Balanced Giving & Receiving
With Valentine’s day this month, it’s a time to celebrate Love.
Love of yourself, love for life, for struggles, and for everyone in your life.
No matter who or where you find yourself, know that there is great love available to you in every moment.
Let today be a celebration of the love that you have for yourself and your ability to share that love with everyone who means something to you.
What different types of love are you currently experiencing and how are they impacting your life?
1. “Eros” or Erotic Love (Physical)
Eros represents the idea of sexual passion and desire, tantra and spiritual sex, and physical pleasure.
2. “Philia” or Affectionate Love (Mind)
Philia, or friendship- platonic, “without physical attraction.” Philia is a type of love that is felt among friends who’ve endured hard times together.
3. “Storge” or Familiar Love (Memories)
Storge is primarily to do with kinship and familiarity, and it is a natural form of affection that often flows between parents and their children, and children for their parents. Storge love can even be found among childhood friends that is later shared as adults. But although storge is a powerful form of love, it can also become an obstacle on our spiritual paths, especially when our family or friends don’t align with or support our journey.
4. “Pragma” or Enduring Love (Unconscious)
Pragma is a love that has aged, matured and developed over time. You can find pragma in married couples who’ve been together for a long time, or in friendships that have endured for decades. Unfortunately, pragma is a type of love that is not easily found. We spend so much time and energy trying to find love and so little time in learning how to maintain it.
Unlike the other types of love, pragma is the result of effort on both sides. It’s the love between people who’ve learned to make compromises, have demonstrated patience and tolerance to make the relationship work.
5. “Philautia” or Self Love (Soul)
In order to care for others, we must first learn to care for ourselves, it’s self-love in its healthiest form. You cannot share what you do not have. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either. The only way to truly be happy is to find that unconditional love for yourself. Only once you learn to love and understand yourself, will you be ready to search for the spiritual freedom of the Self
6. “Agape” or Selfless Love (Spirit)
The highest and most radical type of love, Agape is spiritual love. It is an unconditional love, bigger than ourselves, a boundless compassion, an infinite empathy, “universal loving kindness.” It is the purest form of love that is free from desires and expectations.
The Five Languages is a concept developed by couples’ therapist Gary Chapman. He’s written a book by the same name, simply by taking a simple online quiz: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/
Here’s a brief description of each of the 5 languages:
• Words of Affirmation: Expressing affection through affectionate language, or by offering praise or appreciation.
• Acts of Service: Actions, rather than words, are used to show and receive love.
• Receiving Gifts: Giving and receiving objects as tokens of love and affection.
• Quality Time: Expressing affection with undivided, undistracted attention.
• Physical Touch: With this love language, the speaker feels affection through physical contact.
When you know the Love Language of the people you care about, it’s a real game changer. For example, my husband’s Love Language is Acts of service, but mine is words of affirmation.
It’s a pretty classic pairing – and before we knew our languages, it led to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Realized that we had different love languages, I suddenly understood why I sometimes didn’t feel loved and appreciated. I also realized that I could learn to receive his way of expressing love for me.
As with all communication within a relationship, it’s better not to save everything up for one intense confession. Rather, it’s something to work on in small ways daily.
There a bonus here, too: as good as it is for you as a parent to know how your kids are best able to receive your love for them, it’s good for the kids to know that they have a preference. Even if that preference changes, the knowledge will stand them in good stead throughout their lives.
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