Loving another human being takes on a new dimension when we stop practicing "reactive love" and challenge ourselves to evaluate what depth of love we do and don't have to give our partner. Responding to another's care isn't wrong. But it isn't love in the greatest sense. Any one can react. It takes practice and awareness to love from the heart -- initiated from within and not from without. From a spirit trained to care. Seasoned to give. And overflowing with a desire to make another feel genuinely cherished.
We need to spend time, serious time, looking at what brings out our best in marriage and in life for that matter. When we catalogue our strengths, those assets where we sparkle and make a difference to those around us, we have a remarkable capacity to influence a marriage and create spectacular love.
Let's create a few strategies that help start or further our journey toward loving wholly without needing to first be touched.
1. Write out your definition of love -- of loving in marriage.
Write that down on a sheet of paper, revising it until you're satisfied with your answer. Then list three ways you consistently reach out to your lover and give this love to them.
2. Examine your ability to love. Ask yourself, "Is loving another person based on a deep love I draw from within myself?" Or, "Do I need to be treated special and well before I give love back?" Then list on paper three times in the recent past you have expressed loving behaviors to your life partner that you initiated, apart from something they did.
3. Define your best self. In other words, when you are at your best in a relationship and choosing to love fully, what attributes would best describe you? List on paper three statements that describe what it is about you that makes it easy or makes you successful in loving someone else.
4. Practice consistency. Unleash your best self -- at all times. Loving another person deeply isn't part time. It doesn't help to hide our shining attributes some of the time and bring them out at other times. That's acting. Not being a person who truly knows how to love with passion.
5. Be the first to reach out. Make that your ongoing goal. Beat your lover to the punch -- the caring punch -- and give before they have a chance. What a remarkable impact that can have.
6. Practice personal growth. Loving well can be learned. In fact, often must be learned before we know how to initiate love and keep it going. Admitting our huge capacity for selfishness and agreeing that we need to grow and feed our ability to love deeply, sets the stage for continued growth. Seek out avenues through coaching, counseling, spiritual disciplines, etc. to enhance your internal well of love.
So what's in your heart -- deep down where love comes from? Where compassion, forgiveness and consummate caring abide and wait to be unleashed? What's there inside your spirit that you draw from to change the life of the woman you've chosen, the man you've decided on?
That kind of love moves mountains. That kind of love creates unlimited passion. That kind of love ignites fire, kindles light and forever bonds two souls into one.
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