LOVE ME DEARLY
What Is This Thing Called Love?
It’s mentioned in every song written by bleeding hearts. Disillusioned poets in poems create it, and movies produced by idealistic directors. What am I getting at? You’ve guessed it. It’s romantic love.
This is the one area of our lives that seems to remain elusive and uncontrollable, no matter how many self-help books we read or Oprah shows we sit through. The big question is: Why do we search so hard for love?
Author and psychologist Susan Jeffers explains it like this. “What we’re really all searching for is the divine essence within ourselves”. Unfortunately our society is plagued by a constant anxious search for something outside of ourselves, spurred on by mass media and false ideals. We are incapable of loving another unless we love ourselves, just as we are incapable of teaching a child self-discipline unless we ourselves are self-disciplined. We cannot be a source of strength unless we nurture our own strength.
Today ‘love’ has several different meanings. It can describe as an intense feeling of affection, an emotion or emotional state. Love can be defined as acting intentionally, in sympathethic response to others, to promote overall well-being.
What is for sure love (in most of its meanings) involves concern for a loved one's welfare and feelings and not necessarily with any expectation of something in return. Passion, romance, and even lust, serve only to ensure the survival of the species, and bring us to marriage. Real love is demonstrable. We take an extra step or walk that extra mile. Love is not effortless. To the contrary, love is effortful. It ‘s about making the choice to love, even when circumstances may suggest otherwise (of course within reason)
There are three components that make up ‘love’ – passion, commitment, and intimacy .
Liking includes only one of the love components - intimacy. This intimate liking characterizes true friendships, in which a person feels a bondedness, a warmth, and a closeness with another but not intense passion or long-term commitment.
Infatuated love consists solely of passion and is often what is felt as "love at first sight." But without the intimacy and the commitment components of love, infatuated love may disappear suddenly.
Empty love happens when the commitment remains, but the intimacy and passion have died. Empty love can also be seen in couples that are estranged but feel that they are binded by commitment.
Romantic love is a combination of intimacy and passion. Romantic lovers are bonded emotionally and physically through passionate arousal.
Companionate love consists of intimacy and commitment. Found in marriages in which the passion has gone out of the relationship, but a deep affection and commitment remain.
Fatuous love has the passion and the commitment components but not the intimacy component. A whirlwind courtship and marriage in which a commitment is motivated largely by passion, without the stabilizing influence of intimacy.
Consummate love is the only type of love that includes all three components--intimacy, passion and commitment. It represents the ideal love relationship.
Universal love is love on a bigger scale. It is charitable, selfless, altruistic, and unconditional, it is the way The One True God loves humanity, and it is the kind of love that those who believe in The One True God aspire to have for all of humankind. This love can be expressed by prayer, service, good deeds, and personal sacrifice.
In the complex society we currently live in, there has been great effort spent in confusing the concept of ‘love’. Nowadays expressions of love may include the love of organizations, love for a body, love of food, love of money, love of power, love of fame, et cetera. The concept of love is being moved away from all that represents The One True God and his ordinance. Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and Love your neighbour as yourself are the two most important, and greatest commandments.
Our time has been stolen by infatuation, passion and over indulgence. Our environment has perpetuated falsehoods which have dominated our thoughts about love. These falshoods have wreaked havoc in the relationship arena, resulting in unrealistic expectations and broken marriages.
When we are born we are love in perfection. As we go through life we take on and carry all the imperfections placed upon us by our environment and those around us. We should not be searching for something outside of ourselves, but actually clearing out and removing all that does not serve us in becoming whole and lovable.
Nowhere do we learn more about life, and ourselves than in our intimate relationships. Here we come face to face with our strengths and weakness, our hidden fears and little green monsters. What we need to remember is that a relationship should be a place we go to for emotional, spiritual and mental uplifting and be prepared to offer exactly the same, if not more, of what we’re expecting to receive.
All this starts when you decide to find your own balance and get clear about who you really are and what you really want, and what is truly going on in our world today.
