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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Provide Safety for Love to Grow

People base reality on their own thoughts and perceptions. We cannot change the world or another person. We can change how we see the world and another person. For love to grow, you must provide safety to the person you love.

Good self-talk can help you let go of judgment. Here are examples from my book, "Becoming Soul Mates--How to Create the Relationship You Always Dreamed Of".

  • People behave in ways that make sense to them.
  • My partner and I are different--gender, personality, background, values, perceptions, fears, etc.
  • We are together to learn from each other. What can I learn from this?
  • I don't have to be right to feel okay.
  • I am free to decide to see my partner and what he/she does or says with love rather than fear.
  • I am responsible for my own happiness.
  • Many things are not wrong or right. They are just different. We can agree to disagree.
  • I choose to move from reactive to healing dialogue.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Understanding Love--Key to Good Relationships

Couples impact each other at a neuro-psychological level. They do an emotional dance with each other. I believe the underlying cause of disconnection comes from expectations that there has to be a right and wrong. If I am feeling unloved and unimportant to my mate, it must be his fault. Then I ask in an accusing tone, "Do you love me?"

When he feels blamed, he becomes defensive, "Of course, I do. What's the matter with you?" It goes downhill from there. People don't understand love, emotions, needs. They don't understand how they trigger primal fear in each other. Everyone needs to examine themselves. How do you protect yourself in relationships? Do you withdraw, freeze up, avoid, building resentment? Do you pursue, yell, blame?

Be willing to tune in, open up, share fears and needs. Be aware of your own early experiences with attachments. Avoid blame and take responsibility for your part in this dance. Stay accessible. Forgive if necessary. Provide safety to each other. Touch. Comfort. Reassure. Be patient, kind, non-judgmental. This is the key to love and feeling loved.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Love Creates Love

Sometimes families come for counseling because children's sibling rivalry has become a problem. One way I illustrate the nature of love is to darken the room and give each parent a lighted candle. Then from oldest to youngest each child is given a candle to light from the parents' candles.
The lesson, of course, is that just as the light increases as more candles are lit, love increases as each child joins the family. Love grows. You cannot use it up. The more you love, the more love you have to give.

In my book, "How to Get Kids to Help at Home," the last chapter is about teaching values. Here are a couple of paragraphs from that book:

One Sunday school teacher taught a lesson on forgiveness. "Forgiveness," said one youngster, "is when you leave your dad's saw out in the rain, and he says it was rusty anyway." "Or," said another, "when you spill a brand new carton of milk all over the kitchen floor, and your mom says accidents will happen."

The New Testament describes love as "patient, kind, envies no one, is never boastful nor conceited, nor rude, never selfish, not quick to take offense. Love keeps no score of wrongs, does not gloat over others' mistakes." Children learn how to love from parents who love each other and then their family. Loving families bring their light to the world.

Friday, September 9, 2011

More About Love and Sex

In last week's post I quoted Aldous Huxley who said, "You learn to love by loving." Today I want to expand on that. In his book, "The Little Prince" Antoine de Saint Exupery gives his readers a beautiful illustration of how love develops. The story is about a little prince who comes to the earth from another world and meets a fox in the desert. The point of the story is he couldn't care about the fox until he tamed him and spent time with him. The fox's secret was, "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly: what is essential is invisible to the eye."

Perhaps soul mate relationships elude some couples because they pick partners with their eyes and not with their hearts. They may be unconsciously looking for sex partners so the looking never stops Some one else looks better the next month or year. They "fall in and out of love" regularly. I do not believe people actually "fall in and out of love". People choose to love and they choose to no longer love. It is a matter of seeing with the heart, not with the eyes.

If couples marry only because of looks and sex, their relationship is always at risk. No wonder people in such relationships fear aging and can't enjoy and grow through the best decades of their lives. There is no hope of becoming soul mates if the only connection is great sex.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What Is Love?

Did people in ancient times have a word for love? Are we all looking for the same thing? When people say with authority, "There is no such thing as unconditional love", is it because they have never experienced it? The New Testament portrays God as love and teaches that love is the greatest virtue in life. So what is love?

Aldous Huxley said, "You learn to love by loving." "Love doesn't make the world go 'round," said Franklin P. Jones. "Love is what makes the ride worthwhile." Kamila said, "Love is like an eternal flame, once it is lit, it will continue to burn for all time." Benjamin Disraeli said, "We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence and its only end." The title of an international best selling book by Gerald Jampolsky is, "Love is Letting Go of Fear".

What do you think love is? Feel free to share by leaving comments. Maybe love is different for everyone. Those of you who are soul mates should have some interesting thoughts to share.