The Power of Love: A Refreshed Perspective
Love, defined as a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties, is a topic that holds significant importance in our lives. Despite its significance, accurately describing love in the English language presents a challenge due to the limited scope of a single word that encompasses various levels of affection. Unlike English, Spanish boasts close to two dozen words that convey different nuances of love.
In this article, I will focus on love as it pertains to the interactions and connections we form with other individuals, excluding material possessions, experiences, or competitive activities. While many romantic novels depict love as a chemical reaction between two people, resulting in intense internal feelings, research indicates that these initial feelings tend to fade within approximately two years.
So, what sustains love after being in a relationship for 25 years? The answer lies in making a conscious choice and adopting an intentional mindset. Mort Fertel, in his book Marriage Fitness, outlines the steps couples must take to remain in love. It requires effort, but the reward is the development of a deep, connected relationship.
Sustaining love necessitates daily acts of connection that reflect and support our feelings. Without these acts, no couple would stay together, or if they did, they wouldn’t experience true happiness.
Contrary to common beliefs, love is not merely a feeling but a choice and a mindset. At its core, love involves caring for others above oneself—a selfless engagement with genuine consideration for their well-being. This does not imply weakness or submissiveness; rather, love embodies an attitude of respect and deference toward others.
Love serves as a foundation for other positive behaviors in our lives. For instance, love is necessary to practice patience, kindness, and generosity toward others. The Beatles eloquently expressed this sentiment in their song, “All You Need Is Love.” When we embrace love as a character trait, extraordinary possibilities emerge for each of us.
Conversely, hate, arrogance, loathing, and indifference can be considered antithetical to love. One cannot simultaneously be in a state of love and hate. If given the choice, most individuals would prefer to interact with individuals who possess a loving mindset.
Why is this the case?
1. Positive experience: Interacting with someone who genuinely cares is a positive and uplifting experience, unlike engaging with someone who is angry or upset.
2. Improved results: People are more likely to engage and collaborate when they encounter care and kindness. Consequently, positive results are often achieved through loving interactions.
As a society, we can be quick to judge those who differ from us, leading to demonstrations of intolerance. However, I am not suggesting that we should blindly accept everyone’s behavior or admire their actions. Instead, we can approach others with a mindset of love, which will yield more favorable and enjoyable outcomes compared to a negative attitude.
To harness the Power of Love, I offer the following action steps:
- Love is a choice, not solely a feeling. Many relationships break down when the initial feelings fade. However, when love is a conscious choice, relationships can endure.
- Embracing a mindset of love allows us to recognize the best in ourselves and others, fostering tolerance.
- Reflect upon your own character: Would others describe you as a caring and loving individual? Do your personal and business interactions leave a positive impression?
- Strive to improve your behaviors in areas such as patience, kindness, and generosity—prioritizing the well-being of others before yourself.
- Recall an instance where you insisted on doing what you wanted, disregarding the desires of another person. Next time, try embracing their choice or preference, even if it differs from your own.
- Love perseveres and does not give up. It involves offering support and giving when others would quit. Consider situations where you can embrace this persevering love, such as helping your children with their homework when you’re tired or listening attentively to your partner amidst other responsibilities.
- Loving yourself is an integral part of this process. Knowing your purpose enhances your ability to love others. I recommend exploring the new Quest For Purpose ecourse.
- Remember that nobody is perfect. When you act without love, acknowledge your actions, let go of any guilt, and quickly return to a mindset of love.
- Love in its purest form cannot be destroyed or taken away from you because it resides within your heart and mind. Recognize that even if someone rejects your love, you have the power to maintain your loving mindset. Only you can choose to turn it off.
- Imagine a world where most individuals embrace a mindset of caring and love. Visualize the transformative impact it would have on our communities and relationships.
- I encourage each of you to embrace love more than ever before, both in play and in everyday life. By doing so, we will collectively benefit and create a better world for ourselves and those around us.
Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!