Monday, November 18, 2013

The Absolutely Essential Ingredient To Have A Loving Relationship

If I've learned one thing that I feel completely sure about since I've been on the journey to intentional "love enlightenment", it's that at the core of all relationship "improvement suggestions" there is an absolutely essential ingredient that cannot be missing if you want to have close loving relationships. When you read about how to communicate more effectively, how to avoid conflict, how to have better sex or absolutely anything else that you are trying to "improve", if you don't have this essential ingredient, everything you read, everything you try will be in vain. You could try everything ever written in every "How to Improve Your Relationship" book out there and it wouldn't make a bit of difference; or you could have this absolutely essential ingredient and not have a single clue about what any expert thinks you should do and you would have a wonderful relationship. That one thing that it all boils down to is: warm, affectionate thoughts and feelings of love for and being close with your partner (or anyone else that you want to have a close, loving relationship with).
These warm loving thoughts and feelings are what you truly want. Everything else that you say that you want (more date nights, more sex, more help around the house etc.) are all things that you think will make you feel more love. It's all just the stuff that you think you need to happen in the outside world to "trigger" warm, affectionate, intimate feelings of love. The truth is, these feelings are always within you, it's not necessary to have certain conditions to feel them. I would argue that if you need conditions before you love, you don't really love. After all, is love really "I'll only love you if (fill in the blank with your condition you feel the other person should meet), or is it really, "I love you, the person, the soul, no matter what"? The I love you if, to me, says "I love these conditions being met because it triggers loving feelings in me". This is what people mean when they say they want someone who can meet their "needs".
It's so easy to love when things are going well, when your mate or your children or whomever is "behaving". Relationships would be so much simpler if people would just do what they were "supposed to do". Is that really love though? Is it really love to think and feel love when someone is being a "good boy/girl"? Are you really loving the person, or are you loving the conditions that they brought into your life?
What about when that person misbehaves? Why is it okay to say that suddenly they are not lovable because they are flawed (as you and all of us are)? Is it love to withhold love in any way when a person doesn't do what they "should"? Are you unlovable when you don't behave according to another person's idea of how you should behave?
What is bottom line important here is this: to have genuine feelings of love and closeness for a person, no matter what is going on, is to have a loving and close relationship with them. Period. You need nothing else but the loving feelings. The reasons are two fold: because the close, loving feeling is what you're really after and from loving feelings will spring loving words and action, naturally, without any conscious effort. Feel loving feelings all the time, and you will be loving all the time and this will create love. It's simple to do, but not easy. Ever notice how most simple things are not easy?
While it may be the warmly affectionate, close, loving feelings that make all the difference, the feelings are not where you should start. Start where the feelings are created: your thoughts. Yes, I am suggesting that the quality of your thoughts about yourself, your partner and the relationship = the quality of your relationship. Always. This equation never changes.
The trick is to keep your thoughts affectionate and loving, regardless of what is going on around you. Again, super simple, one sentence instruction, not so easy to put into practice. Life tends to get in the way. It becomes, "Well, he did (fill in the blank). He doesn't deserve for me to love him right now! I have a right to want this from him! I have a right to be angry!" Yes you do have a right to think, feel, be, say and do whatever you please. But, do you want to judge him? Do you truly want to measure who is more "right"? Do you want to be angry? Or do you want love? Love is nothing more than loving thought and feeling, but that is also the miracle, because you don't need anything from anyone else to have it. It's funny how threatened people become when they hear that, as if because they don't need it from anyone else that the people in their life will become unimportant, or worse, that they themselves will become unimportant.
That is not what I'm suggesting. I'm suggesting that love is not soft or weak. I'm suggesting that love does not waver when the going gets roughest. Love, in it's true form, remains steadfast even after the mortal coil of the other is shed. A true "lover" becomes even more loving when times are difficult. A lover loves like there is no lack and no reason to ever take or be afraid.
Spark the thoughts and feelings of love within you, no matter where you are in life; for yourself, for your mate, for all of life. You will notice a shift. The thoughts of love will become feelings of love that you will speak and act upon and your beloved will likely respond. It starts with you, and ends with you, but the effects of your thoughts and feelings have far reaching effects that until you become aware of, you will remain unaware of.
Perhaps then, that is the true goal, to become more aware, more often of what you are thinking and to intend to think warm, loving thoughts. No harm can come from this, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain. I challenge you today, if you do nothing else, ever, to "improve" your relationship, become more aware of your thoughts and when you find that you're thinking something unloving, replace that thought with a loving one. I would bet the farm that the difference in your relationship would be marked. Anything that you have to do, any tools that you have to use, get as close as you can to thinking warm, loving thoughts in every moment. FEEL deep love for your partner. What's the point in being in a relationship if you don't anyway?      

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