HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS > Differences between SEX and LOVE
How to Love Unconditionally (but don't be “blinded” by love)
Note from NEEEEEXT : "love" is the accumulation of many "I like ..." : you may like other's body/eyes/voice/manners/hair color/character/kindness/mentality ...
Don't give your love to someone you only like the appearance. Check for what is "inside", it is more important than the "outside".
Also, check for his/her background, family, culture, religion, ... it may help you if you plan to build a happy and durable family.
Love has many visages ... so ... don't be blinded !!!
Author's page : How to Love Unconditionally
How to Love Unconditionally
Two Parts :
- Defining Unconditional Love
- Giving Unconditional Love
Love is hard to define. From poets to psychologists to everyday people, the endless effort to explain what love is and means beyond “you know it when you feel it” has led to innumerable results. Making things even trickier is the concept of unconditional love, which some say is the only true kind of love, while others call it impossible. To believe in unconditional love, and to actually love unconditionally, requires a great deal of thought, action, and faith. Only you can decide if and how you can (or should) love unconditionally, but the following article will hopefully assist you on that path.
Defining Unconditional Love
Consider the types of love that exist. The ancient Greeks did so, and defined four variations, as identified in How to Define Love. Of the four, the term agape most closely equates to unconditional love. Agape love is a choice, a decision made to love regardless of circumstances or disappointments.
Thus, unconditional love means loving another in their essence, as they are, no matter what they do or fail to do. People with children usually seem to understand this notion best of all.
It is also learned and practiced. You must choose to love unconditionally.
Parents might counter that they had no choice but to love their children from the moment they laid eyes on them, but that initial flush of attachment is, perhaps imperceptibly, replaced by an ongoing decision to love the child regardless of circumstances.
Realize that unconditional love is not being “blinded” by love. A person who has newly fallen in love with another is often in this state, where they don't see the other person’s full reality, faults and all.
Such a state of love is (or at least should be) temporary, and needs to be replaced by a longer-term, “eyes wide open” type of love if the love is to last.
To love someone without conditions you need to be aware of the conditions, good and bad.
"Unconditional Love is not the case of being blinded by love but rather the resolution that nothing is more important than love." - Talidari
Consider whether romantic love can be unconditional. Some say no, because romantic love must function conditionally, as a partnership based on feelings, actions, and expectations. In this view, you can never love your spouse in the same unconditional manner as your child.
However, love is not the same thing as a relationship. Relationships are conditional, a “working partnership.” An unconditional relationship is a recipe for one-sided domination.
Thus, a relationship can end because the partnership does not function properly, and yet unconditional love toward the other person can remain. Sometimes ending a relationship can be the way to love unconditionally.
Think of unconditional love as an action more than a feeling. We usually consider love to be a feeling, but feelings are a response to something we “get” from someone or something. Therefore, feelings are conditional.
Unconditional love is the action, the choice to strive for the well-being of another. The feeling you derive from acting with love is your reward, the return you “get” from your own action.
To love unconditionally is to act with love under all conditions.
If you have to do something, or be a certain way, in order to receive love, that love is conditional. If it is given to you freely and without reservation, it is unconditional.
Giving Unconditional Love
Love yourself unconditionally. Unconditional love starts at home, with oneself. You know your own flaws and shortcomings better than anyone else, and better than you can ever know anyone else’s. Being able to love yourself despite this unsurpassable awareness of your own faults puts you in the position to be able to offer the same to others.
Thus, you must be able to recognize, accept, and forgive your own imperfections in order to do the same for someone else. If you cannot deem yourself worthy of being loved unconditionally, you’ll never truly be able to deem yourself worthy of offering it.
Make the loving choice. Always ask yourself, “What is the most loving thing I can do for this particular person in this particular moment?”. Love isn't one size fits all; what might be a loving act toward one person could be harmful to another person, in that it doesn't help them get closer to becoming a truly happy human being.
Unconditional love is a new decision you need to make in every situation, not a hard and fast rule you can apply to everyone all the time.
For instance, if you have two friends dealing with the loss of a loved one, being the shoulder to cry on and engaging in long talks may be the loving choice for one, while granting some distance and silence may be so for the other.
Forgive those you love. Even if someone doesn't apologize, it's inherently loving to both them and yourself to let go of your anger and resentment toward them. Keep in mind Piero Ferrucci's advice that forgiving "is not something we do, but something we are."
In religious terms, you’ll hear the phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner.” Loving someone unconditionally does not mean liking every action they take or choice they make; it means not letting such things interfere with your desire for the best for that person in all things.
If someone you love says something hurtful in anger, the loving choice is usually to let them know those words hurt you, but also to forgive their indiscretion. Help them to grow and yet know that they are loved.
But don't mistake being willing to forgive for letting people walk all over you. Extricating yourself from an environment in which you are repeatedly mistreated or taken advantage of can be a loving choice for both yourself and the other person.
Don’t expect to shield someone you love from all discomfort and pain. Part of loving someone is fostering their growth as a person, and pain and discomfort are an inescapable part of growth in this life. Unconditional love means doing what you can to make the other person happy and comfortable, but also helping them grow through their inevitable experiences of discomfort.
