How To Love And Be Loved
Many books have been written and much advice dispensed on the subject of love and relationships. Counselors, therapist, coaches, and spiritual teachers are busy helping couples figure out how to live together and get through one day without an argument. Managers are trained in conflict management because colleagues can?t get along. The divorce rate in this country is roughly fifty percent and people remain cynical about finding a compatible companion let alone a ?soul mate.? One has to wonder, how did loving someone become so complicated?By Patricia D. Raya
Many books have been written and much advice dispensed on the subject of love and relationships. Counselors, therapist, coaches, and spiritual teachers are busy helping couples figure out how to live together and get through one day without an argument. Managers are trained in conflict management because colleagues can?t get along. The divorce rate in this country is roughly fifty percent and people remain cynical about finding a compatible companion let alone a ?soul mate.? One has to wonder, how did loving someone become so complicated? The truth is loving another person is not complicated. It is the most natural and spontaneous thing we do. Infants and children know how to love perfectly and no one has to tell them how to do it.
When you look at ?adult? relationships, it would seem that we have lost our natural ability to love, but in fact that isn?t the case at all. What has happened is we have erected barriers or obstacles that get in the way
. Worse yet, we adults have anesthetize our true feelings in an effort to ward off the very thing we deeply desire. The good news is that whatever we have learned we can also unlearn. This article offers two powerful things you can do to reignite the power of love within. It also addresses steps for removing those self-imposed obstacles that prevent you from loving and being loved more abundantly. Loving Simply1. Live the most sacred principle of all.
The Golden Rule tells us to treat others as we would like to be treated. The Christ consciousness exemplifies this principle when Christ implored others to Love one another as I have loved you. The spirit of the Golden Rule urges us to align everything in our life with our highest ideal and values and to suffuse those ideals in all that we do. We are warned however that we are not to look for personal rewards and recognition when we live our highest ideal. We are to live this way because it is the right thing to do; because it shifts our level of consciousness from the limitations of the ego to the fullest expression of the super-consciousness?the God within. Remember too that relationships are the experiential laboratory of life. They allow us to see ourselves more clearly and to practice our highest ideals. Live the Golden Rule in all your relationships including your relationship with yourself. When you stop criticizing yourself, you will stop criticizing others; when you are kinder to yourself, you will be kinder to others.
Let the Golden Rule guide your days so you can experience for yourself the powerful transformation that only love can provide.2. Stay present. We spend too much time thinking about our past and worrying about a hypothetical future.
The past is nothing more than an illusionary memory and the future a projected hypothetical. Both are distortions due to the passing of time and our multi-layered biased perceptions. The problem with staying in our past is we miss what is truly happening right now right in front of us. When we live in our past or fear for our future we cannot consciously create our present reality. We interpret people?s actions and behaviors based on a context that is no longer real or never was real. This is not reality.To stay present you must trust that the present is perfect, no matter how confusing or difficult it might be.
Sometimes pain and suffering come into our lives not to punish us, but to show us something that we need to change, act on, or learn about. Staying present requires you to keep your mind and emotions focused on the present situation; you must avoid letting your mind wander back in time. One of the best ways to learn how to stay present is to observe young children.
They can throw a temper tantrum one minute and the next minute they are over it and loving you spontaneously. Remember, real love can only grow and flourishes in the present. Use the power of the present moment to choose, to choose freedom from control over the need to be right.
As you continue practicing the Golden Rule and learn to keep your mind and emotions in the present, you must also take on the arduous task of dismantling the excuses and barriers that prevent you from inspiring love. 1. Become a sacred witness of patterns.
You might find that living the Golden Rule every day and in every way is a little more difficult than you thought. This is due to our self-imposed emotional barriers. Emotional barriers become destructive emotions when we harbor and allow them to fester, causing harm to others and ourselves. When anger, fear, pride, and self-righteousness fester they eat away at our minds, hearts, and bodies creating emotional unhappiness and physical impairment. Learning to become aware of our thought patterns that create these debilitating emotions is an important step toward removing these ?learned? obstacles that have covered up our instinctual abilities to love.
Learn to be a sacred witness to your thought patterns, not a secular critic. 2. Let go of negative emotions.
Anger, fear, guilt, pride, and shame are strong barriers to love and happiness. They are insidious and pernicious emotions that create illusions and distortions in our thoughts and actions. We create these emotions when our standards, expectations, and agendas are not met. We carry them around from relationship to relationship like precious jewels, polishing and protecting them ever so pridefully.
We live with the illusion that they in some way serve us; they do not, they are harmful and make us toxic. These emotions block your ability to fully experience intimacy and happiness, and they adversely affect your ability to communicate, listen, heal, and grow. One way to dissolve these emotional blocks is to analyze what comes up when you experience these emotions; look within yourself to determine the different levels of emotions, and finally forgive yourself. 3. Hold the desire and intention to change.
