Thursday, December 12, 2013

How Love Speaks to Us

There is something is us that cries out to be loved. Isolation deflates us. It completely trashes the human psyche. However, just as love is important it is also just as elusive. We have created a society where we teach our children the trajectory path to happiness is love, marriage and children...exactly in that order. Worse, we have been taught that love is a destination not a journey to be shared. We no longer teach people exactly what love is and how to love. And how could we when we were never taught ourselves? I mean come on you can't teach what you don't know.

It has been discovered that there are five languages of love. You can actually check out the book. It's call the five love languages by Gary Chapman. People show their love by words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service or physical touch. These are the ways that people 'speak' to each other to communicate their love. The problem lies in the fact that if we are unaware of our love language and unaware of our partner's love language then it's like we are speaking two different foreign languages and all that ooey gooey love we felt at the beginning will dissipate and our relationships will fail. The illusion of intimacy evaporates.

Unaware of our partner's love language, people generally take one of two paths. They resign themselves to love an unfulfilled life of misery or they opt out and try again. However, research indicates that a third option is available. That is to recognize that love is a temporary emotional high and once that is over, they now have the opportunity to pursue real love. Love that unites reason with emotion. It requires will and discipline. I asks that you show up for the other person, and to allow yourself to be loved by another person rather than to simply fall in love.

Ultimately this is to recognize that beyond all the chemical reactions that occur in the brain and affect the body when one falls in love, for example, oxytocin plays a role in bonding after sex and vassiprosin is released into the brain during sex to support the pairing of a couple and dopamine... oh our beautiful friend dopamine who keeps that good feeling going...we love dopamine. But I digress. I mean after all this chemical release, love is a choice.

Love is an effort and a discipline and we need to know that it is a responsibility because ultimately that person's life is enriched by our effort to genuinely love them. Furthermore, our lives are genuinely enriched by their effort to love us. This makes me think of the gift of reciprocity. We often forget that what we do has an impact on others.

So I decide to show up for love. I recognize that my love language is a little of all five with a majority falling into physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time and acts of service. That's what people can expect from me, whether it is a best friend, a lover or a husband. That is what I bring to the table. How about you?

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