27 Oct 5 Secrets for Harnessing The Power of Love
by Lion Goodman, PCC and Carista Luminare, PhD
When it comes to love, everyone wants one thing: MORE!
We all need love. And it’s rare to hear a complaint about having too much of it (unless it’s alloyed with something OTHER than love).
If you want more love, and you want to enjoy extraordinary relationships in your life, don’t sit around hoping for a miracle. Take positive actions to make it happen.
It’s possible to turn dissatisfying relationships into deep and positive experiences for both you and the other person. This applies to romantic relationships, and also to relationships with friends, family members, children, and colleagues.
Here are five secrets that will help you enjoy the power of love in your life:
1. Everyone is capable of giving and receiving love. Many of us grew up with parents who could not offer the kind of unconditional and secure love we needed as infants. Love may have been contaminated by threats, shame, abandonment, domination or abuse.
The good news is that it’s possible to rewire your brain to move beyond what you were taught as a child. The latest studies from neuroscience show how flexible the brain is, regardless of age. Your relational brain is like a computer with a faulty Operating System. It’s time for an upgrade!
2. You can harness the power of love to improve your life. Love is a power in the same sense that strength and persistence are powers. Love can move people, and it can change the world. But like all powers, it has to be cultivated, nurtured and honed over time to create positive results. The power of love is a learnable skill, similar to carpentry or pottery. It begins with the desire to know true love (and not the romantic fantasy portrayed in movies), and the willingness to move beyond what happened in the past.
3. Break Your Patterns. Relationship research has given us clear maps for understanding how and why we love the way we do. One of the most important factors in your intimate relationship is how your parents interacted with you when you were an infant. Their ability (or inability) to respond to your needs determined how you now love (your LoveStyle, or attachment style). Your earliest relational programming causes you to repeat unproductive behavior patterns. By studying the way that you and your partner express love, you can begin to change your automatic reactions. Instead of always acting the same way when your partner annoys or frustrates you, you respond differently – because you can see into their needs, below the surface. This form of compassion generates more ease in the relationship. It works the same way with children, family members, friends and colleagues.
4. Practice, practice, practice. Learning any new skill requires both study and practice. Want to learn to play the piano? Study and practice. Want to become a doctor? Study and practice (under supervision!). Want to have more love in your life? Study and practice! There are specific behaviors that can quickly turn relationships around — even with couples who are about to divorce. They work because they’re based on the neurology of your brain, the psychology of your mind, and the desire of your spirit. Everyone around you is seeking more love. When you engage in loving acts, people around you change – as if by magic.
5. Make those around you feel safe. One of our core needs is to feel safe. When we feel unsafe, our threat detector, the amygdala, goes off like a fire alarm, and essentially shuts down the thinking brain, the prefrontal cortex. Where there’s fear, love can’t flow. Focus on making the people around you feel safe. Defensive behaviors drop away. Warm feelings bubble up to the surface. You’ll actually get what you’ve always wanted — more love.
This need for trustworthy and dependable relationships began when we were born, and it remains a primary need throughout our adulthood. You can learn, practice and create an abundance of love in your life. When you do so, you unleash love’s true power, which is to transform and heal both yourself and others. Love connects people and makes them whole. Healthy love makes the world a kind and peaceful place for our children, and their children, to grow and thrive.
Learn more by taking our free 5-minute LoveStyle Profile Quiz. You’ll receive a 6-page report about your own attachment style, and where you are on secure-to-insecure spectrum. Register here: www.ConfusedAboutLove.com.
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