Love And Be In Love
“You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover’s arms can only come later when you’re sure they won’t laugh if you trip. Love and be in love.” Jonathan Carroll
In relationships the pattern is usually, respect, trust, intimacy and then deep mature love. I find in counseling that we can loose one or even the first three and love will stand alone for awhile. This is to give us a chance to mend what needs mending.
Scott Peck has said that every couple falls in love and every couple falls out of love. Not meant to scare anyone, just the opposite. When we fall in love we are usually talking about the emotional feelings attached to a relationship, feelings of excitement, fun, liking each other, the lustier things, mature love means the commitment, the deep connection, the feeling of belonging to something greater than ourselves. So we love each other but are not necessarily in love every moment of our relationship.
Respect is crucial because the feeling of being respected gives us an opportunity to feel important and of significance to out partner. Once we feel that, learning to trust comes somewhat naturally to the relationship. We have been open and vulnerable with our partners and received no harm.
We are safe in the relationship. Intimacy requires trust because being intimate, not sexually necessarily, means that we give ourselves, that part of us that is really us, to our partner and can receive it from our partners. We are vulnerable.
Once having experienced vulnerability and safety with our partners we develop that deep, soul satisfying connection that is mature love. Which helps us realize that our partners wants, needs and desires are as, if not more, important than our own.
We rejoice in our partner’s successes and joys, we cry for their grief and losses, we celebrate, we commiserate, we laugh and we cry with them, just because we love them.
When we lose respect we will lose trust or vice versa. Once there is no trust we are not going to share those intimate things with our partner either. Respect is personal, we feel or don’t feel respected by others and that is usually about our selves.
There can be obvious disrespect but for the most part we determine whether or not we were respected, not the other. In other words, when we say that is not respecting me our partner may indicate no disrespect was intended. We are responsible for our own feelings.
Love Your Partner
We choose to trust or not, our partner can not make that decision for us. The issue with trust is that once broken it becomes a decision, “yes, I will trust you” or “no I won’t.” One issue here is that if we are waiting for the other to prove themselves trustworthy, what is the measurement, what yardstick do we use?
The only thing we can do is wait to see if they are trustworthy and I can guarantee that if you are looking for things within the relationship to say I shouldn’t trust you, I will find them because my brain will twist the situations the way I think and believe. So, really what you are doing is looking for reasons not to trust. You will have to say, eventually, “Ok, I trust you, now prove me wrong.”
Intimacy is all about togetherness. Doing things together, talking, laughing, working, crying, sharing moments, time and life with each other. It means forgiving because we will be hurt and we will hurt our partner, not carrying grudges and holding onto things.
It means that there are no secrets in the relationship, but they don’t have to know everything. If I’m going out with a friend, does my spouse need to know why, where and what, no, but if she asks I will tell her. Not checking in but being courteous and polite needs to be a regular part of the routine of your life.
Love than has a solid foundation to grow on, and to flourish. You do loving things when you don’t feel particularly loving or caring, or you might not even be all that friendly at the moment.
Doing loving things at those moments and times will bring the loving feelings. Love is definitely an attitude, one that says “ I really don’t care if you are mad at me or I at you, or whether or not we like each other; I love you, no matter what, I love you.”
So deal with the things that make you or your partner feel disrespected. Do the things that build trust between you and make the decision to trust one another. Be open, vulnerable and giving, allow your partner to cherish and serve you, forgive and be forgiven-be intimate.
Love is the result, life affirming and life changing love. Love that transcends the day-to-day idiosyncrasies of life and attains the peaceful, joyous, life affirming feeling that enriches us both.
“Love — a wildly misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker.” Author Unknown
Photo credit: (Unsplash)
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