How to LOVE Authentically
It is magical yet a bit complicated. Though writers and musicians have the ability to eloquently convey these thoughts of it into rhythmic, flowing words and powerful beats, this action word itself eludes many. Since ancient times, philosophers, psychologist and scientists alike have long since tried to understand and explain this complex emotion; thus there are many theories and principles around this four letter word. Nonetheless, all seem to seek this uniquely special and magnetically genuine feeling to share with another in life. Yet so many often find themselves in hurtful and potentially harmful circumstances that provoke questions if what is experienced is actually genuine.
What I speak of is AUTHENTIC LOVE.
To define authentic love would require an infinite compilation of data, research, experiences, and so much more which is seemingly impossible. However, instead what we can do is take what we have learned and formulate best practices to encourage a healthy, authentic love that can be applied in modern day.
Here are a few places to begin…
Flow but do not attach.
Author, teacher and founder of the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery, Tenzin Pallmo, shares that “…attachment says that I love you therefore I want you to make me happy; and genuine love says, I love you therefore I want YOU to be happy.” In essence, avoid trying to hold onto something so firmly, for what you create is resistance not love. Instead let go of selfish and controlling tendencies and choose to hold lightly those most special to you. When you do this you are giving into an organic flow that allows genuine love to develop, learn and flourish. Watch this video to learn more.
Give what you want to get out.
The reality is that some believe that everything within a relationship is just supposed to work without putting in the work. FALSE! If you do not invest time and energy into your job, do you get paid? I would think not. More specifically, marriage as the unity of two individuals has drastically changed over the years. In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Psychological Inquiry, researchers point out that modern relationships often demand needs self-actualization and self-esteem which takes extreme work. However, they have found that “on average, investing less than in the past. As a result, mean levels of marital quality and personal well-being are declining over time.” So the summary is, if you don’t put in the right kind of work, you will likely get nothing out of it.
Let go of things that no longer serve you.
Do you ever feel depressed, resentful, stagnant or any other negative emotion within your relationship? First, it is important to understand that these feelings should not always be blamed on your partner, but rather viewed as a sign of a need not being met. By acknowledging that these feelings are often normal, you and your partner can invite a healthy conversation about what is going on and how to work as a team to overcome these feelings. A healthy way to communicate with one another about needs can be learned by using tools such as non-violent communication, seeing a relationship counselor and so on. However, the reality is, not everyone is ready or capable of having these conversations and that is when you need to know when to let go of the things that are holding you back and feeding negative, counterproductive behaviors and habits in your life. People, places, things, thoughts, feelings and so on can either aid you or hinder you in your relationship(s) and personal growth within that relationship. Know when to keep working or let go!
Happy AUTHENTIC LOVE day!
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey