Love: (noun) - a strong feeling of affection.
Huh, that doesn’t sound as nearly as tricky as I expected. Considering all the great, art, poetry and songs that lament how complicated, painful and disastrous finding and being in LOVE can be.
The reality is, finding… falling in… feeling… and attracting LOVE isn’t the hard bit.
Maintaining, nourishing and growing a strong feeling of affection that lasts years? A LIFE TIME?
Now THAT’S, the nitty gritty hard bit!
So, how do we learn to do that? Is it a class in school, we skipped? A course we opted out of at University? Does it fall to our parents to teach us how to love and be loved, to communicate, resolve conflict, anger and resentment, to rebuild trust? Who was supposed to teach us all the skills and techniques to extend that strong feeling of affection, no matter what?
Like, you know, when life does what life does?
The dream job, turns nightmare? You haven't slept in 2 months because, new baby!? The investments, bottom out? The market dips and the you’re now underwater on your house? Your sweet child gets a diagnosis you didn’t plan on? YOU get a diagnosis you can’t even say out loud yet? The money is gone? Your mother passes away? Your father-in-law has to move in with you for 24 hour care? His kid has suddenly morphed into devil spawn tween? Your kid is football star in the making, with 3 practices a week to show for it? Your boss is making your life hell? The commute is gobbling up 3 hours of their day? And Sex? Ahhhhahahaha, What’s that?!?!
When and where was THAT seminar, the one for ‘keeping that strong feelings of affection’, alive and kicking, when the shit’s really going down?
Breathe. You’re not the only one. WE ALL MISSED IT!
Because, ‘relationships’, isn’t something, as a society, we structure into a formal teaching.
Which is kind of odd, no?
I mean, we wouldn’t throw someone into nuclear physicist work without any training, schooling or expertise and say, here you go, power the country and reduce our carbon footprint please!
We wouldn’t pick some wonderful kind super well intentioned person with no skills, no real track record of long term success and say ‘hey you, stop world hunger! Here is the head seat of this charity, now get this done and no mistakes, okay buddy??
I wish I could write here, we wouldn’t vote someone in to run a country without… but UM, yikes!
In all seriousness, I picked some VERY important jobs, didn’t I? However, let’s be real here.
LOVE is a HUGE part of our ability to be happy with our lives. RELATIONSHIPS, deep meaningful LONG TERM connections with other human beings, has been proven to not only increase our satisfaction in life and mental health, but our actual life expectancy!!
So why aren’t we investing in more personal development, learning and teaching around love and relationships?
Well hello old frenemies, FEAR & SHAME.
Somehow, we have come to believe, that asking for help in this area, means we have already failed.
Which, again, is pretty odd.
If I wanted to get a degree in business, it wouldn’t be required or assumed, it’s because I’ve failed in business. If I wanted to get a certification in Yoga, the opposite would be assumed, people would natural think, I must be really good at yoga already if I want to become an instructor!!
Whenever there is not a structure in place to teach and to learn, fear and shame have all the space they need to take root and grow. Fear & Shame lead to hatred and distrust of what we don’t know. We definitely DO NOT need any more of that in our world today!
So, is this point of the blog where I say, HIRE ME, I’LL TEACH YOU!!
No. Nope. Not even close.
I just want to let you know, it’s okay… that you don’t know.
That you don’t know, how to communicate better with your partner. It’s okay if you’re not sure if you LOVE them anymore. It’s okay that you may even have a roadside littered with past failed relationships.
LOVE, the strong feeling of affection, takes work to sustain, not magic.
I write, offering the kindness and compassion in the sacred knowledge that NO ONE IS BORN WITH ‘IT’.
And with the HOPE that YOU CAN GET BETTER at relationships.
Just like you did with yoga, or rowing, or your career, or at making smarter investments with your money, or at being a parent, improving your tennis game, or negotiating your salary for a new job, or baking pinterest worthy (and not so pinterest worthy) cakes...
Communication, conflict resolution, overcoming the negative head chatter, rebuilding trust, facilitating goodwill and true partnership, are ALL skills that can be learned and improved upon. Even the SKILL that is LOVE, the feeling of strong affection, is a muscle that requires an exercise regime.
Today, simply embrace this kindness, compassion and hope.
Kindness, compassion and hope, is how you kill fear and shame, with fire!