Linda: Love is an action that shows our devotion in the many gestures we make for each other every single day. If the love that we feel only stays in our heart and in our mind and we don’t speak and show it, we are not deriving the full benefit of the love that we experience. It’s as if our love is lying dormant and under-utilized. If we want to access the fullness of love, we can begin by telling ourselves the truth about whether we are afraid, complacent, procrastinating, or merely inexperienced.
You may take this short quiz to assess how well you and your partner are doing:
- Did you say “I love you” today?
- Did you kiss your partner today?
- Did you give your partner a heartfelt hug?
- Did you take the time to look them in the eyes?
- Did you deeply listen when they spoke to you?
- Did you check to see if there was a way you could lighten their load and then did that very thing?
- Did you check in to see how their day went?
- Did you offer them something interesting that you learned today?
- Did you make a conscious choice to overlook something that they did that was annoying and successfully let it go?
- Have you been honest with your partner about what you feel and need?
- Did you ask your partner if there was anything that they need from you?
- Did you choose to focus on your partner’s signature strengths and how those traits enhance your life?
- Did you make your partner’s needs as important as your own?
- Did you find something to thank them for and say it with enthusiasm?
If you answered “yes” to many of these questions, you may congratulate yourself that you are showing up and paying attention to display the love that you feel in your heart. It is in the many actions, acts of service words of affirmation, affectionate touches, gifts of our attention, taking time to show our partner how deeply they are valued, that allows love to permeate the partnership on a regular basis.
If a partnership feels flat, distant, boring, or in any way unfulfilling, many people tolerate the disappointment and stay in the disempowered position of waiting for things to change. When we apply ourselves to recovering from any fears that are holding us back, resentments, attitudes of complacency, holding a low standard, or expecting our partner to bring us a loving partnership, we are using our time wisely. Clearing out that which is in the way of becoming a deeply loving human being will lead to a rich and fulfilling life.
We can make a conscious choice to become proactive. We can choose to participate in those behaviors that enliven the relationship and commit to becoming a great lover. Instead of waiting for the loving feelings to drive our behaviors, we can commit to practicing the behaviors daily, then watch to see if love comes pouring in.
Such is the power of authentic intimacy. It can be nothing less than transformative in its potential. In our heart-of-hearts, we all know that this is true. We know that we are not only enriched by deeply loving experiences but that we can be fundamentally changed by them; changed in a way that makes us more available to the world and to our own experience. A deeply loving relationship requires a high level of responsibility. It is a labor of love and can bring the greatest of joy. Please don’t take my word for it; find out from your own experience what’s really true.