Tag Archives: love

Five-step Path to a Live of Love

Deepak Chopra, co-founder of the Chopra Foundation and co-author of the new book War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality, reveals how to create a life founded on the world’s most generous and joyful emotion.

Love has arrived at a strange crossroads. It seems very odd to say, “I want to be more loving. Is there a scientist who can help with that?” But in modern life, our notion of love has shifted. More and more we are told—in magazines, learned journals and media reports—that love can be broken down into medical explanations, that it is produced by reactions in the brain, both chemical and electrical. We may wish that love is divine, ideal and life-transforming, the news says, but to be realistic, we should throw out our old, unscientific notions and learn more about what the brain is doing to us.

I strongly oppose such a view of love—in fact, it frightens me. On the spiritual side, there’s a completely different and higher view of love, which goes something like this: Love is part of creation, woven into the very fabric of the universe. We love one another because we have tapped into nature at a deeper level. Yes, the brain is responsible for giving love its physical expression, yet ultimately, love comes from the soul.

A catchy phrase from an old pop song said, “Love the one you’re with.” Although you can journey outside yourself, the person to give your love to (and who, in return, must return that love), in truth, the one you are with every minute of the day, is yourself. The more rewarding way to find it is to go inward to the very source of love. If you do not do this, your love will depend on your mood swings, on how others see you and on the lovable and unlovable traits you see in yourself and others.

As soon as we measure people by what is lovable and unlovable, trouble arises. The unlovable person is labeled odd, an outsider, bad or an enemy. We create unhappiness instead. We practice nonlove, that voice inside that whispers in our ears, “They are different from us.” Or, “Fight for what you want and don’t quit until you win.” Or, “When bad things happen to other people, it’s their own fault.”

We need to restore love as the key to happiness—a difficult task. That’s why we need a spiritual path, so that we can walk away from nonlove and its confusions. Here are five basic steps that can lead you to a new life where everyone, most especially yourself, is worthy of loving and being loved.

Step 1: Believe in Love
When you say, “I love my work,” or “I love my partner,” you are expressing belief and showing faith in something outside yourself. As good as that is, even better is to have faith in love as part of yourself. When anyone asks me, “How do I find the right one?” I always give the same advice: To find the right one, become the right one. Belief in love is a spiritual kind of belief. It holds that love exists as a universal quality, outside ourselves, that can never be defeated, only covered over. Thus love and nonlove are not equals. Love is permanent; nonlove is temporary.

Step 2: Don’t Limit Love to a Few People and Deny It to Others
It’s very common to say: “I love my own children, and I love my neighbor’s children. But when it comes to my kids, I love them more.” That’s perfectly understandable. But there’s a spiritual teaching, going back thousands of years, which goes “The world is my family.” If love is universal, no one can be left out. To leave others out of your love is the same as inviting them to leave you out too.

Step 3: Make the Search for Love an Inward Search
Often we feel loved and insecure at the same time. The one we love is somebody we invest in emotionally, and emotions, by definition, are changeable. The one you love may turn indifferent or worse. The problem here is a kind of illusion. When you take someone into your heart, it’s like filling a hole inside. If that person should spurn and reject you, suddenly the hole reappears as a terrible ache. Yet the hole was always there, and only you can fill it permanently. Ultimately, the inward journey is about finding your own fullness, something that no one else can take away.

Step 4: Seek Other People Who Value Love As Much As You Do
There’s an old tradition: If you want to be wise, be in the company of wise people. I’d say the same is true about love. If you want to know about any human experience, seek out those who have walked the path of that experience. In our society, we are embarrassed to talk personally about truth, compassion, faith and love. This inhibition is part of our insecurity. Think of spirit as a community; it’s not a talent you develop like a teenager learning to play the guitar. Perhaps community is too big a word, however. Perhaps you can start by finding one person who is wise in the ways of love, who knows what it means to live at a deeper level. That’s a wonderful step in the right direction.

Step 5: Believe in Love As a Powerful Force
The first four steps depend on this one, believing that love has its own power. This is a power to transform. It’s a power that cuts through doubt, suspicion, distrust and even hatred. Unless love has its own power, there are too many reasons to act from nonlove. We see all around us people who madly pursue pleasure or money or status because they don’t trust in love. Without such trust that love can make a difference, of course you will pursue surrogates. Pleasure, money and status are compensations when love is absent or too weak to transform your life. No one has to give up on such surrogates, but it makes a huge difference to know that they are nonlove. The power of love is that it dissolves nonlove. That’s the kind of power you find on the spiritual path.

