“Many of us confuse infatuation with love. Love is not an emotion but rather an attitude of gratitude!” ~ Ken Pierce ~
I was watching a movie called “Granny’s Funeral.” It is about a married man who is having an affair. His grandmother has died and he is responsible for planning her funeral. He is looking at grave plots with his mistress.
The funeral director is explaining burial plot options including a “two seater” plot with space for two deceased. Mean while his mistress has wandered off looking a tombstones. While he is alone with the funeral director, another male, this unfaithful man wonders out loud whether he really loves his wife anymore.
A Two Seater Burial Plot
The funeral director responds casually by asking him if it would be OK if some other man was buried with his wife in a “two seater” plot? The man immediately retorts with indignation and alarm, “No, of course not!” His sudden reaction surprises him and gets him wondering who he really loves. To whom is he most committed.
“Passion is the quickest to develop, and the quickest to fade. Intimacy develops more slowly, and commitment more gradually still.” ~ Robert Sternberg ~
Love is Not Support Without Challenge.
Your commitment to someone comes from love. But, your love is not an emotion. Maybe you confuse love with infatuation, many people do! Love is not infatuation. Love is not just support without challenge. Your love is the synchronous (in time) and symmetrical (in place) combination of support and challenge. True love is an awareness, an attitude of gratitude … an attitude of appreciation.
“It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.” ~ Ralph Ellison ~
An easy way to demonstrate it to yourself is to remember or imagine yourself, being a parent. Put that little child’s face in your mind’s eye for a second and feel love for them. Notice how your love is a combination of the support your receive from them (hugs, kisses, fun, laughter, etc.) and the challenge you equally receive (dirty diapers, sickness, worry, responsibility, etc.) This is true love!
The same process works equally well for pet owners who will notice a combination of support from your pet (excitement, affection and devotion) and the challenge (care, cost and worry). This is also true love.
Affairs are Common
Affairs are quite common in intimate relationships. Affairs are learning tools for couples. Affairs always come in pairs! Affairs come in at least seven forms. There is never one affair, there is always two occurring simultaneous in compliance with the natural laws of symmetry and energy conservation. If your energy isn’t going into marriage it is going into something else.
Affairs are infatuations; a one sided perception in a two sided, dualistic universe. Thus affairs are temporary and reveal learning opportunities. Affairs are a combination of extreme pleasure and extreme pain. This is so you can learn the truth about your self and your life.
For example, I remember the look on the woman’s face when she realized her affair with their new baby was just as damaging to her relationship as was her husband’s affair with his colleague. I also remember the look on the man’s face when he realized his affair with building his business was just as damaging to his marriage as was his wife’s affair with her old boyfriend. One of these couples went on to rebuild their relationship while the other did not.
There are Two Constant Affairs in Every Relationship
Every person with a significant other is having an affair with their “fantasy version” of their partner. This fantasy version only supports them. Meanwhile they are living with the real person. This real person both supports them and challenges them equally because this is loving them.
“The highest compact we can make with our fellow is, ‘Let there be truth between us two forever more.’ ” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~
Love is Level of Awareness: An Attitude
Love is a level of awareness of this truth. When you have attained it, it is not emotion, it is not infatuation, it is not resentment! Rather it is an appreciation for both your partner’s support and their challenges. You appreciate your partner because you know you need equal amounts of support and challenge to maximize your growth and development. The purpose of a significant other is not to be happy but instead to raise your level of self worth in areas where it is underdeveloped.
“Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the ‘right stuff’ to turn our dreams into reality.” James Womack
A Love Test …
Taking an idea from the movie mentioned above, here are two questions to help you determine your level of commitment; your love for your partner. Since all our current perceptions are based on time and space, let’s use them. Think carefully before deciding your response.
Time – Is this the person you are most comfortable spending time with today?
Space – Is this the person you most want in the grave plot next to you? Or, if you prefer, is this the person you want to spread your ashes for you?
These questions may seem bizarre. But they can help you to uncover some of your highest values which may have been hidden in your confusion or frustration with your partner. The thing you are most committed to are your own values. When you have connected your significant other to achieving those values then you will demonstrate commitment to that person.
“The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love.” ~ Anne Morriss ~
This week’s Take Away Tool provides you with more questions to check your level of commitment to your significant other. Have a look and if I can assist you further, feel free to contact me.
“You are most committed to your own values … when you perceive your significant other serves your values, you will be committed to them!” ~ Ken Pierce ~
POINTS TO PONDER AND REMEMBER are:
1. Infatuation is a one sided perception of support without challenge.
2. True love is a two sided perception of equal support and challenge.
3. Love is not an emotion, it is a level of awareness which creates an attitude.
4. Love is an attitude of gratitude or appreciation.
5. You are most committed to your own value system.
6. Commitment to others comes from linking them to your value system.
7. Commitment to your significant other reflects an awareness of how they enable you to be you.
YOUR TAKE AWAY TOOL:
Assessing Your Commitment!
- Step 1 – Review the seven areas of your life using the questions below.
- Step 2 – Identify how your significant others serves your values specifically.
- Step 3 – Share this information with your partner and ask them to do the same thing. Notice what you have learned and its’ effect on your relationship.
- Step 4 – Notice your level of commitment, your level of love is not an emotion … it is an attitude of gratitude for your partner … an attitude of appreciation!
- Spirit – is this the person who seems the most connected to your own spirit? Would it be OK if another person was as spiritually connected to your partner as you feel today?
- Mind – is this the person who challenges you to grow, learn and evolve yourself in your life? Would it be OK if yourpartner was challenging another person to grow, learn and evolve instead of you?
- Vocation – Is this the person who most knows why you do what you do in your life’s work? Would it be OK if your partner had this level of interest and insight in another person’s work?
- Finance – Is this the person who you most wish to receive your wealth now and after you are gone? Would it be OK if some other person wanted your partner to receive their wealth now and after they were was gone?
- Social – Is this the person who most accepts you as you are now? Would it be OK if your partner was more interested in accepting some other person instead of you?
- Familial – Is this the person who you feel the most at home with, congruent with, centered with in the world? Would it be OK if your partner felt more at home, congruent and centered with someone else?
- Physical – Is this the person who you trust to decide on your well being in a medical emergency? Would it be OK if some other person was making medical decisions about you instead of your partner?