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Insights: Thoughts of Love
February 08, 2011
Thoughts of Love
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"Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver."
- Barbara de Angelis
It seems only appropriate that with Valentine's Day around the corner, that the this week's newsletter should deal with the subject of love!
Origin of Valentine's Day
The origin of Valentine's Day is steeped in mystery but legend has it that Saint Valentine sent the first Valentine's card while locked away in prison after trying to help Christians escape the harsh Roman prisons.
The valentine's card he sent out was to a young woman who just happened to be his jailer's daughter. She visited him secretly during his confinement. Because they didn't have long to talk, he would hand her a small card with loving messages (this represented the beginning of giving what we now call Valentine's Cards').
Saint Valentine sent his final card on the morning of his execution, with the scribbled words, "Forever in life and death, your Valentine".
Teenage exuberance; male caution
Anyone like me with teenagers in the family is likely to become used to the rather indiscriminate use of the the word 'love' to describe anything and everything from the weather and the latest fashions to movies, exams and even holidays.
Teenage exuberance and exaggeration aside, I think it's fair to say that the fairer sex are more comfortable and less awkward using the word love to express their strong attraction or affinity towards something or someone.
Speaking from my experience, men tend to be more cautious about when and where to use the word, being wary of the romantic associations - and relocated implications - that others may be inclined to make.
All encompassing concept
Yet, love is a far more all encompassing concept than just romanticism (in which context it can sometimes be confused with physical lust). To love is to feel a deep and joyous connection with someone or something; to experience harmony, resonance or a sense of oneness with another being, another entity or nature.
Thus love is a word that I believe we should all learn - and feel comfortable - to use less indiscriminately yet more freely, if that makes sense.
Woven into the very fabric!
Love is woven into the very fabric of our existence as we are all forms of matter or energy that are intimately connected with every other form of energy or matter in the universe.
That connection is undiminished by the unique set of values we choose to cherish, the ideas we subscribe to or the types of lives we opt to lead, using the precious gift of free will that was bestowed upon us.
The key to a more loving existence
And therein, to my mind, lies the key to living a more authentic loving existence - learning to have genuine tolerance and respect for the perspectives of others, even when that perspective seems to be in direct conflict with your own.
I know, this is easily said but not so easily put into practice!
Putting it into practice - a suggestion
So here's a suggestion...
The next time you come up against someone with language, ideas, views or behaviours that seem to contradict what you have been taught is normal, good, right or acceptable, pause and reflect on how thoroughly boring this life would be if every one of us held the same views, talked and felt the same way and pursued the same objectives.
Dwell for a moment on the wonder that is our individual uniqueness and the gift of freedom we have to create the life we desire.
Then, rather than focus on your differences, think about the connections you share with that person - they may not be obvious at first, but if you try hard enough you'll find plenty.
And if you can't find it in you to wish the person well in words or deeds, simply offer them loving thoughts.
After all - it is our thoughts that are the little rockets of creative energy that form the building blocks of the lives we lead.
What better than to build the foundations of your life on love?
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