I was drawn to this stream of consciousness at a recent social gathering when the Karaoke machine played “Stop In The Name Of Love!” by the Supremes. I immediately time traveled back to 1965 when young women would jump up to sing along, smile and mimic the sexy moves of the hottest female singing group of the time. Music was a lot about romance then.
I don’t know if we were immersed in the drama of the lyrics because that’s who we were…dramatic. Or, if in our naiveté we were yet wise enough to understand that love doesn’t always feel good. The song told us that love was not enough to sustain a relationship; it warned us about potential heartache. So why did we want to feel it; “do” it so desperately? Was it because when love worked we felt complete?
And why do we still dream about, hope for, believe in, rejoice over and wonder how to successfully “do” love? Over one million books are available on Amazon Kindle about love. My google search “What is Love?” rendered 1,130,000,000 results in 0.32 seconds on June 1, 2015.
Physics describes love as chemistry. Philosophy talks about love as a passionate commitment. In romance novels, love is the driver of all great stories. A Benedictine nun says, “Love is free yet binds us”. And as expected from a psychotherapy perspective, love has many features to include: Philia a deep but usually non-sexual intimacy between close friends and family; Ludus a more playful affection found in fooling around or flirting. Pragma a mature love that develops over a long period of time between long-term couples and involves actively practicing goodwill, commitment, compromise and understanding. Agape a more generalized love, not about exclusivity but about love for all of humanity. There are many successful ways to “do” love. And there are many common qualities critical to that success to include: giving, sharing, connecting, accepting, communicating, committing, enduring and forgiving. Love not only is, but love does.
I didn’t “do” love well when it counted most. My wedding vows included 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends.”
But mine did end. I didn’t know how to step out of the fairy tale and into a place of emotional authenticity. I didn’t know how to give my heart a voice when it ached. I didn’t know how to make right what was wrong and I didn’t know how to ask for help. I thought the image was more important than the reality.
Of course I wish I could have gotten it right. Nevertheless I am much wiser now and luckily now is not too late.
So, how do you “do” love?
I invite you to join this conversation? I would “love” to hear from you, success stories as well as lessons learned. Please comment and share.Until next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.