Love Growing Through All The Ups And Downs
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Love The Zen Way
expert on i.village.com, I am the author of many books on relationships
and Zen including Living By Zen, (Timeless Truths For Everyday Life),
www.livingbyzen.com Some other books of mine include Zen And The
Art of Falling In Love, (Simon And Schuster), Zen Miracles (Finding
Peace In An Insane World), Wiley, and Why Men Leave, (Putnam), What
He Can’t Tell You And Needs To Say, (Putnam).
We are meant
to live a life of love. However, no matter how successful some are
in other aspects of their lives, they wonder if it’s possible to
have the same success in love. Although things may start out wonderfully
in the beginning, there is always the fear that it won’t last, that
difficulties will arise, feelings will start to change. Then when
things alter, as they naturally must, many have the mistaken idea
that the love is disappearing. . They wonder what went wrong.
wrong. Change is natural and inevitable. It does not mean that the
love has gone away. That is a mistaken idea of what love is. We
simply have to know what love is, and how to keep it growing, through
all the ups and downs.
When we initially
fall in love, we feel we have found “the perfect person.” A tremendous
excitement takes over. We project many wonderful qualities upon
our partner and block out any faults. Then we feel that we, too,
must be so wonderful to have a partner who is so ideal. For many
there is the feeling that they have finally discovered someone who
will be able to give them all the love, approval and inspiration
they have sought all their lives.
This is a huge
demand to make upon another person, but it happens anyway. When
this demand is not fulfilled, a deep disappointment can arise. It
seems as though the partner has failed us, but in truth it is the
unrealistic demands we have made that is causing pain.
Take a close look at what you are expecting from your partner. Is
it possible? Are you setting yourself up for a fall?
no one can make up for years of upset. No one can give you all you
need to feel whole. You must learn to love, grow and become whole
on your own. You must become your own best friend, and also learn
to be a friend to the other
After a period
of time, when we feel more secure in the relationship, it is inevitable
that reality starts to set in. Different qualities in our partner
become obvious. It’s hard to keep pretending that the person matches
all our dreams. It is at this point that questions and doubts start
to surface. Perhaps there is a desire to “change” the other to meet
our image, or a feeling that if they loved us enough, they would
Both stop a
moment and think carefully. Another person does not exist to meet
all of your needs and dreams. This is not love. It is using anotheras
an object to meet our needs. This desire itself cause our pain.
No one has to change for you to love them. Nor do you have to change
to be worthy of love. You can never change enough to please another
person. The work of love is to be able to love the other just as
they are, and to also love yourself.
The work of
love is the work of learning to accept the other person, and also
to accept yourself. Love is not a feeling that stays the same all
the time. Love is a verb. It grows as we face change and difficulty.
Love grows through actions we take, through understanding and through
developing the ability to really know who the other is and to really
become their friend.
“A feeling that
is here one minute and gone the next cannot be called love.”
Shoshanna, Ph.D., psychologist,workshop leader and author is a long
term Zen practitioner whose work integrates Zen and everyday life.
This article is based upon her most recent book, Living By Zen (Timeless
Truths For Everyday Life) http://www.livingbyzen.com.
Take a minute to go to the site to find out more about the book.
Dr. Shoshanna, the relationship expert on i.village is also the
author of Zen And The Art of Falling In Love, (Simon and Schuster),
Zen Miracles, (Finding Peace In An Insane World) and many other
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Her personal website is http://www.brendashoshanna.com
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