What would Love do with Kim Sorrelle – Love Vitamins for Relationships
Kim Sorrelle is the director of a humanitarian organization, popular speaker, and the author of two books. Her first book, Cry Until You Laugh, is about her and her husband’s battle with cancer after being diagnosed just four months a part. Her second book, Love Is, chronicles her year long quest to figure out the true meaning of love, a sometimes funny, sometimes scary, always enlightening journey that led to life-changing discoveries found mostly on the streets of Haiti.
Defining Love as a one-way street
What do you define love as? We started off with the most important questions and Kim defined it as a one way street instead of being transactional. Some might agree others might say it has to be somewhere in between with some boundaries of course. There is not right way of course, just your way of love. That’s the beauty of love.
Well, it is different than what I thought it was. I think there’s a lot of myths surrounding love, a lot of things that we’re told about love or are done in the name of love that are not love. Like one of the things we’re told about love is that it’s a two-way street. We put a number to it. It’s 50 50 or it’s a hundred- a hundred. You go through marriage counseling and these are the things you’re told, but it’s not true. Love is a one-way street. Love is not a transaction. If I give you money and you give me a pair of jeans, that’s a transaction. If I give you love to get love and return, that’s a transaction. Love is not a transaction. Love is 100% up to you to give, period. Whether you get it back or not. You don’t give love to get love.
Love is who you are basically. I think that’s another misconception. We think of it as an emotion, like fear or excitement, and it’s not. We don’t live in fear. We don’t live in excitement every day’s, not in Disney World, and every day’s not watching the Halloween movie or something, and then hearing every creek in the house when you go to bed. But you do live in love. That is something that you live in. That’s something that embodies you. It’s something that you are, and how you show up with it, then it is up to you.
What does grieving for Love looks like
Kim had shared with us her very emotional story of her husband passing away. So we wanted to know how trauma impacts ones ability to love.
That’s a great question. I was 47 years old when my husband died, and I thought we were gonna be that old couple in our nineties and rockers sitting on a front porch drinking lemonade and smiling at each other, or whatever it is that 90 year old people do when they’re sitting on the front porch drinking lemonade, and all of a sudden at 47, that dream of that life was gone. I had to develop a whole new, I had this understanding of love that I wasn’t dependent on my husband’s love to give love. I wasn’t dependent on that. I’m still able to love because of that. I think we all have probably seen some people who, almost feel like it’s disrespectful to laugh again or live again when you love so deeply and you lose somebody, that you can kind of stay stuck in this sadness, with this cloud over you, and that somehow you’d be disrespecting them to laugh again. And I think the opposite is, I think to really show my husband respect and to really honor him, I need to live. I need to live and be happy, because he made me happy and so I, I wanna live and be happy for him.
Manifesting your Love to reality
Kim shares with us a wonderful story of how at the age of 18 years old she got married. At that age, even though she had ambitious plans for her life and had no intentions to get married, she fell for a tall, dark, handsome man. They had babies and at some point in their marriage she felt like she was doing everything and him not much more than taking the trash out once a week. Kim explains how things changed after that that turned their marriage around.
And I started looking at him as just a paycheck and I thought, well, why is this guy living in my house? What’s he contributing? Why is he even here? He is just giving me more work to do instead of making macaroni and cheese for dinner, which would be so easy, I feel like I have to make a better dinner. Cause he’s there or I’ve got more laundry. but then I thought, you know what? No, I want a happy marriage. I want a happy marriage. So I decided, That I was gonna do everything I could to make him happy. Whatever it was, I was gonna do everything I could to make him happy. And so I started doing things like I’d go to the grocery store and I’d buy his favorite treat, and I would make his favorite dinner. I’d write a little note before work, anything I could, and I didn’t put a time limit on it. I didn’t say, I’m gonna do this for six weeks, and if fat guy doesn’t respond, then I’m outta here. I didn’t do that. I knew that I wanted a happy marriage and I figured it had to be up to me. And so the most amazing thing happened though, in doing this. Love has this incredible way of, even though you’re not giving love to get love, it comes back to you. And so things did change in our marriage, but I think a lot of the change was me, like my heart softened toward my husband, and I just grew more in love with him and, and loved him deeper, and it was a real turning point in our marriage.