Needs create powerful illusions; they imply a lack in oneself, which we believe someone else should fulfill. Most of our needs and fears are distorted shadows of our past. Unfortunately, a lot of the time we carry this emotional baggage from previous relationships around with us, making us incapable of seeing the true potential of the relationship in progress.
Finding true love is a growth process. We are growing into our ‘Godliness.’ When we truly find it, we find true Divine Love and ourselves. Without any doubt, the day will come when you will have to say goodbye to this world, and the one thing we can take with us is our capacity to love.
IS IT REALLY ALL THAT?
The disadvantages of being an independent woman
The title of this article may leave a few women shocked and appalled to hear another woman say such a sacrilegious thing, but allow me to be heard. I will need you to empty your mind of all that you’ve been told about being an ‘independent woman’ just for a moment and allow me to explain.
Today’s society has put a lot of emphasis on women and their independence, but is it really all that? The world defines success as a good job, financial comfort, nice home and nice clothes. We work hard for these things but yet most of us are miserable inside. Centuries ago, a woman’s role was very different to what it is today. For instance back in Africa, her place was an essential part of the tribe and her role was one of equal importance as that of the man’s. Tribeswomen were respected and held as irreplaceable persons in the community and her role was designed out of logic, as she was the one mostly in or around the home looking after the children or with child which, rightfully so, made them exempt from certain duties. They had ownership of the land and also the crops, and worked to maintain the soil and grow produce. The man hunted for the meat, built the houses and made the weapons. It was all a ‘team effort’. Men and women’s roles are different because they are a team and have different needs to fulfil within the framework of the team.
Women today are in the process of estranging themselves from their men, with the ideas of independence, which translates as separateness and disconnection from our sacred womanhood. These notions are keeping us from the ‘interdependence’ and teamwork we need in our relationships. This will not make us weak, on the contrary, this will make ourselves stronger; our relationships stronger and as a result, our communities stronger, as we support our men in all that is good. I am not suggesting that we give up our well-paid jobs and start having lots of babies. What I am suggesting is that we return to our essence, our true feminine spirit balanced with our inner masculine side. Abandoning our female side for total immersion into our male side is going from one extreme to the next. Enjoy the things that women do best and where designed by the Creator to do and be.
The emotional success of our relationships with men is largely up to us. We must take the emotional lead in our relationships, so as to strengthen our families and our communities, as the men take care of their designated duties within the team. We cannot leave relationship success up to men because they were not designed for it.
In Africa the principal role of the woman, is to receive the inner divine revelation (woman’s intuition); the role of the man is to carry out in constructive tasks, the word received by her. In an African household, the woman is the recipient of the Divine revelation that shows the way to live each day, while the man is the executer.
Unfortunately we have evolved to someplace else within the spectrum of ‘woman’, leaving our men in a completely different place, far from us.
In the war of trying to be as good as, no, better than our men, some of us lose the battle and become; burnt out, stressed out and even worst, drugged out. Others just give up, stopping altogether leaving behind a shell. This fight with what we see, what is outside of us, is taking us away from our men, our communities and sometimes our children. We need to learn to listen to what we know, looking inside rather than out.
Yes, this is a major challenge for us, as every day we are faced with images that go against this. We are in jobs that we hate so as to work to support ourselves, to acquire things, and to not have to rely on anyone for anything, leaving ourselves divided and apart from our essence. We must give up feeling sorry for ourselves, singing that tired old song, ‘I’m alone and nobody wants me’, and start working on taking care of ourselves from the inside out, healing wounds and mending our hearts. Reconnect to the feminine in you, become a quiet powerful storm that shows in your eyes and not in your tongue.
If we continue to set our sights only on material things rather than the soul, we will lose part of ourselves and remain disconnected from our men.
In the West, it can be said that a lot of women have abandoned their feminine essence because of the pressure they received from mass media & society. We should remember always what was written in the Hebrew Talmud, the book where all of the sayings and preachings of rabbis is conserved over time. It says: "Be very careful if you make a woman cry, because God counts her tears. The woman came out of a man's rib. Not from his feet to be walked on. Not from his head to be superior, But from the side to be equal. Under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved."
