work. You know, our mom and dad were also raised in a world where they may not know how to be emotionally available. And there’s a million reasons why but when you’re a child, you can’t understand that.
Myrna; So what advice do you have for people looking to find a partner? We’ve covered a little bit of it. You said that we don’t need a partner to complete us so we should be okay to be by ourselves. But let’s say I still want a partner. I want the, love pathways, to take me somewhere? What is love?
Looking for love? Don’t sacrifice yourself
Humble: So, I’m not saying you don’t need a partner. What I’m saying is don’t sacrifice your, self-respect, for a partner. If you want just straight up, dating advice, one of the best pieces of advice that I got was relive, write out your entire love life. From your, first love, in kindergarten all the way up to today. Write the entire love life out. Talk about your best memories, talk about your worst memories Then go back with a highlighter and revisit the story, anything that makes you feel good highlight it. These are the qualities you want in a partner.
So for me, I had an ex-girlfriend when I was first starting this, you know, dating somebody and this is you know, 10 years ago and she said listen, the world needs to hear your voice. Stop doing everything else the world needs to hear in your voice. The world needs to hear your ideas. So, whenever I felt insecure hearing, her say that lit uplifted me. Later on, if I was dating somebody else and they’re like, look, you know work isn’t everything. Your mission isn’t everything. Money isn’t everything. I would be like; you’re not understanding what my purpose on this planet is. We’re not compatible.
So, I wrote that down somebody that understand the purpose of, Humble the Poet.
How to Be loved
Myrna: Tell us about your book. Now normally this is the part where I asked why did you write it? And what do you want people to walk away with? But if you told me, you wrote it because you wanted to challenge the norms and challenge the way that people live their lives superficially. But what do you want to add to that?
Humble: I want people to understand that even after you read the book, even after you hear this interview, I’m not a love guru. I’m not a love expert. What I am is I am somebody who had a failed relationship. And I was desperate to figure out why it failed. I was with a beautiful person who was beautiful inside and out. But there was a lot of anxiety and a lot of toxic energy within me that wouldn’t allow me to go deeper and connect with them.
For us to spend our lives together and I was desperate to figure out why I was failing at love. So, I took a super deep dive to explore love and figure out what I was doing wrong. And this book is what I learned. So, I’m not a, love guru. What I am is I’m a student at the front of the class, taking the most precise, simple notes and I’m sharing them with everybody else. And I’m still figuring myself out. I’m still learning, what is love.