Do you remember the first time your partner told you they loved you? How it made you feel?
Do you remember the moment you first loved them? Do you remember being anxious about saying it to them?
Love is the universal feeling we all want to have. It’s why it’s been a constant in stories and art for as long as humans have been around.
So, if it is so ubiquitous and desirable, why does it seem to be so difficult to hold onto? That is the very subject I am tackling today with my guest Ira Rabois, a long-time teacher at the Lehman Alternative School in Ithaca, NY and the author of Compassionate Critical Thinking: How Mindfulness, Creativity, Empathy and Socratic Questioning Can Transform Teaching.
Segment 1: In your article for The Good Men Project you state that to keep love alive, it’s important to know how it is born. In fact, that’s the title of the article. Why is this so important?
Thank you for inviting me to be on your show.
Knowing how love is born or knowing how any emotion is created in us is important because it is a crucial part of knowing ourselves. It is knowing how we work. Knowing ourselves better makes it possible for us to know others better, and thus to have a more fulfilling and equitable relationship. It makes it more possible, when all that passion or confusion rises in us, to know what to do with it and what it means.
When we feel this love or attraction to someone, it is so powerful it is easy to think that love arises all at once and that the other person is responsible for the excitement, attraction, feeling of completion.
But love, like any emotion, arises in stages, and includes different components like sensations, feelings, thoughts, beliefs and images. Even when we think we feel love at first sight, it is “Wow” at first sight, waking up at first sight. Our attention is focused. Then we feel good or bad, want to run away or approach. Then memories, thoughts, evaluations, choices are made, full-scale emotions are born.
And it is not the other person who fulfills us. It is our loving itself that fulfills us, our mind feeling love that fulfills us. It is the fact of opening up, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, to risk, that makes us feel important, capable of being loved.
Segment 2: You mention some of the ways love is misunderstood or gets off track. What are they?
Yes. We get off track when we lose touch with both ourselves and the other person.
We forget that love, like any emotion, gives meaning to events, to the world. We go toward what we like and run from what we fear….
**To hear the whole interview, go to WebTalk Radio.