Wild wonderful love!

When was the last time you were in love? Is love a familiar feeling for you? Check: You know it’s love when you ______________. So your type of love has the flavor of __________________.

What’s your definition of love? When you’re in love, what does the world look like? Is there anything that feels better than love? What does this “love” energy make you capable of?

What does it “cost” you to be in love? What are the “gifts” of being in love?

Especially to men now: How easy is it, for you to talk about love? What do you believe about other men who openly express their love… show their commitment and respect towards a woman? How do you relate to men like that?

To those who are single: What price are you paying for being on your own? And being alone has many gifts as well. What are those for you?

Who’s had unpleasant memories from being in love? What has love “cost” you? So much so that now, the topic of love (intimacy, connectedness, relatedness) scares the %$#@ out of you! Some even say to me, “I don’t do love anymore!”

What’s important about those lessons you’ve learnt from love lost? Tennyson said, “It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” Here I acknowledge those going through divorce, those who’ve lost loved ones to illness or other means. From my crises I’ve learned the meaning of, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Depending on what love means to you, I understand it may sound trivial and frivolous to wish you love. I wish you love with great respect and I ask the questions so that we get conscious about our perspective on love.

Somebody commented to my client, “Don’t ask Tessie about relationships, whatever you do.” I chuckled when I heard this. Obviously this person is the sort who would learn business from someone who’s never run business, take lessons on success and achievement from someone who’s never failed. That would pretty much wipe out the credibility of tycoons like Donald Trump, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson, wouldn’t it?

Whether you agree with me or not, I’ve noticed a pattern for how people “do” love. It seems people with means (money) work to control; that’s their M.O. Who marries whom… that sort of thing. Uncertainty is chaos for these people. Free will is too risky!

Just like how they manage risk over their investments, they work to manage their “brand,” how people think and feel about them. Too bad love has other ideas and its potency often takes a life of its own. Notice the “tribe” then swoops in to impose sanctions!

For people with less, it’s more about needs. First, it’s the need to survive, then about security and stability.

No thanks to Mills & Boon, Barbara Cartland, or Walt Disney classics I’ve discovered that “happily ever after” is very hard work. Bust the myth: “Heaven on earth” is a decision, not Shangri – la atop some ice – capped mountain.

Just like the menu isn’t the meal, someone’s photograph isn’t really the real person, just like a holiday brochure isn’t really the trip, now I know that love is a transformational experience, not just a description. Love is a verb, an attitude – a complete and whole new way of being.

What are the pillars of a successful relationship? Here are the ones I practice:

[1] Understand that everyone behaves according to what they believe – shaped by their values, intentions, and past experiences, not according to reality at all. Therefore to relate to someone, we want to understand what’s important to them and respect that.

[2] Once we understand how they think, we will understand how they feel. Don’t find fault with the behavior until you understand where the
person is coming from.

[3] Believe that behind every action is a positive intention. Believe that everyone is doing the best they can with whatever they have at that
moment. They are making the best choices open to them. With understanding comes acceptance and compassion.

[4] In relationships, everyone wants to increase their choices, not limit our power. Therefore people with the most flexibility have the most influence in any situation. Those who control eventually end up losers.

[5] Intention doesn’t guarantee results. We may want the best things for another but we soon learn we have no control over their response.
Love is a decision we make for ourselves, driven by our highest purpose.


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