Love, the hustle.

As a kid, the hustle to stay alive was a part of my daily existence long before hustling became the conventional phrase it is today. Growing up with a single parent who suffered from a severe mental disability forced me to hone my instincts out of a wild environment. Likewise, the wild continually serves as the ideal environment for me to achieve higher levels of mental and spiritual growth.

Ever begin a new job with zero training but 100% accountability? I call it “trial by fire” because it pretty much sums up what it’s like to be tossed into the lion’s den while simultaneously trying to tame it and stay alive. And isn’t that what it’s like for mostly everyone?

But finding ourselves at a disadvantage might just be the biggest advantage of all. For example, who hasn’t fallen madly in love for the first time without having a clue about what to do next, especially because no one can tell you what your initial experience will be like. One day you’re just going about your business when poof, someone comes along that totally sweeps the rug from underneath your feet and before you know it, you’re ass over tea kettle in love. For many who’ve experienced this phenomenon we’re lucky; we’re also lucky if we survive it.

In my own life, everything I learned about falling in love was wrought from watching romantic movies as a kid. You know, that whole boy finds girl, boy looses girl, boy gets girl back, and then they live happily ever after. But what’s rarely ever shown is the everyday grind within those same relationships that isn’t always picture perfect.

Even so, it seems as though whatever our psyches are ready to experience will surely present itself, whether we’re primed for it or not. And because the concepts I fostered about love were missing a few key components, the Universe would undoubtedly set the record straight through a little trial by fire.

As with baby birds, they often learn to fly by literally being tossed out of the nest by their own mothers. Sound familiar? And more often than not, the majority of these chicks initially plummet to the ground. But it’s the fall that becomes their saving grace as instinct along with loads of practice condition their little wings for flight.

In my case, falling in love was the equivalent of being tossed out onto my keister from a slow moving vehicle. Eventually, the harsh realities commonly associated with relationships would condition my psyche to mature and encompass a broader scope of love that Hollywood could never impart upon me. After all, learning to avoid the many pitfalls associated with romantic love doesn’t come from sitting on the sidelines where it’s safe.

One of the mental precepts that required adjustment was the idea that someone other than myself could ultimately make me happy. Romantic movies lead me to believe that I was somehow incomplete, and eventually a certain someone would come along that would fill the void. However, the more I quested after ephemeral fancies, the more my expectations for receiving external validation were extinguished.

Furthermore, adding up the number of girls I could sleep with never seemed to cultivate any true sense of purpose for my life.

Then again I’m the type of individual who never makes the same mistake twice - I enjoy producing it four or five times just to be sure! And just like those baby chicks, falling over and over again became incentive enough to begin questing after love from a new source; from within myself.

Once it was determined that I alone was enough, then eventually like minded individuals began to appear who would take my education regarding love to a whole other level. Before too long, the journey which for so long was met with disappointment began to breed a genuine desire for loving life itself without putting any expectation on the outcome.

So, is love a hustle? Well Urban Dictionary defines “Hustle” in the following way: “To have the courage, confidence, self belief, and self determination to go out there and work it out until you find the opportunities you want in life.” And what is love but one big opportunity to travel beyond our old beliefs so that life can become richer and sweeter with time.

Love & Aloha,

Alexander Demetrius

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Author of “The Reward Of Not Knowing” | Travel Blogger

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