February 15, 2008
February 15, 2008

DThe Different Shades of Love

We expect love to be wonderful. Sweep us off our feet, or at least to be constant and sustaining. There is the love we have for the opposite sex. The love we have for our children. The love we have for our relatives. The love we have for humanity. Each love has a different component.

One item which they all have in common is that they exasperate our patience. Our lovers are flawed, they stray or if loyal do not always support our feelings or behaviors. They are not always considerate of our needs. In fact that goes for the love of children, relatives, and humanity. We are frequently being disappointed by the performance that does not meet our expectations of love.

It seems to me that the only creatures who know how to truly love are our pets who accept all our moods and actions loving us unconditionally: only hoping that we will treat them kindly in return.

Often society judges the acceptance of poor performance as a flaw in itself which makes it difficult for a person to accept and forgive.

We choose the love that is pleasant and peaceful] with the components of interests in common or at least compassion for our emotions. That, at least is the goal of most of my clients. Reaching that goal requires a skill called active listening which is imagining yourself in the shoes of the other and trying to verbalize how that person must feel. When this is accomplished, amazingly, love has a better chance of surviving the pitfalls of life.