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Love and Happiness

Love and Happiness

What needs to work in a relationship?

First, relationships start with ourselves. When we master that relationship, we then can expand our relationships with a partner, family, community and customers. Intertwined with our relationships is spirituality, health and finances. We are in a relationship with all of those facets simultaneously in life.

To take it a step further, you even have relationships with objects. For example, take your favorite cup, how would you describe that cup? What are some of the characteristics you like about your favorite cup? Whether it is a champagne flute, etched, pretty, and sleek, or a 32 oz. mug, all those different aspects are subliminal characteristics you are looking for in a relationship.

So, for example, I drink out of a 32 oz. cup. I need a lot of love. I want to drink that all day long. I want to be sipping ‘in love’. That is one of the things I strive for in my relationship with my wife, Caryl, to be in love every day. Metaphorically, with a big cup, I can take a sip and I am drinking a gallon of water a day. I am drinking ‘love’ all day long.

How does one love oneself?

It is hard for most people. Most of us are brought up in an environment where our parents and family probably did the best they could; but in retrospect, more than likely there was a lot that they did not know. For me growing up my parents were emotionally unavailable. They did not know how to encourage me or validate me. My self-confidence was down for a long period in my life. So, one of the first things I started to do was to hang around people who believed in me, saw my gifts, and kept reminding me of them. And through that I started to see them for myself.

In 2008, one of my big revelations occurred with Twitter when people started responding. I started to utilize my gift of coaching on Twitter. That was a personal validation. People were asking questions. With every step, I gained more self-confidence and realized my gifts and skills. So, if you are in a period of self-doubt or are unable to love yourself, just look at the little things you have done.

A great exercise is to write a 100 accomplishments that you have achieved in your life, something that you are proud of. Everyone has a deep well of brilliance. Know that you have already accomplished so much, and probably have not paid attention to those accomplishments. It is a revelation to see what you have already accomplished. Start celebrating those moments!

Is there a correlation between loving others, and self-love and self-confidence?

There is a nurturing part where our confidence comes from. Our bottom line need is validation. Most of us get that validation through some expression of love. When we are in a place of love, we are going to be confident. We are going to feel more accepted, and from that we can be more loving. Often people get hung up because when they feel unlovable that is when they need love the most, and sometimes people start pulling away. It is hard at times to love somebody when they are not lovable.

Should we love by the Golden or Platinum Rule?

The Love Languages is the epitome of the Platinum Rule. Everybody knows the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule states ‘we should do onto others as we would do onto ourselves’. Whereas, the Platinum Rule states ‘we should do onto others as they would do onto themselves’. If I loved you the way I want to be loved, it is not going to fulfill your needs.

A perfect story is one that was conveyed to me by my first coach. He received a phone call from his wife one day. She said, “Meet me downtown.” And, he said, “Why?” She said, “Just meet me downtown.” So, he met her downtown and they were on the corner, and he said, “What’s going on? Why are we here?” She stated, “Just follow me.” They go in the building, into an elevator, and get off at a marriage counsellor’s office. And, he looked at his wife, and stated, “Why are we here?” She still said nothing. They get into the counsellor’s office. The counsellor asked “Why are you here?” Now she finally opened up and expressed, “Well, he doesn’t love me!” He voiced, “What do you mean I do not love you?!!! I hug you all of the time.” She looked at her husband and conveyed, “But, you never say the words.” In his culture, his family hugged as an expression of love. Throughout their entire relationship she felt unloved, because her family expressed love with words. She needed to hear the words, I Love you. And, he never said those words. So, even though he loves her, and feels great about their relationship, she feels he doesn’t love her because he hasn’t expressed it verbally.

Importantly, if you learn each other’s love languages – how they best respond to love, how they feel loved – you will create a healthy, loving relationship. Gary Chapman wrote an excellent book called ‘The Five Love Languages’. Everybody has five primary needs in love: receiving gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, and quality time. You can take this assessment test, and share it with your partner. Have your partner take the same test, so you can find out their primary Love Languages.

In my relationship, for me, it is words of affirmation and quality of time that are vital because they were needs that were not fulfilled growing up. For my wife, Caryl, it is acts of service. So, if I was to follow my coach and share with Caryl words of affirmation and quality of time, it would not have the same meaning to her. Acts of service like doing the dishes, the laundry, going food shopping will warm her heart and brighten her day with a big smile.

Another way is to write a list of all the ways you felt a warm rush of love. What happened? Did someone hold your hand? Did they play with your hair? Did they open the car door? The expression of love is an accumulation of all the little things. Very rarely is it the gigantic effort unless your primary need is receiving gifts. And that’s okay, but with most of us, it is the accumulation of little things. It is not that you have to do all of them. For example, ‘I feel loved when you open the door’, or ‘I feel loved when you spend time with me.’ It is important to put the ‘or’ in your request, so you do not overwhelm your partner with ‘and, and, and, and.’ Then your partner will feel like they must do all of them at one time. If you give them a list of little things they can be do along the way, you will start building that foundation.

Remember, find a way to keep courting, to keep falling in love with each other. There always will be ups and downs. If someone would have told us that when we were younger, we would have had a more realistic vision of what was going to happen. We tend to get surprised when we hit those bumps because we think it should be this happy ever after. Most importantly, relationships on a soul level bring out the things we need to heal, give us the ability to help each other, grow and evolve – physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and become more available for each other, and to become the best we can be.

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This article was originally posted in Bellésprit magazine. The magazine content features topics of inspiration, guidance, personal experiences, and spirit messages all leading our diamond in the rough to healing and growing into the best ‘diamond’ we were meant to be. Be sure to subscribe to Bellésprit Magazine, a wealth of information.

 



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