Love is a basic need.
We know that – but why then, is love sometimes so difficult to comprehend, feel and experience?
Children are biologically wired to unconditionally love their parents, as they are dependent on them for survival.
As children mature and enter pre-teen/teenage years they no longer spontaneously live from their hearts. Their mind takes on a bigger role in order to evaluate various situations, and they develop a critical mind mostly to stay safe.
Comparison and judgment take up a greater part of their consciousness and sometimes – at the expense of their caring sweetness.
During this transition and ‘developmental’ time, they begin to look at their parents, friends and siblings with new eyes. They begin comparing and seeing their flaws, and often find their parents embarrassing. Many parents experience that their sweet and loving child appears to have changed personality – sometimes over night – and they are left wondering “where this monster suddenly came from.”
A critical mind cannot operate simultaneously with a loving heart. Being critical and being loving are opposites.
Luckily, the mind of an early teen balances over the years, and towards the end of their teenage years they become less critical. They begin learning about the delicate balance between using their mind to serve them (judging, analyzing, problem solving etc) and still being connected to their heart and emotions.
Some are better at finding that mind – heart balance – and much is dependent on the modelling of love that they have witnessed and experienced growing up.
People are biologically wired to evaluate and judge good from bad in order to stay safe. However, many of these natural tendencies do not serve us in our modern lives.
Like teenagers, if we are not aware, our critical mind can easily overshadow our heart and prevent us from living with love. According to Marianne Williamson “the highest form of human intelligence is to observe yourself without judgments.”
Most people enjoy the warmth, joy and peace that love can bring. Many are in search of love. How many love songs and romantic love novels testify to this?
Love may appear difficult and sometimes even unreachable. Love can seem like an intangible feeling that just appears, that we have no control over.
Here is what I have learned about love:
I have learned that the wellbeing of our body – being rested, nourished and energized is important for our capacity to feel and give love. If we are not well, all our attention goes to healing our body.
I have learned that a mind that is “off guard,” that is at peace, open, has a positive outlook on life, and is grateful, has a greater capacity to experience love.
I have learned that the more we appreciate and love ourselves, the more authentic we are in our relationships. We can then express ourselves in a relaxed, warm, childlike and spontaneous way.
I have also learned that we are responsible for our own fulfilment and happiness.
Finally, I have learned about living with the idea that love is a verb: That the feeling of love accompanies the generous loving actions we take. When we consider love a verb, we experience the sweetness of love – more than if we wait for the feeling to appear like it does for those newly “in love.”
When we are “in love” – there is a chemical reaction operating in our brain biologically serves to create a bond between two people in order for them to re-create and have children. After the first 1-2 years, this infatuated feeling of love fades, but that does not mean there is something wrong with our partner, which we may assume since we have fallen out of love. Love just takes on a new dimension after the first few years. Let’s call it mature love, which is based on mutual respect, understanding, appreciation and generosity.
We all have the opportunity to learn to live with love. There are few things more rewarding than experiencing the joy and inner peace that come from loving ourselves and the people closest to us.
The greater our capacity to stay connected with our heart – the more we can even learn to extend our loving heart further by accepting and appreciating strangers. This is where peace in the world has a chance.