In addition to staying present and letting go of negative patterns of thought, we must also sustain a deep and abiding desire to change?from being disingenuous to being our most authentic self.
Yogananda calls this our Realized-Self. Without a deep desire for ongoing change, chances are we will tire too quickly as we face the numerous challenges and confusing situations that await us on this rigorous journey. Let?s face it, change is not for sissies! You must deeply desire and intend to align yourself with the highest ideal you can imagine for yourself. 4. Discover your true nature.
There is another directive that you?ve probably heard as many times as the Golden Rule and that is?Know Thy Self. Knowing yourself means taking responsibility for yourself and committing to understanding the real you?the immortal and truly divine part of you that exists in spite of your distorted personality. It is the part of you that is always lovable and loving and fully engaged in the present, like a child who does not hold onto the guilt of the past or worry of the future.
When you discover who you really are you are able to see more clearly the illusions and distortions of your thoughts, assumptions, and generalizations. You will begin to see that the generalizations and stereotypes you have believed about yourself are not true; they never were. Knowing your real self is quite liberating because you come to understand that true happiness is not something that is dependent on other people, events, objects, or opinions. Happiness is an inner state of being that is undisturbed by outside events. 5. Value Relationships.
Take time to consider why you are in your current relationships. What are you learning on a soul level, on an ego level? Do you see relationships as opportunities or responsibilities to be met? Are you seeking understanding in your relationships or the self-righteous need to display yourself? One of the most important things you can do when living the Golden Rule is to learn to value all of your relationships. Relationships allow you to grow on many different levels.
This growth can be sometimes gentle and sometimes harsh. Relationships reflect back to us exactly what we need to work on. They are in fact our ?face in the mirror.? Learn to value your relationships because without them you would live an isolated life of deluded self-mastery. Valuing all relationships does not mean that you should allow yourself to be abused or victimized on any level. It means extracting the highest good that will add to your growth and evolution of consciousness.6. Learn How To Give Real Love.
There are many forms of love. Most people are familiar with ?sentimental? love, or ?self-serving? love. Sentimental love is NOT the real thing. It is unhealthy. Real love is free of sentimental emotion and is rooted in detached loving kindness.
Detached loving kindness involves detaching from results, opinions, and expectations. You do what you do because it is truly what you want to do. When you live with detached loving kindness, you also end unhealthy dependency on other people. You take responsibility for your own personal state. Real love honors; it seeks to empower. It does not victimize or enable dependency. It is in no way violent or destructive. Real love dissolves illusions; it sees people clearly for who they are. It does not put others above or below, but on an equal playing field. No teacher, parent, friend, or lover is better than. We all have imperfections, fears, and agendas to varying degrees. Learn to distinguish between ?real? love and ?self-serving? love. Self-serving love is agenda driven and we can unknowingly get caught up in another person?s agenda and self-serving desires. 7. Slow Down.
The busier you are the less time you have to be really mindful and free of stress. You are the only one who can say ?no? to life?s demands and slow the pace of your life.
Mental stress, negative emotions, chronic anger, fear, worry, and depression affect our quality of health and well-being. Our bodies are intimately linked to our minds, so chronic negative stress can eventually lead to physical dis-ease. To help you slow down and release daily stress, start practicing some form of daily meditation and peaceful visualization. At least four times a week, integrate some form of gentle physical activity to release the stress held in your body. 8. Keep an Open MindStay open to positive possibilities.
A closed mind is impenetrable, nothing can enter and nothing can escape it. In this state the mind eventually atrophies. An open mind allows for the possibility that maybe the person who just cut you off in traffic is not really a self-centered jerk, but a man rushing frantically to get his sick child to the Emergency room at the local hospital. Keeping an open mind can help you stay out of the ?I am the center of the universe? mentality. Hope, love, faith, charity, compassion, and cooperation all begin with a state of mind. Reconsider your beliefs as you open your mind. Do your beliefs still serve your highest aspirations? If not, cancel them. Get rid of old beliefs that no longer serve you. 9. Begin With The End In Mind.
When we die we take with us the love we have given and the love we have received. We take with us the effects of our beliefs, thoughts, and deeds. No one takes his or her possessions! How we treat others including ourselves is more important that the trophies we accumulate. We come to this Earth not to suffer but to learn, and it is through our relationships and living the Golden Rule that we will be able to learn how to live with grace, peace, abundance, and loving kindness.10. Seek higher emotions.Do seek higher emotions as they transform lower emotions and open the portal of Divine grace.
Love is not a feeling or sentimental emotion. Love is an attitude for understanding life and relating to others. Love is in fact everywhere and in everything; it needs only to be realized. Patricia is a Consciousness Coach and Spiritual Teacher. For more information about her seminars and coaching services, contact Patricia at 602-787-9509 or http://www.patriciaraya.com/