is a science. Love is an art. Love is a choice to be made
over and over in each moment. To love is to invest in
emotional entrepreneurship of you and those beings with
whom you surround yourself and become conscious in all
your relationships. The decision to become a loving person
is the most important investment that you will ever make
in your life.
is often thought of as feeling or an emotional state but
do you realize that love can also be a verb, as well as
an act? It can also be an attitude of daily living. Making
the decision to be a loving person will bring happiness
to others and return to love to you. Love is a way of
"Be-ing." It is an attitude and way of being and interacting
with those around you. You have the option of how far
open you want your heart to be with the people around
you. How you distribute the love that you have within
you is again a choice. As the bible tells us in 1 Corinthians
16:14 "Let all that you do be done in love."
true meaning of love in romantic relationship is for two
mature, independent people to come together in equal partnership
to celebrate their growth, both as individuals and as
consists of this; that two solitudes protect and touch
and greet each other," said the philosopher, Rilke. Spontaneity
and authenticity as well as letting go of protective walls
are the hallmark of the mature adult. Intimacy can be
achieved when the both partners are complete within themselves
and are comfortable with their identity and are willing
to take risks with their vulnerable feelings.
love is not hearts and flowers and fireworks all of the
time. It is about living up to the strength of one's own
values while choosing to be in a partnership. It is the
commitment of really being there for another individual
while retaining one's own sense of self. It's being there
during the ins and outs of the relationship. Often is
about being willing to be vulnerable and do the hard work
of looking deeply within one's self.
happy, healthy couple recognizes that they are a unit
in which both their relationship and their individuality
are important. They have a systems approach, which recognizes
each person's need to grow and change while giving priority
to the relationship. There is a commitment to their individual
growth as well as their "coupleness." Loving partners
think both in terms of the "we", as well as their own
are willing to set boundaries on those actions of their
partner that are not in the best interests of the relationship.
Loving boundaries start with what relationship researcher
John Gottman called a "soft startup." Speaking softly
and wisely when upset about something can defuse defendedness
of the partner. "Honey, I noticed that .... is affecting
our relationship. Could we talk about this?" spoken in
a voice of loving concern is an example of a soft startup.
My teacher Virginia Satir said that you can tell a person
almost anything if you do it in a loving, conscious way.
Sometimes I spend several days getting myself in a loving
attitude and finding the right words and correct timing
to bring up a point to my husband.
mature partnerships, communication skills are open and
authentic with few double bind messages, which say one
thing and mean another. The two people are straight with
each other. They remain there for each other expressing
their vulnerability, following Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's
definition of love ".... to approach each other center
to center." They own their own feelings and actions and
use frequent "I messages." They stress equality in the
relationship, individuality and happiness rather than
the need to be in control. They understand that conflict
is inevitable so they do not try to avoid it but view
it as a challenge. They have techniques for conflict resolution
and do not allow issues to build up. They continue to
work through their own issues of power.
learn ways to work with their unruly feelings. They learn
to recognize their triggers and their defensiveness when
feeling threatened. Heart and warmth shut down along with
the connected sense of being at one with the world when
those grand-slam negative feeling come in. Their coping
style in dealing with stress is based on negotiation and
problem solving, not defensiveness and withdrawal. They
choose to lay down their armor of war and address those
vulnerable feelings of guilt and shame when they have
disrupted the loving energy in the relationship. Love
becomes an attitude of how to approach the partner as
well as others. Love becomes a verb in action.
are meant to be in loving relationships, but we have little
glitches inside that keep these loving relationships from
happening called negative feelings and defenses. If you
get defensive, that is a signal that something unresolved
keeping you from experiencing love and intimacy. To have
a glitch free life, keep working your program." Feelings
are after all, just feelings. Defensive actions are just
unhealthy ways that you have learned to deal with threat.
You can use them as an opportunity to learn. You can turn
consciously to the act of becoming a loving person again
the Course In Miracles says, "Speak only love, for that
is what you are."
couples have fun together; they make their fun by finding
things they both enjoy and putting them in the schedule.
With a strong sense of self, they draw from their unique
spiritual nature. They develop meaning in their lives
by creating a strong family life and doing some type if
volunteer work that helps others.
Florence Kaslow writing about the research on mature relationships
said, "When one is privileged to be in the company of
a compatible couple, their well being and harmony is apparent.
They seem to exude tranquility, a kind of inner peace,
and liking of their place in the world. They may be quiet
or effusive, but their confidence in loving and being
loved and valued is unmistakable. They have an unselfconscious
desire to please one another because there are sufficient
shared paths, goals and values. They understand that when
they as a couple benefit, so do each of the partners individually."
couples are aware of the importance of keeping love alive.
If you are in a relationship of a number of years that
has lost its sizzle, find ways to recapture the spark.
Remember, as David Day Williams said, "Love is a participatory
process." Look at the way that you participate daily.
Observe and challenge your unloving acts. Challenge your
partner to participate in becoming a loving person as
well. Here is a message given to me on my wedding day
from my aunt who said her grandmother (my great grandmother)
gave her this message on her wedding day: "Have a happy
marriage. You can if you try."
you are out of love with your partner and headed the wrong
way, do a U-turn and get back into it. It is normal for
a relationship to have the inns and outs. Find the endearing
traits of your partner and why you chose your partner
in the first place and focus on those instead of how you've
been hurt. Court your partner again; bring back the romance.
things you can do: Learn and use the Emotional Freedom
Technique and other Energy Psychology techniques that
reduce and release your negative feelings of frustration,
anger, disgust and contempt. Impatience with your partner's
faults can undermine your loving intention for staying
connected. See your relationship as an opportunity to
find those unloving aspects of yourself and fix them.
Learn thought stoppage and other techniques that help
you break into your negative, critical thoughts. Practice
active listening and Intentional Dialogue with your loved
one. Study and use fair fighting tips to break into your
unhealthy ways of reacting when you feel threat. Stop
venting about the undesirable aspects of your partner.
Take a couples workshop or retreat that teaches communication
and intimacy skills. Practice daily kindness and loving
gestures. Smile often and flirt with each other. You can
fall in love again if you are willing to learn new things
about yourself and do the loving acts of connection.
forgiveness and practice it daily until you really get
it. "Love is an act of endless forgiveness," said actor
Peter Ustinov. Continual forgiveness of yourself and your
partner will make you grow into the person who is capable
of being loving. Get into couples therapy for a general
tune up of your relationship and to resolve any deep,
long-standing hurts. Cherish each other. The thing to
treasure above all else is loving connections. Belonging
is the joy of being human.
we have a science of how to stay healthy and heartfelt
in your relationships. I've listed some of the best scientific
information on how to stay connected with your partner
and your children on this web site. The ideas on our www.HappyHealthyLoving.com
web site will help you become a loving person capable
of finding and maintaining loving relationships.
Gibran said "When there's someone, one someone, who makes
your days brighter, makes your joys greater, makes your
heart lighter...Someone, one someone, you want to share
with, do everything with, go everywhere with. Someone,
one someone you want to live for. You have something called
that someone. Be that someone. You can if you keep searching
for the best that is in you while releasing that which
is not consistent with your loving nature. Remind yourself
of Mother Theresa's quote often: "Do small things with
wish you happy, healthy, loving, connected relationships.