Lately, I have been thinking a lot about love. Love between parents and children, spouses, friends, and so on. What are the parameters that justify alienation of love and what can be expected of love? I am a person who loves deeply and is loyal. In my experience, loyalty and love can be used as currency to force behaviors and allegiance. I think loving someone equates to unfailing loyalty except when the relationship is toxic due to the maladaptive behaviors of one or both parties.
From a big picture point of view, I think love is something felt for people you are close to and those who brighten your day. In my early life, I had an extended by choice family and decades later, those individuals still feel like family. There are also people who squandered our relationship and after extensive self work, those people feel like strangers.
What are your experiences with love? Do you find love to be positive or harmful? How would you change your present experiences of love if you could?
Here are a few ways to build adaptive love and be a person who is worthy of long lasting love.
- Self honesty. If you cannot honestly be yourself and have to hide your true nature, you won’t be able to show up in a love relationship.
- Loyalty. It is important to be loyal to those who possess positive character traits. Reinforcing maladaptive behaviors in others is not helpful for anyone.
- Truthfulness. If you are constantly showing approval for others as a social norm requirement, you are on shaky ground. It simply is not fair to harm others because you cannot be honest.
- Strong character. Be the kind of person who is always improving him/herself and a person who can be counted on. Be unshakeable in your loyalty to loved ones. Do not entertain/participate in gossip with regard to anyone and especially the people you care about.
- Nonjudgemental. There is a caveat here, it is important to avoid maladaptive behavior/situations. However, it is never your job to force another person to feel or think differently. If you cannot accept another person as he/she is, lovingly choose to be separate.
All the best!