(Our feelings and motivation)
Here’s the audio version as well, in case you’re like me
(I love listening, besides reading).
Some people use the term “Suffering from lovesickness” when referring to someone who is depressed or even physically ill after a heartbreak.
There’s no doubt this is one of the most common causes of sickness, because strong feelings really produce chemical changes in the human organism and (as we saw last week) the body follows the mind!
If we wish to have freedom and authentic happiness, we ought to learn the healthy way to love, remaining balanced by having our foundations strongly planted.For this purpose, it’s good to understand that there are different types of love. These are the ones defined by the ancient Greeks:
- Philia(Affectionate esteem, friendship; promotes universal goodness)
- Storgé (love, affection especially of parents and children, and also pets)
- Éros (love, mostly of the sexual passion. It’s usually transitory and on the first stages of a relationship)
- Agápe (Deep unconditional love, associated with the Divinity)
All four types of love should be present in a successful relationship between couples, and can effortlessly be achieved if we take in consideration the following aspects:
Our capacity to give
We are extraordinary beings gifted with endless qualities and creative potential in every way.
Knowing that our true essence is Unconditional Love, it’s very hard to believe that we create so many dysfunctional relationships… right?
The problem is rooted in the way we have been raised for many generations: we were told that if we acted in an obedient way to the established rules, then we would be rewarded somehow. On the contrary, if we didn’t do as the authority figures expected, we would be severely punished… So that “acceptance” was indirectly perceived as “proofs of love” which was being granted or restricted according to our deserving actions and words.
(The Current of Conditioning in Psychology uses this principle somehow)
With such a parameter of control, our innate concept of unconditional love was distorted over time!
It’s time for us to heal ourselves, understanding that we are unique, authentic beings, and that we possess an Inner Guidance system that leads us toward the decisions that are aligned with that loving nature, without expecting approval or external recognition in return.
In order to embrace that originality, it’s necessary to dedicate time and focus to get to know that inner essence, and appreciate our qualities exactly how they are. To accept all of our traits, understanding that it’s useless to compare them with the personalities of others, and knowing that whatever appears to be “defects”, are actually virtues that have not yet been molded properly.
Once we know more who we really are and how we are, we’ll feel naturally moved to share our being & gifts with the world, simply for the pleasure of giving and contributing with humanity in as many ways as possible!
The more we give, the more we’ll realize that such capacity increases even more, as if our potential were endless (and it is!)
Our capacity to receive
At the same time, while we fathomall we have to give and how much joy we get when we do it, we’ll understand that for the other people is equally wonderful to share their infinite unconditional love with us.
When we take out the element of “deserving according to our deeds”, we’ll also get rid of the blockages created by ourselves; so we’ll be able to receive with gratitude and limitlessly.
No reason is needed for the Universe to give to us, just as there’s no justification for us to give from the heart. The only “excuse” there is, is that we’re still alive and therefore there’s always something to give (our attention, time, smile, support, understanding, compassion, etc.…)
Whatever your concept of a “God who created the Universe” is, you’ll realize that at the end of the day it is pure energy in the form of Unconditional Love! It’s expressed through life itself and EVERYTHING that exists (physical and non-physical; tangible and invisible; concrete and abstract), therefore, it’s infused not only in every being, but also in its thoughts, words, and actions…!
In short, when I love someone, it’s God being expressed to the other person through me. In the same way, when someone loves me, it’s God being expressed to me through the other person. It’s a full cycle!
Our capacity to Feel in a vulnerable way
So many people protect their emotions out of fear to be hurt in one way or another…! They avoid opening their hearts because they feel they’ll lose control of their emotional lives, and even their finances.
Those who act that way are limiting their growth experience and the happiness they could enjoy if they removed fear from the equation.
It’s really convenient to take a closer look at the concept of “attachments to outcomes”. In other words, this takes us back to the issue of believing that we have to deserve conditionally: “I love you if you love me!” “I give you if you give me!” Or a very common concept is thinking that “you make me happy and I’ll make you happy…!” when in truth NOBODY has the power to make someone happy, because happiness is already part of our nature; hence, it’s already INSIDE of us and it’s only up to us to evoke it or block it!
That state of joy is much deeper than a brief emotion of contentment triggered by an event. Happiness is a state of joy that remains present even despite the death of a loved one, or the loss of something that was important to us… One can go through a mourning process, but can acknowledge in the background that joyof being full of gratitude for life and for appreciating Who We Are in all sense of the word.
When couples think that happiness is perpetuating the effervescence of initial infatuation (Éros), because they wish to think that one becomes the most important being in the life of the other or becoming their “complement”, they’re setting themselves up for a false reality that will soon crumble after the first difference of thought or plans.
This is why it’s not convenient to make decisions for a future together on a long-term basis, during these first stages of seduction.
Love has to be cultivated patiently, starting with that self-knowledge (our essence of unconditional love), and realizing that we are already whole individually.
Then we should let those four types of love be printed in the relationship, which takes time because it’s a process of growth from both parties.
Finally, it’s crucial to learn the last (and most important) step, which is the authentic forgiveness…
Our capacity to forgive
Here’s another concept that we’ve had all wrong… Forgiving is not “forgetting”. Neither it is acting as if it didn’t matter to us…
Forgiveness is probably the most important trait of Unconditional Love: It’s choosing not to judge!
In other words, when we get angry it’s because we condemn the fact that the other person thinks or acts in a different way than how we’d have done it… We’re attached to the belief of being right. We’re offended because we take the words or actions of others as a direct attack or rejection to our persona. Nevertheless, we might not have taken in consideration the reasons why they said or did it. We fail to think that perhaps in their perceptions of the facts, there is justification for their feelings; for that reason they’re also “right” from that point of view.
If we learn not to react making assumptions, and sincerely try to understand the other person empathically instead, not only will we be able to expand our own horizon, but also we’ll manage to provide more clarity to the misunderstanding, avoiding resentment or confusion.
- Let’s ask objectively and lovingly, instead of taking words as personal offenses.
- Let’s listen profoundly, without preparing our answers or defenses previously in our minds.
- Let’s practice more frequently, phrases like: “I understand you, you’re right; I’m sorry!”
- And if at the end we see that both points of view are definitely conflicting, let’s analyze if that’s really determinant in the relationship, orif it’s worth releasing it completely without giving too much weight to the situation.
The most important thing in relationships, is for each one to honor themselves (to be faithful with their essence, vision and mission) without sacrificing their happiness, since that attitude –apparently brave and admirable- in the long run will create so many resentments and frustrations that will destroy the bond to the point of breakage or diverse escapades (addictions, indifference, infidelity, etc.)
Obviously it goes both ways…
This is what a solid, empowered, and healthy love should look like!