Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cultivating Love

I received a message from God today, it read. ... that all virtues, when practiced regularly, grow in size. Cultivate the virtues of love, kindness, joy, - and you will be rewarded with a life filled with love, kindness and joy.

And as I began to think on this, I realized, just as I suspected all along, that love, indeed must be grown.


a. To improve and prepare (land), as by plowing or fertilizing, for raising crops; till.
b. To loosen or dig soil around (growing plants).
2. To grow or tend (a plant or crop).
3. To promote the growth of (a biological culture).
4. To nurture; foster. See Synonyms at nurture.
5. To form and refine, as by education.
6. To seek the acquaintance or goodwill of; make friends with.

So, I googled ehow and found a gem of instructions for cultivating love. Funny times we are living in, eh? Without digressing, I 'll suffice it by saying what seems natural is not necessarily so when one has not loved nor been loved properly. In fact, it can be quite a scary emotion to open your heart to another.

How to Cultivate Love

Whether it's romantic love, familial love, friendship love or simply love for the great, grand universe, practicing these steps daily will infuse your life with more love than you ever thought possible.

Instructions ~ How to Cultivate Love

1.Fall in love with life. The other day I asked a friend of mine if he is the type of person who falls in love easily. He replied, "Are you kidding? I fall in love with all of humanity every day." It's no wonder this guy has an abundance of loving relationships. His heart is wide open, ready to give and receive love.

2.Accept that love has nothing to do with another person. Love is the condition of your own heart. Love is the way you live, the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you interact with every aspect of your world.

3.Start immediately. If you wait to give love until your soulmate crosses your path or wait for that "perfect" moment, then you will never give love. If nobody has broken the news about the Tooth Fairy to you yet, let me: She does not exist. Neither do perfect circumstances.

4.Give freely and eagerly. Love is not like money. Love does grow on trees. Love is plentiful. It is infinite actually. You don't need to store your love in a locked vault and save it for one perfect purchase. Let love burn a hole in your pocket.

5.Honor all types of love. It isn't only idealized, romantic love that leads to a marriage that lasts until death do you part that matters. Friendship love, family love, neighborly love, divine love and self love are all essential and equally important types of love.

6.Bestow genuine compliments. Every day give three thoughtful compliments, each to a different person. If you can't find three people to sincerely compliment, open your eyes-and your heart-a little wider. Beauty, both internal and external, is abundant and worth acknowledging.

7.Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Even the smallest lie erodes the foundation of love. No lasting relationship can survive lies.

8.Hug like you mean it. There is nothing worse than a side hug, a pat-pat or a hug that allows enough space for the gale force winds to blow through and knock you over. Embrace warmly and with intention.

9.Accept loved ones as they are. Nothing feels less like love than somebody who corrects, judges, critiques and tries to "improve" you. We all long to be treasured despite our flaws. Or even better, we long for our flaws themselves to be treasured. Start the cycle of acceptance by treasuring every part of every person you love.

10.Listen. Do not project your hopes onto others. Do not impose your beliefs onto their words. Listen quietly without interrupting and offering advice.

11.Remember important events. Celebrate birthdays, wish good luck before an interview, inquire about stressful meetings, offer assistance before surgery, follow-up about the loss of a pet. Showing genuine interest in the major events in the lives of those around you will endear you to them for life.

12.Call just to say I love you. Small gestures of affection toward lovers, friends, family, neighbors and coworkers can turn an average, or even awful, day into an extraordinary one.


Heres a gem said...

All great points, Paige. I'm not so sure about #10 though. I know that what you meant was to give selfless love... but for the love to be mutual I think we need to speak up and share what makes us tick. I have difficulties with relationships where the other person doesn't share much. It feels shallow. Maybe I should give them the benefit of the doubt that they are being selfless, but it just falls flat for me, so...

I feel like I'm not "getting" something with #10?... :)

paige said...

Glad you pointed that one out, Rebecca. So I've been pondering....I've always been one to speak up sometimes in the middle of someone's story. I've always wished myself humbler...quieter...able to listen without having to impose my beliefs. I find it very difficult. Imagine two of us trying to relate like that ;) I'm thankful for a relationship with someone who can offer this type of "self-less" love. When asked for advice, he gives freely. When I'm finished speaking, he may at that time tell me his thoughts which may or may not differ from mine on any given topic. So...I have come to see his ability to listen quietly as very self -less. I'm aware that he is no where near shallow and I suppose that makes me see things differently. There are those, I agree, whom I do feel a shallowness with when they do not freely speak themselves and for some reason I see them differently. I have to say I may be very tainted in the fact I lived twenty years with a very selfish, over -opinionated person. I guess I get some peace from the quietness of others now :)

Heres a gem said...

Excellent explanation Paige, thank you. I agree, I've learned to appreciate the gift of listening quietly. I've (somewhat) recently realized how over opinionated the family I grew up in is... and I've tried to improve myself. Funny, I learned that from my husband ;) I'm sure I have a long way to go - because I still love a spirited debate more than a lot of people! Sometimes it comes across wrong, so yeah... I getcha!

paige said...

And for you that spirited ness is a gift ♥ No doubt. I've learned a lot about spirited debate in the last few years and come to appreciate it through having a vast array of friendships online. I agree it can be fun and respectful. I can get kind of spirited myself I am finding. I think my compassion is growing for some things and it doesn't take much to spur me in those areas :)

I thought when I reached the compassion level I was at the end of my journey...haha. Now, I'm learning about love. I've blogged it before many times. The last three years I have been batting my wings trying to break the cocoon open ♥ I've wanted to know what everyone else said "love" was. Little did I know, I had to write my own story ♥ That is really what this is all about, if you wonder :)

Steven said...

Once again you come through with words of wisdom in a timely manner for me. I needed to read this today...thanks luv.

Misha said...

hi Paige :)

Love ~ seems to me to be an ever unfolding awareness, a meeting place where we go with open hearts, standing within our own vulnerability with a willingness to join and stay there, together. A state of being, where when IN love, we discover, we ARE love, and this gives us the strength, the courage, the wherewithal to open our hearts further still...

Love is always present, infinitely so, and it is just how far we are willing to wade in together which determines the depth, breadth and glory of our experience of it. Like two mirrors, perfectly aligned, you can see infinity there.


paige said...

I need to read it continuously, Steven. I never once through the years, until, now, realized how little I know of love.

Wow, Misha...a perfectly worded interpretation. Perhaps wisdom comes with age. When I was young, I thought you "just" loved someone...and that was that. But now, I fully agree that the origins of love are but a small spark. Really, true, deep love does indeed, depend on how willing we are to wade in.

I think I am really getting some clarity here on this ♥

Touched By Grace said...

I really enjoyed this post. I had not done well on this subject, now here I got a great lesson on some of the reasons. Incidentally, who is your friend in #1? He sounds great! :)

Your new follower...

paige said...

Hi there. Welcome...and thanks for reading. The friend is a person we all wish we had in our lives....seemingly rare. The kind of person who just radiates hope and belief.

Looking forward to more conversations with you :)