“The task is not to seek love but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you built against it” ~ Rumi
As we approach Valentine’s Day we can’t help but to think about love. “What is love anyhow?” We believe that love is an energy and is expressed through generosity, gratitude, appreciation, kindness. etc. What does the expression of love look like in relationship, and what reduces or destroys that love?
1. Often we appreciate our partners, but too often we keep that appreciation to ourselves. When we access the energy of love, we tell our partner regularly what we appreciate. We spend more time catching them doing something right and letting them know about it, versus catching them doing something wrong and complaining. Of course, we will notice the things that annoy us, but the real question is, where do we focus the majority of our attention?
2. Another way we express love is through acts of loving kindness. Acts of kindness are unconditional gifts we give without an expectation of anything in return. It is something we do for our partner for no other reason than it makes them feel loved and cared about.
3. Perhaps the greatest gift that we can give each other comes in the form of simply “listening.” True listening happens when we care more about what the other person is feeling and thinking, and less about our own position. This is what we call listening from the heart. There are specific skills to this type of listening and they are: mirroring, validating and empathizing. Read our new book for a more detailed explanation about how to do this.
4. The one thing that destroys love the most is negativity. Negativity in any transaction ruptures the connection: whether it’s intentional or accidental. How do we do this? Sometimes it’s so subtle we don’t even see it… negativity may come from phrases such as “You always…,” “You never…,” “Why did you…?”, or “I can’t believe you…” These are what we refer to as “fighting words” because at their heart they are filled with criticism and negativity. So what is negativity? It’s anything your partner perceives as negative. If your partner thinks it’s negative, it’s negative!
So there are things that we can do to enhance the energy of love and things that we do that deplete it. Valentines Day is always a good time to reconnect to this energy of love and remember why you are together in the first place!