What once was seen as a sacred holy union, is now viewed as an institution of repression. Since the 1990’s many of society's assumptions about the nature and purpose of marriage and family have been challenged. Some people argue that marriage may be an unnecessary legal fiction and this has lead to the disruption of traditional families life especially in the West. Since World War II the West has seen a dramatic increase in:
· divorce (from 6% to over 40% of first marriages),
· cohabitation without marriage, which equals a growing unmarried population
· children born outside of marriage (from 5% to over 33% of births)
· an increase in adultery (from 8% to over 40%).
Why do so many men and women who truly believed that their partners were soul mates and lovers for life, end up opponents in the divorce court? The answers to those questions are not complicated at all.
Reasons for failure:
When you analyze the reasons behind the break up of a large number of marriages, you will come to the realization that its the individual’s motives that are to blame, not the institution of marriage itself. They blame:
[a] The opposite sex, (i.e. all men are dogs - there are no good women)
[b] They start claiming marriage
[c] Their belief that no one can be trusted
[d] They blame God, religion, the church morality or their family & up-bringing
[e] They falsely claim that no marriage is meant to last
Marriage has been replaced by ‘cohabitation’. There are those who are definitely all for this because of certain material advantages, and those who are totally against it for religious reasons. Cohabitation is defined as an emotional, physical, and intellectually intimate relationship which includes a common abode and which exists without the benefit of legal, cultural, or religious approval. The cohabiting population, although inclusive of all ages, is mainly made up of those between the ages of 25 and 34. Several common reasons for couples to decide to live together include wanting to test compatibility before marrying, living with someone before marriage as a good way to avoid divorce, and/or seeing little difference between the commitment to live together and the commitment to marriage. But the three main reasons mostly used by cohabiting couples are: companionship, sexual gratification, and economic gain. Years ago in the traditional Western World, a man and a woman who lived together without being married were socially shunned; in some areas, this was even illegal. Today, cohabitation is a common (if not a majority) pattern among younger people, especially those who desire marriage but whose financial situation temporarily precludes it.
For some people, cohabitation is a way to see if the relationship is good and solid before making the step towards marriage. They try to assess their compatibility with their partner.
· Initially, nearly 75% of these couples plan to marry but only less than half actually do.
· Cohabiter marriages have an 80% higher dissolution rate than non-cohabiter marriages.
· About 40% of relationships end within five years of cohabiting and 5 out of 6 relationships do not even make it to three years.
· On average, most cohabiting relationships last two years before marriage or a break up; and 63% of cohabiting couples separate.
· Only about 10% continue to simply live together.
· The negatives of cohabitation is that it decreases the probability of marriage statistics.
· Recent social science research has discovered that premarital cohabitation is related to undesirable marital outcomes such as a higher risk of marital dissolution, greater marital disagreement and instability, less time spent together in shared activities, and less supportive behavior.
· It has also been found that men who live with women they eventually marry aren't as committed to the union as those who didn't live with their mates before tying the knot.
There are then those who opt for the casual relationship, also referred to as a friend with benefits, or fuck buddies. A casual relationship is a term used to describe the physical and emotional relationship between two unmarried people who engage in uncommitted sex acts. The intent is generally to relieve sexual frustrations.
In many cases, both parties are free to date and engage in sex acts with other persons, however some people choose to have exclusive casual relationships. These types of relationships effectively give the people involved an outlet for their sexual urges without the potential stress and time-demands of a committed relationship. Two people may elect to become friends with benefits because they are unwilling to commit to a full-fledged relationship or long term relationship for whatever reason.
Don’t be discouraged by the alarming negative statistics and don’t lose faith in holy matrimony. Without a doubt, marriage is one of the most important decisions we’ll ever make in life, and it’s an institution that still works just fine.
Do matrimony the right way! Become the right mate and learn how to choose the right mate. Prepare yourself for your mate by embracing godly morals and family values. Examine your personal beliefs and attitudes about the opposite sex and matrimony and adjust or eliminate any beliefs, feelings or opinions that would hinder you from experiencing a vibrant and healthy union. Keep the faith and true love will find you!
From: Souljah Exclusive Newsletter #2 firstname.lastname@example.org