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More than a Feeling – The Healing Power of Love & Commitment

wolves in love

The Healing Power of Love and Commitment.

More Than a Feeling

Love is more than a feeling. Love is a powerful choice and commitment. To be with, care for, and stand by another is a sacred gift we give to our beloved and ourselves. Committed Love has the power to heal, transform and deepen our engagement with life.

Love plumbs the depth of the heart, touching whatever residue is residing and hiding there. You cannot love deeply without excavating both the joy and woundings in your heart. Love has the power to protect, awaken, heal and enliven you – mind, body, heart and spirit. Love taps into the essence of your longings for life.

To sustain long-term love and commitment within the context of an intimate relationship, it is essential for couples to engage in conversations about their shifting wants, needs, and desires.

Sometimes people erroneously assume that the initial rush of new love is the truest form of love. And as the rush fades, they begin to question their relationship. The longing to recapture love’s first blush can reek havoc with marriages and long-term relationships. The truth is that as love matures it evolves. Evolving love invites growth, healing and transformation in ways we never dreamed possible.

Stages of Love

There are several stages of love couples go through, each offering different gifts. 

New Love

New love comes on quickly like a gust of fresh air, breathing life into a slumbering soul.  When the springtime of love hits, it feels like we can conquer the world. This type of love is sparked by novelty.  When love is new, we tend to show up strongly, calling forth our best selves. We go out of our way to connect and satisfy this type of love. We make it a priority in our world. And the way we show up and are received helps us feel good about ourselves. This type of love is inherent in all fairy-tales of old. (The newer fairy tales tend to play out a bit differently).

We idealize this phase of loving. Time and time again I have seen the craving for new love, or the longing to fall in love, become a catalyst for discontent in longer-term relationships, opening the door to breakups and affairs. When this phase of love becomes what we long for, it can launch us into a never ending search for the ideal lover who can spark the euphoric feelings of new connection.  Like an addict in search of the next thrill, the search for newer and better, can cause us to miss out on the gifts that a longer-term committed love offers.

People often mistake a craving for intensity and newness as a sign their relationship is in trouble. When we dig deeper, often the discovery at the heart of the matter is a desire for lost youth and vitality on the part of one or both partners. Couples tell me they long to recapture something they feel they have lost.

Committed Love

Like new love, committed love too longs for access to our best self. As a couple becomes comfortable with one another, quite often the relationship doesn’t maintain as high a priority as it did during the New Love stage. This can stir discontent in one or both partners. Sometimes this change in status is misinterpreted as a sign that they have chosen the wrong partner.

What happened to that person who couldn’t wait to talk to us or who would go to great lengths to see us smile? Can a relationship move from the thrill of new love, into the safety of committed love without losing its priority status? Perhaps unlike the airlines, our relationship frequent flyer miles don’t automatically upgrade us to first class seating.

So how do we lose our first class relationship status? And does this happen in every relationship? 

Part of the challenge is that we live in a fast paced society. Our lives are moving faster than at any previous point in history. Busy-ness has become a way of life, leaving little room for anything else. We feel the need to keep up or fear falling behind. As we become comfortable with one another, our relationship slides into auto drive, and loses its priority status.

When we fall into the busy-ness trap, we also tend to neglect our own needs. When we quit taking care of ourselves, dissatisfaction sets in and this too cause our relationships to suffer. We begin wrapping ourselves in the warm blanket of the all-too-familiar comfort zone. When this happens it is easy to slip into complacency.  Rather than taking the time to vision and design a life that feeds our soul and enlivens our spirit, we slip into living our life by default where, as poet Kahlil Gibran says, “We laugh, but not all of our laughter and weep, but not all of our tears.” We hold ourselves back from fully living our lives and fully loving our partners.

The human psyche craves  both newness and comfort. When we become too comfortable, life becomes routine and we quit talking about what really matters. Loving someone requires making the relationship a priority and that includes setting up time to connect without cell phones, television, email, or the distractions of work.

When a couple quits making time for each other, their discontent grows. A couple needs to create time to talk about their day, what they are craving more of; less of, what they are curious about, and what they dream about. When they don’t make time, they miss out on the opportunities to deepen their connection, that are a by-product of heartfelt communication and quality time spent together. For a relationship to thrive, we need each other’s encouragement, love and support.

Evolving love has the power to heal, transform and deepen our connection with our lover, ourselves and to the Divine nature of life itself.

… to be continued…

Love & Blessings,

Dr. Jeanne

 Heart believe

 

 

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