Don’t lie to “protect” the feelings of someone you love; support them in dealing with their feelings in the face of pain.
For example, lying about a dire financial situation to spare pain is likely to foster more pain and distrust in the long run. Instead, be honest, supportive, and eager to work together to find solutions.
Love more by “caring” less. Wait, isn’t caring what love is all about? Yes, you want to “care” for a person in the sense that you strive for their well-being and happiness. You don’t want to “care” in the sense that your love is predicated on specific outcomes, which by definition is conditional.
So, not “I don’t care what you decide [because your well-being is irrelevant to me];” but instead “I don’t care what you decide [because I just love you regardless of your choices and actions].”
You don’t love in return for actions that make you happy; you derive happiness from the act of loving unconditionally.
Accept yourself and those you love as is. You are far from perfect, and yet you are perfectly capable of offering love; they are likewise imperfect, but worthy of being offered love.
Unconditional love is about acceptance—about not expecting others to make you happy through their choices and how they live. You can’t control others, only yourself.
Your brother may be notorious for his bad choices, but that should have no bearing upon your love for him. Don't love because of how someone lives, but simply because they live.
Practice doing something for someone each day with love alone. Do it without expecting anything in return. Do it without anyone knowing it. For example, you can pray for your friends or family members who live far away. You can send email, text, or a letter to someone whom you have not been in touch with for quite a while. Give compliments to other people. You can give a smile to a stranger passing by. You can pet your dog or cat. Do small things with great love each day. And watch your heart expand to more love.
Love means wishing others to be happy. Love is about what we give not what we get.
You don't have to be perfect to love somebody, just be honest.
Sources and Citations
Piero Ferrucci, The power of kindness, p. 52, (2006), ISBN 978-1-58542-588-4
Managing the most powerful emotion in the world – The love equilibrium
Source : http://sparklife.info/manage-powerful-emotion-love-equilibrium/
by Samuel McCrohan
I know my girlfriend loves me very much, but there is still something acutely powerful, blissfully reassuring and downright indomitable about hearing Heidi utter those magical three words to me.
I’ve worked hard over the past few years to rid myself of any negative emotions and anxieties and be able to control my emotions at will, yet I truly believe that the only emotion that cannot be suppressed is love!
That is fine if your love for someone is equally reciprocated, but what if it is not? And even if it is reciprocated, does the intensity fluctuate over time?
This article will introduce some new theories I have been working on surrounding love and how to manage what is ostensibly the most powerful emotion in the world…
The love equilibrium:
I have recently been toying with the theory that there is a certain equilibrium that couples must find and maintain with regards to how much they love each other in order to sustain a happy and fulfilling relationship indefinitely.
Love, on the whole, is a positive emotion but it can also lead to some more disruptive traits rearing their ugly little heads. These are things such as neediness, dependency and validation-seeking, which are all factors that can severely disrupt a once happy equilibrium.
How love affects self-control:
In a sense, love is linked to a state of being out of control. This theory supports how love is the only emotion that cannot be suppressed: it affects both our rational thoughts and actions.
The interesting point is that the more you fall in love, the more out of control with the relationship you become and the more likely the aforementioned disruptive traits are to appear.
This in turn will balance against your partner’s feelings. I’m not saying that your partner will start falling out of love with you, but they are likely to start feeling signs of contempt for the relationship, which if you’ve been reading this website for a while, will know is the number one relationship killer !
I know how much you all love my diagrams so I’ve created two diagrams that highlight what I mean…
The love equilibrium – balanced
The love equilibrium - unbalanced
The first diagram represents a happy couple in a fulfilling and equally loving relationship. The second diagram represents what happens when this balance goes out of kilter and one person in the relationship starts becoming overbearing with their love and affection, almost like a weight against their partner. Obviously life circumstances play a part in how each person reacts to such a scenario but it is recommended that you try to restore an equal balance as soon as possible.
Love or infatuation:
Love is the culmination of many feelings towards a person and the side-effect of crafting a relationship of passion, intimacy and commitment. There is a well-known imposter to love though, which is called infatuation! Funnily enough, as there are fewer factors to obscure the dynamics, the love equilibrium is easier to spot when dealing with a case of infatuation.
An example, which I’m sure many people can relate to, is becoming obsessed with one particular person who you currently have no romantic relations with, be it a friend, someone you have a crush on, or a past boyfriend or girlfriend. If you actually get to the point of confessing your feelings for them, you usually end up pushing them further away.
In a mutual, loving and committed relationship, there should be no need for superfluous validation or extra effort from one person. Love should be something that develops both naturally and smoothly.
A lot of couples use the magical three words “I love you” far too automated, often as an obligation or quarrelling peacemaker. I personally only use the phrase during particular moments of amorous emotion; basically, when I genuinely mean it! I’m sure that the sincerity of Heidi saying “I love you” is similar.
This topic is one that I intend to expand on considerably in the future and may well become an article series. For now, the main thing to think about if you are in love is, do you love each other equally and do you express that love equally? 🙂
Much love (genuine, balanced love),
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