Often those of us who struggle with alcohol and drug abuse, may think we have a genuine connection with others, but when the alcohol and drugs are removed, we often come to the realization that we had nothing in common with our fellow abusers, except the alcohol and drugs.
The emotion most often linked to feeling of disconnection is fear, or the ego’s need to protect itself. Love, on the other hand, both for ourself and for others, is the pathway to real connections. With practice, we can create the feeling of love whenever we choose. When we are conscious and aware of the fullness of an experience in the present, we feel a shift in our physical and emotional state that involves all of our senses (1).
In this blog, I would like to discuss 7 ways to improve our connections simply by utilizing the strength and power of Love:
- Be Present: Regularly take take time to simply “Be” and experience the loving energy that exists in this moment. We can use all of our physical senses and thoughts to bring the feeling of being fully present into our awareness (1).
- Connect: As we become more comfortable with being present, we will naturally begin to connect with others we encounter. We can practice connecting through eye contact, smiles, touch, a light conversation etc. Connecting and sharing a bit of who we are, or asking for what we need, can allow us to feel more at-one with those around us. We can also practice sending loving thoughts or a 2-second-prayer to others. With time and practice, connecting can become more effortless (1).
- Forgive: The greater the offense, the greater the cry for love. Let’s forgive. Without forgiveness, the ability to feel truly connected is compromised, especially as it pertains to forgiving ourselves.
- Give it, to get it: When you feel poor, give something away to another in need. When you need to be comforted, trying comforting someone else. Be generous with your attention and care, which may include self care. Generosity toward yourself means acting as your own loving friend (1).
- Be Vulnerable: By allowing ourselves to love, we open ourselves to the the possibility of being hurt. If we choose to function from fear and self protection, we may choose to erect defenses to try make ourselves ‘invulnerable’ but defenses are ridged by nature, and ultimately restricts our capacity to truly love or feel love. We must learn to view vulnerability as a strength rather than as a weakness (2).
- Experience Flow in Conversations: ‘Flow’ is the psychological phenomenon where we experience deep and effortless involvement in some activity, that is usually accompanied by a loss of our ‘sense of self’ and the feeling of time standing still. We can create flow moments while in conversation by listening very closely to what the other person is saying and how we react to there words (3). We can also enhance engagement and flow by consciously applying our signature strengths in the service of the interaction to create a deeper more genuine and loving connection to the other person.
- Namaste: Namaste is an ancient Sanskrit greeting translated roughly, it means "I bow to the God within you", or "The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you" - a knowing that we are all made from the same One Divine Consciousness. I love approaching others with the conscious awareness that there is a spark of divinity within each of us, which I choose to nourished by our interaction by focusing on what unites us, rather than what divides us. It requires us to function from the realization that we are all of equal value in God’s eyes, and to love our brothers as we love ourselves by “Projecting the same value onto others that God has projected onto to them” (4).
- Ann Smith — Simple Steps for Increasing the Love in Our Lives www.BreakthroughatCaron.org
- 5 (Doable) Ways to Increase the Love in Your Life — Brené Brown, PhD. (http://www.oprah.com/relationships/How-to-Increase-the-Love- in-Your-Life-Brene-Brown/)
- Positive-Living-Now “8 Ways to Increase Flow and Love Your Life More” - Posted on September 15, 2011 by Susan K. Minarik (http://www.positive-living-now.com/8-ways-to-increase-flow-and-love- your-life-more/)
- Love: How We Can Add More Love To Our Lives (http:// www.mandatorysuccess.com)