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the KEY UNDERSTANDINGS pages listed on the WISDOM page.
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Here we are talking about LOVE in its unselfish or
altruistic form rather than in its romantic form.
What is LOVE?
Love is a feeling of BENEVOLENCE that motivates goodwill, kindness, compassion and a desire to act altruistically and to be of service to all.
Love is wanting others to be happy.
Real love is selfless and unconditional. So it is not about what we will receive from others.
The attitude of true loving kindness is like the feeling which parents have for their newborn child – the wish that their child will enjoy good health, have good friends, be capable and successful.
In an ultimate sense love is the heart of a human being.
Developing our capacity to love – to live from the heart of our being – opens up our full human potential and the full richness of human experience. Realising this potential can be considered the ultimate purpose of developing our wisdom.
Four Aspects of Love:-
Primarily, love shows as an attitude of goodwill and FRIENDLINESS to all. It is about kindness, warmth, affection, sharing, generosity, courtesy, gratitude and appreciation.
I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do,
They’re really saying, “I love you.”
– Lyric from “What a Wonderful World”.
Compassion is love for those who are suffering. It shows as tenderness, gentleness, thoughtfulness, helpfulness, kindness, sympathy, care and concern. Spontaneous, natural feelings of compassion arise when we see suffering. We feel the sorrow of others, and feel moved to help.
DELIGHTING IN THE HAPPINESS OF OTHERS
Love can take the form of delight and joyfulness for others who are experiencing good fortune or success. We can delight in and welcome their happiness, health and prosperity. We can also appreciate their good qualities and enjoy their company.
We express this love through giving congratulations, giving recognition, celebrating with them, being happy for them and rejoicing with them.
Just as parents have joy at their child’s success and happiness in life, we can experience feelings of joy at the good fortune of all beings. Such JOY is an unselfish, positive mental attitude which is beneficial for oneself and others. It cures jealousy and makes us less self-centred.
Love’s highest aspiration is to want everyone to be happy; to not want anyone to be unhappy. Love is then unlimited, unconditional, universal love and goodwill to all living beings.
Impartiality is about equality, tolerance, acceptance, inclusion, consideration and respect for all.
This impartiality is the basis for unconditional, ALTRUISTIC love, compassion and joy for everyone’s happiness. Such love does not distinguish between friend, enemy or stranger, but regards every person as being of equal worth. It is without bias, prejudice or favouritism.
To love impartially we need to distinguish between people and their actions. We may sometimes see their actions as causing negative consequences yet the person remains as being of worth and having the same original nature and potential as all of us. We may even have to protect ourselves from their negative actions while maintaining a positive attitude toward them. Keeping in mind their potential we keep open the possibility that such a person can be turned into a friend.
Ultimately we can remain kindly disposed and caring toward everybody with loving feelings and acceptance in all situations and relationships. This is a very difficult attitude to have if our experience of others’ behaviour towards us has been negative and painful. When that is the case then it is wise to accept that, for the present, our feelings are negative.
Love comes from within.
Love is the heart of our being. This inner love is not ego based. Nor is it dependent on anything external. We can recognize the potential of our human heart and the loving nature of our human spirit. This is the basis for a positive view of ourselves. We see our worth as a human being is not dependent on others or on our actions, achievements, successes or failures.
Our true nature remains unaffected by the many experiences of our life. Love remains at our core – an inner love undiminished by anything that has happened to us. Our loving nature can be freed from the fears, anxieties, painful memories and wrong ideas that keep us unhappy and unaware of the love and bliss at the indestructible core of our being. Love will manifest naturally in our life if we allow it and nurture it. We can realise our true nature and become open hearted.
If we think this way we begin to live from the best part of our nature and we bring out the best in those we interact with. We generate and stimulate love.
We can start by being kind to ourselves and having self-acceptance. A loving attitude towards ourselves protects us from self-criticism and the negatively motivated comments of others.
When we see love as intrinsic to our nature we no longer need to seek it in things outside of us. We are more able to love without thinking of ourselves. We realise we have so much to give and we find joy in giving of ourselves.
We can open up to others, and act in loving ways to all. We can regard everyone as deserving of love and respect – even those we find difficult to deal with.
Love and connectedness go together.