Love the person, not the act
Well, one would thing that there should be some boundaries right. Sure, the idea of selfless love sounds great in theory but is that really practical? Kim explains more about how our love is for the person and not their actions. She shares about her stories and how love doesn’t keep score.
Our takeaway from the conversation: It is important to set up the relationship for the way you want to receive love, rather than having these unchecked expectations or this belief that things are just gonna miraculously work out. On the concept of familiarity. the longer you spend time with each other, the more you pick up your patterns of familiarity and what another person likes. A small change in the environment, but especially early on when you’re learning each other, you’re understanding your definitions of love is what it means to show up in love. It’s not fair on either party to just assume that the other person should know with one look of an eye what’s actually going on. That’s not a kindness we extend to our partner, and it’s definitely not something you would expect of our friends, and yet it’s a fallacy that we fall into with those that we share a home with.
After loosing a loved one
Kim shares her very powerful and emotional story of how it was to loose her beloved husband to Cancer.
It was quick, but not immediate. I mean, he was diagnosed and we had this incredible six weeks together. They thought he’d live about a year and it was just six weeks. But we did have this great six weeks together watching Cash Cab and playing rummy. I mean, the things that we did just hanging out at the house. He did so good. Like we had great hospice care, great palliative care, so he wasn’t in pain cuz it’s a very beautiful cancer. And it wasn’t until the very last day, that he woke up in pain. And I called the hospice nurse and she came right over and gave him extra morphine and she was on the phone. We were in the bedroom and he was sitting on the edge of the bed cuz he was, he didn’t wanna lay down. He was in pain and I was, Holding him from behind and she was on the phone calling for a hospital bed and a commode and, you know, whatever equipment. Cause up until then, we’d just been in our bed together. Just life as usual. And I was saying, guy, do I call my kids? What do I do? She’s like, oh, no, no, you’ve got lots of time. You have weeks anyway. You’re, it’s okay. It’s okay. Well, in holding him, I could just feel his mis. I could just feel it and I just, whispered in his ear and I just said, baby, just go. And that was it. That quick. He took his last breath. That was it. I consider that very merciful. As you see people just kind of linger. Who are in just a lot of pain and it can go on for weeks and months. And so it was real merciful for him to just go that quickly. He was a great guy. Like, if anybody should go that quickly, it should be him, I figure. Even though we had that six weeks, it was still a shock because it was quicker than we thought. But I felt like I had to be strong for my kids. I felt like I had to be strong for everybody else, and I was still going through cancer. So it was a weird time of really trying to process. And, I cried a lot during the six weeks from his diagnosis till the time he passed. I would just, I tried not to, but I would just start crying and he would just hold me and say, don’t cry for me. Don’t cry for me. You’re the one. It’s gonna be here, don’t cry for me. And, so then I didn’t quite know how to process things and then I was finally able physically to go back to work. And when I was, I wasn’t sure what I was gonna do. I had some businesses I didn’t know if I was gonna go back to there. I’d been running a nonprofit and resigning that because I got diagnosed with cancer. I ended up thinking, oh, I’m gonna take it slow. So, Took a job as a part-time bookkeeper of an organization that my father and I had started about 10 years before this, and, is being run by somebody else. And so January one that year I started as part-time bookkeeper, and 12 days later there was an earthquake in Haiti that killed 200,000 people. So I went from part-time bookkeeper at full-time 24 7. And within two weeks I was in Haiti. And then for the next several years I was in Haiti at least part of every month for the next many years. And I really believe that was the healing, that in service there’s healing, that there’s nothing that heals grief like surface. When you get out of yourself and give to others, that’s when real healing can take place.
The best gift you can give yourself is to get outta yourself a little bit and stop thinking about what you need to receive and think more about what you wanna give and want to give desire to give, because it’s fun to give, you think about the holidays or birthdays or whatever, and I love giving gifts. I’m not great all the time at receiving gifts as I am at giving gifts and giving, is fun. and that’s what love is, is it’s, it’s just giving. The more you can do that, the happier you’re gonna be. And who doesn’t wanna be happy?