How would you feel if someone were to tell you that the feelings you have had for that special person in your life were never about love? Maybe you would think that the messenger is way out of line, or does not know about what she speaks.
You know within your heart of hearts how your special someone makes you feel. That feeling, to you, is love. Ask yourself this: Does the person I love, feel loved by me? Too many people are haphazardly falling into love without knowing what love is or having the capacity to love anyone.
Do you even have the tools necessary to give that special person in your life the love he or she desires?
Will it shock you to read that love has absolutely nothing to do with your heart? Love is very much powered by your mind and your soul. The heart is deceptive, it can lead you to feel all manner of things. But your mind guides you and your soul lifts you beyond rational concepts of love.
Think about the following tools when you assess your capacity and ability to love someone other than yourself.
Wisdom is the first tool you need in order to love anyone. You have to have the wisdom to discern what real love is and what it is not. You have to know how to shed those things from your past that inhibit your ability to love. And you must acknowledge that things from your past may prohibit you from loving.
Wisdom will also allow you to see the way others receive love. A key point in loving someone is knowing how that person interprets and receives love. Wisdom also opens you to acknowledging when you are being loved.
Love is something you nurture. Like a gardener who tills the land to prepare the soil, chooses the proper seedlings to drop, feeds the plants and watches them grow over time, love needs that type of patience and devotion.
Love requires long-suffering. (Long-suffering, not long pain, hurt, harm, or danger...) Love requires diligence in watching it manifest over time. Love gives second, third, and fourth chances in line with a persons true desire to do better and be better.
You cannot love without a forgiving heart. Forgiveness brings about a purity that drives its depths into your spirit. Forgiveness clears the way for reception of love. It also takes the challenges out of loving and being loved.
Forgiveness removes the conditions from love. Forgiveness heals old wounds that stand in the way of love forming. Forgiveness releases you from past disappointments and hurt.
When you are (wisely) able to put someone else's wishes, hopes, dreams, and needs ahead of your own you are truly able to love that person. Selflessness forms the more you put thoughts of yourself behind thoughts of the other person.
Selflessness takes a lot out of a person, but can be refilled from the selflessness of the person who loves him/her back. Selflessness strengthens bonds and builds trust because the other person knows he or she can depend on you.
Love is open. Love is honest. Love does not keep secrets. Love hides nothing. Love puts everything on the table. Love is whole and complete.
In order to love a whole person, you must know the whole person. To receive love from a person, you must be transparent. Otherwise, a person only loves the parts of you he or she can stand.
Transparency means that a person can see through your facade and see the inner core of who you are. Every flaw has been defined, every mess up has been outlined. You are clear through to the bone and who you are comes with no hidden agenda.
Understanding brings a number of tools together and complements them with the benefit of the doubt. Understanding gives your loved one the floor to open him/herself up to you. It means you listen with an open heart, you consider everything about the person and put his/her meaning to what gets presented to you, instead of your own interpretation.
Understanding provides a safe haven for your loved ones vulnerabilities. There is no better feeling than to be fully understood and believed.
Compassion is the safe haven for your loved one and all of his or her emotional and psychological needs. Once you understand the person, you will provide the support he or she needs to move through anything. Showing that you care and are committed to seeing the person do well, no matter the circumstance, enforces the power of love.
Compassion is your ability to feel what the other person is going through and to work to resolve whatever issue he or she might have. It is one of the action components of love.
So do you have the tools necessary to love someone other than yourself? Do you even have the tools necessary to love yourself? They are one and the same.