Last updated on March 7th, 2023 at 11:10 pm
This Valentine’s Day, I am thinking about the benefits of female education and how my training has enabled me to have healthy love.
In developing countries, such as South Africa, it can be difficult for women to obtain an education. But for all women, school is a powerful tool for loving ourselves and making better choices.
Loving myself has enabled me to partner better with my husband, whom I love and adore. Education has allowed me to make a living and fully participate equally in my family. Schooling has offered me security beyond the confidence of being married to my beloved.
If you ask me this Valentine’s Day what the most important task you can do to make your big dream come true, even if your big goal today is to fall in love, I would tell you to obtain an education. Knowledge is a form of self-love that will multiply outward in your life. Studies have shown that education is predictive of higher life satisfaction for women.
I believe that real love means learning, expanding yourself, and growing.
You must not be afraid to explore new ideas and new ways of doing things. Stop resisting becoming more before you settle down with someone you love. If you choose to fall in love before you have developed yourself, like with a solid education, you will forever turn to your partner to create a life and make you happy. Your happiness is a lot for one person to carry.
Ignoring your personal growth leaves you with a sense of co-dependence on your partner, where you feel powerless.
Love should be beautiful. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by love. Love fuels my soul, there’s no denying this, but I don’t expect my husband and our daughter to make me whole. I expect them to support me and my big dreams, just as I support their dreams, but they cannot do the work that I have been called to do. They are my first dream-come-true in their own right, but by dreaming big myself, I can take this lovely life we live and expand upon it.
Because my successful dream becomes my family’s fruitful life and the other way around.
Love begins with knowing who you are and growing your abilities before you fall in love and settle into family life.
When you love yourself and feel accomplished, you will recognize the right kind of love when it shows up in your life. Personal success will help you understand if the love you see is the right love for you. Real love takes time, and it’s built on knowing what love is from a place of empowerment.
Education can be a healthy addition to a whole and loving relationship. Your potential partner should support your educational pursuits. If that person doesn’t, you should rethink entering a long-term relationship.
Understand what real love is versus the feeling of infatuation.
Many years ago, a respected American advice columnist wrote about how real love looks. Her name is Ann Landers, and this is what she wrote:
Is It Love or Infatuation?
Infatuation is fleeting desire–one set of glands calling to another. It is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager but not genuinely happy. There are nagging doubts, unanswered questions, and little bits and pieces about the relationship that you would just as soon not examine too closely. It might spoil the dream.
Love is a friendship that has caught fire. It takes root and grows, one day at a time. Love is a quiet understanding and mature acceptance of imperfection. It is real. It gives you strength and grows beyond you — to bolster your beloved. You are warmed by his/her presence, even when he/she is away. Miles do not separate you. You have so many wonderful films in your head that you keep replaying. But near or far, you know he/she is yours, and you can wait.
Infatuation says, “We must get married right away. I can’t risk losing him.” Love says, “Be patient. Don’t panic. Plan your future with confidence.”
Infatuation has an element of sexual excitement. Whenever you are together, you hope it will end in intimacy.
Love is not based on sex. It is the maturation of friendship that makes sex so much sweeter. You must be friends before you can be lovers.
Infatuation lacks confidence. When he’s away, you wonder if he’s unfaithful. Sometimes, you check.
Love means trust. You are calm, secure, and unthreatened. He feels your trust, and it makes him even more trustworthy.
Infatuation might lead you to do things you will regret, but love never steers you in the wrong direction.
Love is elevating. It lifts you up. It makes you look up. It makes you better than you were before.
And just as it’s essential to learn and grow in life and your relationships, it’s also important to do the same for your big dream. Wishing for something is not the same as taking tangible action steps toward your dream. Daydreaming about a different life is not working at your dream. Daydreaming and wishing are similar to infatuation when it comes to real success. No fairy Godmother will show up, wave a magic wand and make your dream come true. You must treat your dream like a dearest love and understand the difference between desire and genuine commitment.
I’ve taken Ann Lander’s Love or Infatuation article and re-worded it to address the difference between daydreaming and an absolute dream commitment.
Are you in love with the right dream?
Daydreaming is a fleeting desire–one set of wishes calling to another. It is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager but not genuinely excited. There are nagging doubts about your abilities, unanswered questions, and little bits and pieces about the daydream that you would just as soon not examine too closely. It might spoil the daydream.
An absolute dream is an idea that has caught fire. It takes root and grows, one day at a time. Your genuine passion has a quiet understanding and a mature acceptance of your imperfections. It is real. Your dream gives you strength and insists that you grow beyond where you currently are–and it bolsters your resolve. You are warmed by working on your dream, even when difficult. Setbacks do not stop you. You have so many beautiful films in your head about your big dream that you keep replaying it over and over every chance you get. Now or in the future, you know this dream is a part of who you are, and you feel called to work on it.
Daydreaming says, “We must achieve this right away. I can’t risk failing!”
Your actual dream says, “Be patient. Don’t panic. Plan your future with confidence.”
Daydreaming has an element of quick excitement. Whenever you are lost in thoughts, you have doubts.
An absolute dream is not based on hope. The realization that significant goals have to be achieved makes your dream so much sweeter. You must change, educate yourself, and grow before achieving success.
Daydreaming lacks confidence. When you are not lost in magical thinking, you wonder if you are crazy. Sometimes, you engage in behaviors that distract you from your dream.
An absolute dream means you trust what you are being called to do. You are calm and secure and feel unthreatened. You believe in your abilities, and it makes your dream feel real.
Daydreaming might lead you to do things you will regret, but your real dream never steers you in the wrong direction.
The right dream is elevating. It lifts you. It makes you look up. It makes you better than you were before.
Making your big dream come true requires you to learn and educate yourself on the process and steps you need to take to accomplish your goals. It requires the same commitment an excellent loving relationship needs.
Spend Valentine’s day falling in love with you; look at education and how you will learn more to make your big dream come true. Discover what you are meant to do before you share your life with someone else. Explore your life purpose. Expand yourself beyond who you are currently.
Education is the key–to loving more thoroughly, finding true love, and to achieving your big dream.
Sue Levy is the founder of the South African Just Pursue It Blog and Inspirational Women Initiative. She’s a motivational writer and media designer, who is obsessed with everything inspirational with a hint of geek. She thrives on teaching women how to be brave and take big chances on themselves. You can find Sue on her Twitter page @Sue_Levy.
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