We are all connected to each other. When we feel connectedness we feel love; when we feel love we feel connectedness. Feeling connected makes us want to act in loving ways to others. When we feel love for others we want the same for them as we want for ourselves.
Feeling love and connection brings sharing, generosity and friendship. We feel goodwill and friendliness to all and want to be harmonious. We appreciate harmonious connections with family and friends. We support others with our love and they support us.
Life is about experiencing and manifesting love.
Life is about being peaceful, loving and happy. Living with a feeling of love is a joyful way to live. Our attitude to ourselves, to others and to life is fundamental to our happiness and that of others. We can choose to make love the priority in our life. We can be concerned for the wellbeing of everyone we come in contact with. With a clear view that life is precious and transitory we can choose to be happy and to assist others to be happy.
A commitment to universal love and altruistic action is not going to be easy. Our habits, attachments and our reactions will be obstacles. A sustained effort will be needed and life will always be challenging.
Also, even if we approach life with love we need to remember that not everyone is unselfishly motivated. We will sometimes need to protect ourselves from those motivated by the opposite of love and also from those who feign friendship and affection for selfish motives.
We sometimes pursue desires when it is love that will satisfy us.
Love cannot be replaced with material things. Love and real happiness is within us. We can live from our true nature and put our energies into what is truly fulfilling. A life of loving actions and service to others will prove more rewarding than a futile pursuit of happiness through attempting to satisfy all our endless desires. We can enjoy sharing what we have with others. We can be generous when we see that we have more than we need while others have very little.
Often when we speak of love it is romantic love that we are talking about. Intimate relationships form between two people – the result of very natural human drives for physical affection and close companionship. When these relationships have at their heart a selfless wish to see the other person happy, then the relationship will be a good and mutually beneficial one. When selfish desires are the main factors, then the relationship may be a troubled one that only lasts while the selfish desires are being met. Ideally, a close romantic relationship is two people sharing the love they find within themselves and their joy in living, without unrealistic expectations of the other person.
Loving actions have positive consequences.
All our actions have consequences. We can choose loving actions and the positive consequences they produce. Love motivates us to reflect on our actions and to always act with goodwill. We learn that with love, calmness, gentleness, generosity and truth we create happier lives for ourselves and others.
We can reflect on the consequences of our actions and learn more loving ways. The intention of love is always to do no harm and to try to be helpful to our fellow beings. We can apply this intention to everything we say and do and to the way that we make a living.
By becoming a loving person we will be less likely to act in a negative way. We naturally want to avoid harming others. Knowing and feeling that we are all connected we can’t hurt others. We know that we would hurt ourselves. We couldn’t be violent, untruthful, or take things from others when we feel love and connectedness with them. Instead we are motivated to practise generosity, patience and loving kindness.
We can be aware of what we are saying and doing; we can become thoughtful before speaking or acting. We can look for the kind and positive things to say and do that will lead to happier results. We can speak words of encouragement and look for ways to peacefully resolve problems.
Love is a constant through all the changes in our life.
Life is uncertain, precarious and ever changing. Life is not permanent. Through the changes, love is constantly present within us. Our true nature of love continues. Life is always changing but we can always live our lives in a loving way.
Awareness opens us to love and to our opportunities to love.
To love we need to be fully aware. Loving kindness and compassion depend on awareness. Developing stillness and calmness leads to greater awareness of the loving nature of our being. We can become peaceful and loving and present in each moment with a clear mind and giving our best to each moment.
With full awareness we don’t forget that love is our true nature. We remain mindful of our aspiration to be a loving person. With patience we find more and more our true nature comes through.
Copyright © 2008-2017 John Frederick Gray
Some of the main ideas for LOVE
- Love is wanting others to be happy. It is not selfish.
- Love must not be confused with desire.
- Love manifests as a friendly attitude to all and as a concern for those who are suffering.
- Love is the heart of a human being.
- Living with a feeling of love is a joyful way to live.
Some quotes about LOVE
True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.
– Antoine De Saint-Exupery.
The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance. – Brian Tracy.
I believe love produces a certain flowering of the whole personality which nothing else can achieve. – Ivan Sergeevich.
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For many more Quotes related to LOVE click here.
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For suggestions for Practical Activities and Resources related to this topic click here.
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