Dr. Debi Gilmore LMFT, Co-Founder of Building A Lasting Connection®
Love is a feeling that changes us and, in many ways, can even alter our view of the world. Love begins inside of us but can die if it is not acknowledged, shared, cultivated, and nurtured. Love may begin as a spark of interest, and then grow and mature to an all-encompassing urgency to act on it. For some, it takes courage to acknowledge and own the feeling and then do something about it. However, when love remains only inside of us, and is not shared, it will begin as an ache, and then slowly die away. No, love isn’t about you. . .it is about sharing, connecting, showing respect, kindness, and compassion for someone else.
When we fall in love, we might be caught in a whirlwind of emotions, and the shifts and rollercoaster rides can be disconcerting. For some it can be frightening. For some it is rewarding, exciting, and worthy of exploration. Love causes us to begin to care more about the person for whom we feel the affection. Some describe the feeling of love as a compelling desire to protect and care for the well-being of someone else. We tend to want to spend more time with the person we love, and maybe even feel better about ourselves when we are with them when the love is reciprocated.
The challenge is to maintain the power and intensity that comes with the budding of love. We don’t fall out of love, but instead we forget to nourish and cultivate the feeling through reaching outside of ourselves and into the world of our loved one. Love doesn’t die, it is lost and slips into oblivion if we do not tend to the feeling and offer it to someone else. It is similar to a gardener tending to his beloved roses. The gardener has specific tasks at intervals of times and seasons that encourages the bush and blossoms to thrive and bloom into glorious colors, velvet petals, and precious fragrance. All this is a result of the gardener’s loving kindness, nurturing, and attention to the needs of the rose bush.
What have you done today that sends an affirmation of love to your sweetheart? What could you do today that would remind your partner of how much you value them? No, love isn’t about you, it is a feeling inside of you that must be revealed and shared in order to grow, expand, and become stronger. With that sharing, cultivating, and growth, the love you develop will serve to shield the relationship from withering away, and will empower you and your loved one as you navigate the adversities and storms of life.