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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What Does Love Mean to You?

Happy Valentine's Day!

To love and be loved is probably the core desire for every human. Why then, do so many people have such a hard time expressing love and many others not able to receive it?

Our pasts contribute so much to this issue, depending on whether we were shown unconditional love as little children, or denied love for whatever the reason. Some people that were deprived of love become unable to express it unless they are shown love first. How ironic is it that unless we can show love to others, there lacks a flow and so love doesn’t come back, creating a sad cycle of not-knowing-love by not-showing-love!

Some people feel unworthy of love because they don’t love themselves, waiting to accept love only after they have a better self-image. Others are suspicious that displays of affection have sexual intent behind it and hold back for that reason.

How has your past contributed to your ability to express and receive love?

Are you happy with the way that you are able to experience love?

These following distinctions of love may help uncover some information for you.
The Greeks have separate words to express three kinds of love – Eros, Phileo and Agape.

This love gets expressed through our sexuality and intimate passion! It is a deep and universal love, but is only displayed in our union with another through sensuality. Eros typically evokes possessiveness. (Valentine’s Day primarily addresses the Eros in relationships!)

A warm, brotherly type of love, nurturing deep affection for another person, such as a true friend, sibling or a child. Phileo can also extend to loving our community of neighbors, to animals and even a love of wisdom (as in philosophy) and love of man (as in philanthropy).
(It’s fun to acknowledge your Phileo friends on Valentine’s, too!)

Spiritual love, flowing through all of life and free of emotional and personal entanglements. Expressed through human relationships, it reveals mutual understanding, deep respect, cooperation and high esteem. This universal love grows peace and well-being, eventually transforming into bliss and passing all understanding.

Take this opportunity to ask yourself about your own experience of love in your life.

¤ How well do you know the Eros in your life? Are you as fully expressed as possible?
¤ Who are the Phileo relationships in your daily world?

¤ Do you know the Agape kind of love?

May you know each level of love in as fully expressed ways as possible!

Open your heart and open your arms and get ready to receive that which is inherently yours to have… you deserve it! Valentine's Day is a perfect time to stretch our love. I hug you!

Warmly, Carolyn

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