"Loving...is seeing another person for the down-to-earth, practical, immediate experience that another human being is. Loving is not illusory. It is not seeing the other person in a particular role or image we have designed for him. Loving is valuing another for his personal uniqueness within the context of the ordinary world. That is durable. It stands up. It is real."
- Robert Johnson
Lovers, to your stations. Its countdown time for the season of love. Hallmark and florists are suiting up, restaurants are taking reservations. Guys are telling me that they know they'd better 'get with the program' and deliver more than chocolates and roses, but what? The 'what' can never be satisfied with material 'stuff' so that the female species can have a brag-a-thon. That's not what touches the heart. Even Psyche, who was married to a god, known as Amour, could not resist 'digging deeper.' It's your opportunity to play a winning game, just like the New Orleans Saints, if you are willing to check the line-up and where you stand.
The Valentine's Day Myth. With the whole 'to-do' that Western marketing creates around Valentine's Day, it's easy to buy into the notion that love should reign on one day: February 14th. Movies and romance novels cast their spell around the subject, leaving most with the impression that 'it's now or never.' Don't get me wrong: someone who desires interest by his/her partner does well to have a game plan. All I'm saying is that showing the person you adore that you love them is a 365 day affair.
The opposite of love is not hate. It's indifference. More love wilts from neglect than any other cause. Doesn't it make sense, then, to know your Love Intelligence Quotient? After all, your Intelligence Quotient has been measured, and maybe, even you're Emotional Intelligence. But, at the end of the day, what matters more than love? Everyone wants to enjoy its benefits, know the experience more deeply, more consistently.
Take the following Self-Quiz, where, no matter what your score, everyone's a winner!
Simply answer 'yes' or 'no' to the following questions, by circling your response.
Do you know your special loved one's:
1. color of eyes
2. favorite color
3. what makes their smile special
4. most common source for laughter
5. most attractive quality
6. their favorite piece of music
7. their favorite book
8. their favorite movie
9. their personal favorite scent
10. their favorite flower
11. their best relaxation activity
12. their favorite massage spot
13. where/if they're ticklish
14. place they've always wanted to go
15. secret dream for their life
16. their favorite play
17. their favorite shape and texture
18. their favorite song to sing
19. their best childhood friend's name
20. biggest pet peeve
21. most important value
22. biggest life risk
23. risk they'd like to take, but are hesitant
24. deepest disappointment
25. greatest blessing
26. favorite quality of yours
Scoring: Each 'yes' equals one point, each 'no' equals zero points. Add up your total points. Remember, no one's a 'loser' on this self-test! If you scored:
26 points: Bravo! You are a Love Master in motion! Heart expansion, deeply
caring about who you love, (including yourself), is your
20-25: Rock star Lover! You're our hero! There's no stopping you now!
Keep love alive by staying on the adventure of discovery.
15-20: Love Attractor! Voila! You're on your way. Just step up your game
of enquiry, curiosity, praise.
10-15: Lovebug! Congrats! You're in the game, on your
way to loving relationships in the Major Leagues.
Don't stop now. The rewards are worth it.
5-9: Love Trainee: Well done. You've shown enough interest to
'suit up,' be taken seriously as someone who
wants to enrich not only your own experience
of connection, but your loved one's. Practice
the game of discovery every day to enhance
0-4: Love Aspirant: Awareness is the first step to transformation.
You are courageous to take yours by reading
this article, and taking the quiz. This shows
good intention, the foundation for more love in your life.
The Bad News. Actually, there's no bad news no matter how you 'scored.' Even if you came in at the bottom of the 'pecking order,' with focused baby steps and sincere desire, you can only 'move up' in becoming the best you can be in the Love Department. There truly is room 'at the top' of this business.
The Good News and Practical Implications.
1. Becoming a Love Master means you can lay down the burden of playing the right/wrong game on yourself, clubbing yourself over the 'noggin' with the 'what's wrong with me' kind of nonsense. You came into this life as a Love Master. Just look at a newborn baby, if you doubt my words. You, too, are a picture of the best love has to offer. Just step up and claim your rightful place in the pantheon of love.
2. No matter where you are, you can use these questions as starting points for building love bridges with those you'd like to demonstrate greater interest, and appreciation. My husband and I use them as ways of 'updating' our 30 year marriage. Remember, 'no one cares how much you know until they
know how much you care!'
3. Let's get on the "Myth-buster Bandwagon" when it comes to love. Too often we connect the wrong dots when it comes to intimate relationships that grow stale, and point the finger of blame in the wrong direction. When the 'flame' begins to wane, it may mean that a bit of 'fanning' could improve things considerably. Our loved one is busy growing in some way, if we are willing to 'tend the garden' and explore what's in their heart, and new; if we cultivate this newest, even if 'itty bitty sprout,' with our sincere interest. It's time for all of us to give up the notion that we know all there is to know about the people we love. Otherwise, love goes sour. They are evolving everyday, just like you and me.
4. If you are 'lover-less,' or lacking in a loved one, remember that you can use this enquiry to pose questions to people you'd love to cherish. Feel free to update the list and keep it growing.
What lets you know best that you are loved, cherished, valued? Who have you known that did the best job at modeling love? What have you learned? What's your next growth step in Love University? Let me know! Wishing you a very loving, fun, and adventuresome Valentine's Day. Thanks for forwarding this to all those you cherish!
You can receive notice of my blogs every Wednesday by checking Become a Fan at the top, and follow me on Twitter (DrCaraBarker), Dr.Carabarker@gmail.com By the way, labor and delivery on our 'creative newborn' are coming along nicely, the due date before Valentine's Day!
Follow Dr. Cara Barker on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrCaraBarker