When it comes to love, everyone wants one thing: MORE!
We all need love. And no one ever complains about having too much of it.
If you want more love and if you want to enjoy extraordinary relationships in your life, don’t sit around hoping for a miracle. Take positive actions to make it happen. It’s possible to turn ordinary, dissatisfying relationships into deep and positive experiences for both you and your partner. This applies to your romantic relationship, but also to your relationships with friends, family members, children, and even your colleagues. Here are six secrets that will help you enjoy the power of love in your life:
1. Everyone is capable of giving and receiving love. Some people grew up in families that did not teach them the right lessons about love. Love may have been contaminated by shame, abandonment, domination, threats or abuse. The good news is that it’s possible to rewire your brain to move beyond what you were taught as a child to stop repeating your self-destructive patterns. The latest studies from neuroscience show that you can rewire your brain, regardless of your age. Your relationship brain is like a computer that got programmed with a faulty operating system and you need to update it.
2. You can harness the power of love to improve your life. Love is a power in the same sense that strength and persistence are powers; it can move people and it can change the world. But like all powers, it has to be cultivated, nurtured and honed over time to create positive results. The power of love is a learnable skill, similar to carpentry or pottery. It begins with the desire to know true love (and not the romantic fantasy portrayed in movies) and a willingness to move beyond what happened in the past.
3. Focus on your heart and your breathing. While you’re doing this, remember a very positive experience you’ve had. This simple act puts your heart into a coherent state, which calms your mind and gives you more perspective. When you practice this simple exercise throughout your day, life gets easier and relationships improve. Love increases spontaneously because you’re more centered and openhearted.
4. Break Your Patterns. Scientists who study relationships have given us clear maps for understanding how and why we love the way we do. One of the most important factors in your intimate relationships is how your parents interacted with you when you were an infant. Their ability (or inability) to respond to your needs determined how you now love. This early programming causes you to repeat unproductive behavior patterns in many of your relationships. The good news is that by studying the way that you (and your partner) love, you can begin to understand your automatic reactions and to change them. Instead of always acting the same way when your partner annoys or frustrates you, you respond differently because you understand what they really need. This compassion generates more love and ease in the relationship. And it works the same way with children, family members, friends and colleagues.
5. Practice, practice, practice. There are some things that you just can’t learn without practice. Want to learn to play the piano? Practice. Want to become a doctor? Practice (under supervision!). Want to have more love in your life? Practice! We teach specific behaviors that can quickly turn relationships around — even with couples who are about to divorce. They work because they’re based on the neurology of your brain, the psychology of your mind and the desire of your spirit. Everyone around you is seeking the same thing— more love. When you begin to engage in loving acts, the people around you change.
6. Make those around you feel safe. One of our core needs is safety. If we feel unsafe, the rest of our brain/mind shuts down, and love can’t flow. When you focus on making the people around you feel safe, defensiveness drops and warm feelings bubble to the surface. You’ll actually get what you’ve always wanted — more love.
This need for trustworthy and dependable relationships began when we were born, and it remains a primary need throughout our adulthood. You can learn, practice and create an abundance of love in your life. When you do so, you unleash love’s true power, which is to transform and heal both yourself and others. Love connects people and makes them whole. Healthy love makes the world a kind and peaceful place for our children, and their children, to grow and thrive.