"There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread."--Mother Teresa
Summer, and it is the wedding season. I have the pleasure of assisting couples choose their vows, create a wedding blessing and conduct a ceremony that reflects their unique partnership. For a couple it is no small journey to make between the moment of "falling in love" and committing to marriage. Yet, in spite of the divorce statistics, many couples still choose lifelong partnership.
Last week in Cannes, I saw a beautifully filmed and poignant movie: Hardly Bear To Look At You. Following a tale of unrequited love, it was excruciating to view. I have been there. More than once. Why the pain? Through the eyes of the filmmakers, I watched the vitality of the main character drain through his obsessive love. He nearly drowns in the hope that she might, one day, share the attraction he feels. One gazed; the other was gazed at. This couple lacked real connection and contact.
"Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction." --Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The bizarre thing with obsession, as I witnessed in the movie, is that pain and pleasure were intertwined and interminable, addictive and emotionally debilitating. An intense emotional attraction that ends painfully offers a wake up call, a lesson to be learned, hurts to be healed.
1. What is the power of attraction?
The power of attraction causes you to connect with a person, situation or series of experiences which lead to learning and self-fulfilment. In any lesson, there is a blessing or a gift.
The love in your attraction provides a mirror. If you are needy for love, you are likely to attract another needy person. When you depend upon someone else to make you happy, or they depend on you to make them happy, your capacity for fulfilment gets depleted. Ultimately, you are the one responsible for experiencing happiness in your relationship.
When you are at one with yourself, being true to you and your values, you are better placed to attract another who will grow in loving with you. The power of attraction then evolves into a deeper, more rewarding love.
2. What purpose does the power of attraction serve?
The greatest purpose of the power of attraction is to take you out of your known world and into something new. You have no control over this attraction. You are best to accept, co-operate, learn from -- and enjoy it!
A loving relationship is an upward spiral leading to a greater qualify of life. It also offers you the chance to resolve issues, insecurities and self-doubt, so you become more compassionate, understanding and empathetic. Those chances show up in the irritations, frustrations, disappointments that come as you invest your loving in another. Only you can know your hidden fears or anger.
3. Why do you "fall in love"?
"Falling in love" is awakening to a greater part of you: the wealth of love within you. The heightened energy you experience may burn itself out, as with an infatuation, or unrequited love. Or it may lead to the joy, fulfilment and enriching experience of a lifelong partnership.
Within the first two years of being together, the lessons you have to learn with a life partner usually show up. He loves sport on tv; she enjoys documentaries; she is tidy and well organized; he likes living more chaotically; she goes to bed early; he goes to bed late; he plans; she is spontaneous. You know the kind of thing. Do you have the love to sustain you above and beyond your differences? The tolerance and humour to ride the rough times? The intention to put loving first?
Married 81 years, this couple may have something to teach us.
In a wedding ceremony, the moment a couple face each other to express their vows, and commitment to the marriage, is when I experience the blessing taking place. I happen to be the fortunate witness close at hand. When the couple turn to face me again, they are radiant and clear. Their faces shine brightly with love.
Loving has nothing to do with bad economy or good economy. Love is the source of who we are, and what we may yet become.
"Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul." --St. Augustine
As our possibilities for connecting with each other expand, our world grows smaller. You can feel empathy more than ever before. It starts with loving you, and then the one next to you.
Do you have a love story to share? How has your love grown during your marriage? Do you recall the first time you "fell in love"?
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