None of the steps is automatic. Each takes work and practice. But now, more than ever, it’s all important to reinvent the spiritual side of love. The steps may not be easy, but they are not impossible either. You only need to follow them with all your heart.

http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/Deepak-Chopra-The-5-Step-Path-to-a-Life-of-Love

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Rude insensitive BF

Dear globalcounselor,

Please tell me if I am being overly sensitive as by BF thinks I am. He is rude and uncouth. A simple request like pass me the kleenex please could get a “why can;t you get it yourself”. For no reason my boyfriend behaves as if I’m the enemy. I am finding this behaviour intolerable. It is one of the things that is a deal breaker for me. I cannot stand someone who dismisses me like that, does not respect my feeling and most of all yells at me in an uncouth manner. He tells me that’s who he is and if I do not like who he is tough. He is not trying to understand me. That hurts. I never speak to him in a disrespectful manner.  I think I am ready to call it a day with my BF. People don’t  change unless they want to and I don’t want to change myself to start accepting it’s okay for a person to disrespect me and make me feel bad all the time.

Quitting

Dear quitting,

Say thank you to God for the lesson your BF has taught you. He has taught you what you do not like in someone and what kind of behaviours you do not want be around. What makes you feel good, what makes you feel bad and what is a deal breaker. You’re right, people don’t change unless they want to and if you want to be around them, it’s you have to change.

If your BF makes you feel bad more than he makes you feel good.  If you know that his negative ways are more than his positive ones and you know you will happier without him in your life. It’s time to move on.  Love means you have to make compromise on both sides, love is  wanting to make each other feel good. When that can’t happen, there’s no foundation to build a life.  Be a friend to you take care of your spirit pursue a life of  feeling good (God).

 

I’m in love with an older woman

Dear globalcounselor,

I am a 20-year-old university student from Morocco and I find myself madly in love with a Canadian woman twice my age.  She is beautiful, gorgeous and she does not treat me like a younger person. She gives me respect.  She is smart.  We spend a lot of time together. She reached out to me during the first few months of being in Canada. She invited me to her apartment for dinner, took me to meet her family, just like a good friend. I  used to say she is like my mother but now I am sorry I said that because I am so attracted to her. I want to see her all the time. I think she is attracted to me too but scared because of the age difference. I need to be with this woman, how can I break through the barrier of age, how can I let her know that I love her and want to be with her more than a friend.

In love

Dear In-love,

Gratitude can sometimes be mistaken for love. Friendship can also be misconstrued for something deeper. While the age difference is significant  I’ve seen people transcend age to be together before and I don’t believe that age should be a limiting factor between consenting adults.  However be cautious, you would not want to spoil a good friendship if declaration of your love changes a perfectly great relationship.

I suggest you spend some time away from this person, give yourself a break to reflect on your feeling, it will also give her time to figure out if she cares about you more than a friend.  After about six weeks apart reevaluate your feeling, then be honest about feelings you are having for her making sure to tell her that you do not want to lose her friendship. If she is not interested, leave it alone for another couple of weeks without mentioning it again.  Perhaps you can try to date another woman.  If she was playing hard to get, she will be the one to reach out to you.  Sometimes it’s all a game.  Seriously, focus on your studies and go with the flow. Love will come your way another day if this does not work out.

 

What is love?

Dear globalcounselor,
 What is love and how do you know when someone really loves you? I have not found a definitive answer to either of these questions because every time I feel I’ve finally got it, it slips away from me.
 curious george

Dear curious george
  Love is an ideal to which we strive.  Boy-girl love is one attribute of what we call love because loving is a selfless, caring thing. You only want to be nice and to please, it brings with it a feeling of renewed energy and sunshine and you feel you can conquer the world. It is when you can easily forgive someone who has wronged you and not keep a running tab or what the person has done and has not done. It is giving of the self and being present with that person, laughing at silly things and turning the ordinary walk in the ordinary park into walking in an enchanted garden surrounded by singing angels. It’s a feeling out of this world.
  Love is when simple pleasures transforms into something special when you’re with that someone. I think you know you’re in love or that person loves you when you bring out the best in each other.

Simply put love is total acceptance of another, warts and all.

