Love in Unusual Places

| February 2, 2016 | 0 Comments

Every year around Valentine´s Day we get inspired by love stories and then seek to show the special people in our lives how much we love them. It inspires me to think of love as the glue of society. It is the ingredient that makes a bonding, human relationship possible; it even extends to other living beings, like animals and plants.

Any gardener will be able to confirm that without love for this world’s flora there is no possibility of a good gardener. The same is true of animals. Even the love a rancher has for his livestock will ensure better quality meat, since it will help determine all his actions and decisions along the way.

But back to love among humans. Is there a greater love than that of a mother for her child? I think it is unmatched and without equal. Then there is love among siblings. If it exists, it is a special bond that continues beyond the life of the parents. Parents can sigh in relief knowing that their adult children demonstrate loving actions towards each other and stay in touch in a busy and transient world.

However, the obvious kind of love that we celebrate on Valentine`s Day is the romantic one. Yet, I’d like us to consider the impact of having love in our lives to enhance all other aspects of our life encounters? That is where love truly permeates. A person who has a strong and steady love relationship in his or her life (be it a parent, child, partner, sibling and friend) will see the world with a different set of eyes and make decisions based on the experience of love.

To emphasize this point, studies have shown that people are more generous to strangers after minutes before having been the recipient of generosity and kindness from random strangers. These kinds of actions are in response to a general feeling of love (we tend to think of love as only the romantic kind, but there are many forms of love).

It is difficult to be cold hearted with loving people in one’s life (sociopaths and narcissists excepted). These insights mean that we can make our love grow by sharing it with others, as they will in return share it again with more people. Ultimately, this is a great way of contributing to the world. This can almost be known as a secret amore weapon as in “loving greed and hatred to death” (which can also explain that wretched expression of loving someone or something to death). This Valentine´s Day, why not consciously extend our love to the people around us and visualize it, extending it further and further…from neighbor to neighbor and around the world.

So where do we start with this newfound kind of love? First, we must find love for ourselves; that’s where it starts. It is not possible to find a kind, loving partner, if we despise ourselves. We would not be able to accept and embrace kind treatment and instead look for someone who treats us poorly.

This Valentine´s Day, take the extra effort to show appreciation for your self. Pamper yourself and enjoy the feeling of love. Then, go share the love.

Author Sabine Starr is a psychologist licensed in Vienna, Austria, currently living and working in Mission Hills. She has written numerous articles for professional psychology journals. For further information, visit www.starrcoaching.com and follow her blog at www.HealthwithTaste.blogspot.com; and a new social media offering is www.facebook.com/StarrCoaching.

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