The Miracle of Love
According to a report by Focus magazine, one reason for the so-called ‘end of love’ in our society is the acceleration occurring in all areas of life. There is a constant influx of change to deal with, such as continued changes at work, career, jobs, where we live etc, all exacerbated by the speed in which these changes take place, so is it any wonder that sustaining long-term relationships has become something of a challenge?
Staying in touch with friends is taking a faster pace, too, as having easy chats online is so much quicker than actually meeting up for a coffee. Many people even brush their teeth faster than they used to, eat faster, get changed faster, take showers faster and so on. We are under the impression that we must save as much time as possible…. but what for, exactly? According to statistics, we spend more time watching the TV or sitting in front of an iPhone or computer screen than ever before! Have we all gone completely mad!?!
No wonder love doesn’t seem to fit in this fast-paced environment anymore. Love requires time, a lot of time, to look closely, to take note of all the details and to revel in them all. In order to appreciate and love a person, taking a brief glance to check the colour of their eyes simply won’t do! You need to delve deeper, into their personality, to really understand them, warts and all. Love only emerges when you have empathy and take time to explore what’s going on for the other person, because we all see the world in very different ways and conflict, whether we like it or not, is a definite part of any healthy and valued relationship. In other words, it’s not the rupture that matters, but how it’s resolved.
This is true, not only for the love you have for another person, but also in the love you have for yourself. The latter may require an inordinate amount of time, because how well can we honestly say that we really know ourselves? Many of us are simply not used to examining ourselves in terms of emotional nuances – our self-awareness may be quite limited, which means our awareness of others won’t be that great, either. In turn, if we’re not aware of what our emotions are doing, then how can we be expected to manage them? Surely to goodness, to then be able to manage a relationship effectively is pretty much asking to ‘fly me to the moon’ when you can’t even walk down the lane!
When was the last time you took time to fully enjoy experiencing your feelings, putting your finger precisely on what was going on inside of you, while, for instance, standing by a tree, looking over a lake? Anyone who takes the time to get to know themselves really well will also be confronted by their own shady sides and neuroses! Whether we attempt to cure them, or simply accept them, is not the decisive factor. The bottom line is that we need to truly know ourselves, and our idiosyncratic, special characteristics, to be able to love ourselves and be happy with the way we are. If we don’t, we end up taking things out on those around us and blaming them for what may be going wrong in our relationships.
The power of loving yourself is contagious and has a healing effect on those around you. Care for others is generally met automatically with more empathy and understanding from them. They learn to recognise the internal distress that may be causing certain behaviours to show up, which can even help to dispel the fear that keeps others feeling trapped in their world of paranoia.
A fear-driven person will react differently to the understanding, love-driven person described above. Anyone who does things differently is seen as not being co-operative, unfriendly or harsh to the fear-driven person. They will criticise, judge and look for weaknesses, rather than reach out or forgive, simply because it’s too scary for them to examine their own feelings. A relationship with this type of person will prove very difficult to those who are love-focused.
The gift of humanity is in our differences. Every relationship works in different ways, depending entirely on the combination of people we have: fear-driven with fear-driven, fear-driven with love-driven, or love-driven with love-driven. This last combination of people sees any problem as a growth opportunity; a chance for all conflict, as difficult as they may be, to help them move forward together. Surely that must be worth it, if the relationship is important?
Much love to you all, and to quote Annie Lennox, who said it so beautifully: “The miracle of love will take away your pain, when the miracle of love comes your way again.”