 

Blast from the past

Dear globalcounselor,

Recently I bumped into an old flame I dated way back in high school. I am now in my mid-forties.  I’m talking a few years here. But it so happens we are both single again. Both of us have been married to other people and have four children between us.  We exchanged phone numbers and have been talking a lot lately.  I find that I am drawn to this man again. I am not sure if it is love or just loneliness. I’ve been separated for about 6 years and I’m now ready to date again. I don’t want to make a mistake and I don’t want to give my old boyfriend any ideas. I like the fact that we talk on the phone and I look forward to his phone calls. Any advice on how to proceed here?

Unsure

Dear Unsure,

There is always something comforting about familiarity. Loneliness on the other hand can wreak havoc on our lives and lead us to make unwise decisions.

  I am sure both you and your old flame are quite different people now.  Your life experiences would have changed you for good or bad.  I think the best way to see if this connection is anything other than simple friendship is to be open and honest about the way things are.  There is no harm in a few dates and spending time together with an open mind.  If there is something real and you both think it is worth a shot, why not?  But whatever you do create a love relationship to fill the void  of your loneliness.   There is a good chances that will not sustain the relationship. You mayl end up spoiling a good friendship.  Having a good friend can be quite satisfying.  Make sure you start a love relationship for the right reason.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Where did Valentine’s Day come from? Yes there is a Saint named Valentine but what does a Saint and love have in common?  You would imagine that a Saint is not supposed to love, well not in the way Valentine is marketed nowadays.

This is another perfectly great holiday that has been transformed into a business opportunity. We are encouraged to go out and buy chocolate, cards, flowers and other gifts for the one we love. Heaven forbid if a woman/girl does not receive an appropriate gift or acknowledgement from the man in her life. Then he must not love her. We get so caught up with the commercial aspect of holidays it is hard to know whether we respond to the person or the perception of things.

    I once had a boyfriend who was a radical and he refused to buy into any commercial blackmail. He never honored any of the standard holidays with gifts or even acknowledgement.  At Christmas he cooked an ordinary meal and he invited me or if he was invited over by my folks, he would come, no gifts. It bothered me but it never bothered him. He never bought gifts or stuff like that. He would ask what for? Do I look as if I have a ring in my nose?  At first I thought he was mean but later I understood his reasons. He was quite sensible and principled in fact.

 He honored the things that were important to him e.g. the day we met and he celebrated that. He honored my birthday and did something special for me. He loved flowers and he did not wait until it was my birthday or Valentine’s Day or any such thing to buy me flowers.  He once told me he would love to buy me fresh flowers everyday if he could afford it because there is something beautiful and refreshing about flowers. They light up a room. That’s true.

      So why Valentine’s celebration?  According to history and bits and pieces picked up over the years, St. Valentine was a priest who defied the Emperor of Rome, Claudius II’s order not to marry anyone, and married couples secretly because he believed in love. When Claudius found out Valentine was executed on February 14th and thus this day became a day to celebrate love.  In the olden days men would pen love notes and secretly sent it to ladies they admired. Touching story.

Torn between race and love

Dear globalcounsellor,

I am a torn black man. I am pro-black.  My life’s work is fighting against discrimination and racism. I love my black sisters and I think they are the most beautiful women in the world. I used to frown of my black brothers who chase after or marry white women. I am not racist but I thought that was a slap in my black sisters’ face.  Our women are strong with their own unique beauty that threatens other men. I used to think that the man who can tame a black women is truly a man because he has been tested.  My dilemma is that I am utterly and totally in love with a white girl. She is a beautiful blonde at that.  I am not that kind of guy who fall for TV image of what beauty is.  Sometimes I wonder if the good Lord is trying to teach me a lesson by making me fall in love with with a white girl. I am embarrassed and so conflicted as well as afraid. If I don’t act properly I am going to lose this woman who means everything to me.  How do I come out of the closet to my relatives and close friends without being seen as a hypocrite.

The girl is white but blacker in her ideas that some black women. She understands systemic racism and she is fighting against all forms of discrimination. This is her mission in life. She is smart, articulate, kind and very generous.

hypocrite?

Dear hypocrite:

It would be a shame if your pride stand in the way of your happiness. Falling in love is personal though some might argue that it is political. The heart is a borderless, raceless and expansive landscape. You’re at a cross-road of enlightenment. You can choose to return to the darkness of ignorance, racism, discrimination or enter the light of freedom of choice, freedom from racism and discrimination to judge a person by the content of their character as opposed to the colour of their skin or hair. It’s up to you to confirm that you are a hypocrite or to confirm that you are serious about fighting against the isms. Good luck.