by Dr. Scott and Shannon Peck –
In fact, before reading on, stop for a moment.
What do you think are the top five secrets of lasting love?
Here are the secrets we live ourselves:
Acting with kindness is often not easy to do. Partners who understand real love know that this is a critical moment of their relationship. Arguments that lead to angry or mean words will be fatal to love lasting. This is a moment to dig deeply into your inventory of love skills and realize that keeping the sweetness in your relationship is far more important than any argument. This simple awareness causes your heart to soften into higher alternatives than an escalating argument. The heart needs to feel safe for love to flourish. Without kindness, love can easily head south. By consciously deciding to be constructive rather than destructive, the energy can move toward solution.
Easy? No. But this is what people in lasting love relationships do. You agree to disagree. You let each other share strong-felt feelings while the other listens. You are respectful. You use a loving tone to help extricate both parties from the fuel of anger. You never make critical remarks that will linger like daggers in the heart of your partner long after this argument has faded. You work towards a mutual win-win. Sometimes that means trying to calm down and even being quiet for a day and letting emotions digest and recover.
2. EQUALITY: Equality? How boring, you might say. Well, guess what? Equality means that your needs are just as important as another’s. And another’s needs are equally as important as yours. Without equality, love will be doomed to eventual death. With equality, love has an opportunity to expand into powerful new dimensions.
Imagine what happens when one or more of those questions result in inequality. Lasting love starts melting like a receding glacier. It may not be obvious on the surface, but lasting love can disappear very silently, strangled in the inner heart.
How can love that was once on fire become strangled just through being treated unequally? Because one heart wants to express and be heard and be considered just as much as the partner’s does. But when the heart is made to fight for having a turn to be valued, it slowly loses hope and gives up. Sadness and resentment then replace the love once there.
Partners in lasting relationships know this. They know the power of equality. They work to empower each other and to tune into each other’s needs, wants and dreams. They help each other’s weaker areas turn into strength through encouragement, support and even shared skills. The result of this attitude of equality is a vast empowering of the love you experience together.
3. LISTENING: It’s amazing what happens when partners listen to each others’ hearts. They discover an infinite gold mine of continuously evolving ideas. If you want love to thrive like an Amazon rain forest in full season, start listening to your partner’s heart.
We all have dreams. Inner desires. Hopes. Ideas. Concerns. Past traumas. Fears. When someone listens to us well, all these emotions can surface into higher healing and expression. Often, when we’re listened to well, we figure out things just by allowing pent up feelings to surface and our dreams can come alive too.
If you want your love to be lasting, get good at listening. Put your own ideas aside for the moment and really take in what your partner is saying or feeling. Be silent. As he or she talks, softly say, “Tell me more…” with a heart and face that truly means what you are saying. If you are being authentic, the love will begin to flow. Listen without judgment. Your partner will feel it to the core.
This quality of listening takes love to amazing heights. Ask yourself, what is more important than one’s dreams being deeply cherished or one’s heart being truly listened to? Listening will take your relationship into a bond of intimacy where your hearts can resonate deeply.
4. JOY & APPRECIATION: Often, as partner’s get used to each over the years, joy slips away. They get used to a routine of taking each other for granted. This lack of appreciation is fatal to lasting love.
Partners who practice appreciation find that romantic feelings flourish and that playfulness and teasing occur spontaneously and often. After all, with kindness, equality and listening already in high gear, the path to joy opens quite easily.
5. SHARED SPIRITUAL VALUES: Shared spirituality takes relationships into a higher dimension of love where each other’s higher self is honored by knowing the great value and purpose each one’s life carries. Partners then organize their lives with this as their center, helping each other to become all they are meant to be, to bloom and flourish and contribute to the whole.