What Every Man and Woman Should Know About Love
Years ago a colleague of mine, Gerald Jampolsky, M.D., wrote a wonderful little book, Love is Letting Go of Fear. It mad...
Endless love By millzero Ali Nishan Creative Commons
What Every Man and Woman Should Know About Love Jed Diamond, Ph.D. has been a health-care professional for the last 45 years. He is the author of 9 books, including Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, Male Menopause, The Irritable Male Syndrome, and Mr. Mean: Saving Your Relationship from the Irritable Male Syndrome . He offers counseling to men, women, and couples in his office in California or by phone with people throughout the U.S. and around the world. To receive a Free E-book on Men’s Health and a free subscription to Jed’s e-newsletter go to www.MenAlive.com. If you enjoy my articles, please subscribe. I write to everyone who joins my Scribd team. Years ago a colleague of mine, Gerald Jampolsky, M.D., wrote a wonderful little book, Love is Letting Go of Fear. It made it very clear how simple (but not necessarily easy) it was to live the good life. Now another colleague, John L. Petersen (www.arlingtoninstitute.org), offers us another reminder. Love Begets Love Individual emotions, left alone, contemplated, or given free reign, proliferate – they generate the breeding ground for more of themselves. If you’re happy, that perspective becomes the base for seeing joy in many aspects of the events that emerge throughout one’s day. If one is fearful about a potential event that might happen, then the ground is fertilized for that apprehension to lie in the bottom of oneself and in some way color the outlook of everything else. It may not dominate things, but it inhibits the full expression of who one might be. These emotional conditions are, at a certain level, mutually exclusive. This is particularly the case with corrosive feelings like fear, hate and anger. One cannot truly be joyful at the same time as being fearful. You cannot be hateful and happy at the same time. You are either truly light or you are somewhat heavy. One only needs to remember how a “concern” chews at the mind, influences other aspects of life, and shapes one’s outlook to know that it’s hard to be happy if other things “seem” not to be working. In a very real way, fears, concerns, anger and other such emotions, (regardless what “seems not to be working”), show us that we are not fully living in the present. If we were doing so, we would be quite unattached to a potentially negative possibility that just “might” happen. It just might not, so being
concerned produces no discernable benefit (just like excited anticipation really doesn’t make a good thing happen in any particular way). The idea is to live now, not in the past or the future. This whole thing is also about faith – confidence that the universe (or the Source, or whatever you want to call it), with all of its extraordinary capabilities and possibilities, can certainly find a way to effectively juggle those issues that we seem to think are important and produce an outcome that we like. If one really believes in the intelligence, resources, and benign, loving nature of the environment in which we live, it’s impossible to conger up any situation that might not turn out to be quite positive – even without our personal intervention. So, love begets love. Fear begets fear. Joy begets joy. The principle is clear, is it not? If you want more love in the world, you should love a lot – you should spread it around. Plant it everywhere and allow it to grow. If you’re happy and loving, you’ll not only be taken care of, but there are good indications that that state is by far the most fertile for producing our most abundant and positive futures. The larger lesson here is that it is only when we, as individuals and as groups, learn to consistently live in a space of happiness and proliferating love, will we be able to change not only ourselves, but our world. It’s like a virus – if we start to broadcast love and happiness we’ll be contagious – it will change those around us. It will infect the rest of the human organism. If we do it right, everyone will become sick with love . . . which is not all bad. (Well, probably not everyone – but enough to make a really big difference.) What I’m proposing is not particularly easy. We live in a world full of institutions, conventions and common perspectives that try to assert control over various aspects of our lives, often specifically arguing for behavior and constraints that are antithetical to love and happiness. They tell us what we should and shouldn’t do and then generate fear about painful implications that will certainly materialize if we don’t do as they say. Whether it is the government, society, religions, families, advertisers, employers, or those pitching concepts and ideas (like academics and pundits), more often than not their basic objective is to change what you naturally might otherwise want to do or think. Rather than being open, enabling and encouraging they want you to do what they think is right. It’s about control. The first step of moving out of this space is therefore to understand that one cannot go to a different place without moving. If you keep doin’ what you’re doin’, you’ll keep gettin’ what you’re gettin’. If your approach to life is essentially defined by others – remaining the product all of the institutions and messages
that are telling you what you should and shouldn’t do – then that’s what you will be: defined by others. Alternatively, each of us can begin decide to think for ourselves, letting our behavior be essentially shaped by feelings like love and happiness. Some might find this simplistic, idealistic, and naïve. But that’s only if you look at it from the perspective of the way the current world works. If you think things will never change or are unchangeable, then you’re right. But, if your objective is to consider how we might rise to a new level of humanity and society, then the old way of looking at things will, by definition, be unenlightened. We need a new framework. It’s more complicated than I have space to here to explicate, but my guess is that this fresh mindset would result in a new set of principles for society – for humans living together. What could well emerge would be a commitment to things like cooperation, sustainability, interdependence or oneness, personal development, and resilience, et. al., concepts that we find familiar but, in this case they would be wrapped in a new semantic context. Since our problems are a direct derivative of how we see ourselves and our world, seen through the lens of love and happiness, this paradigm would explain ourselves and our world in a radically different way that would undermine many of the biggest issues that we have today. If we change our mindset, we change our world. Perhaps a step in the right direction might be a variation on the old principle that has deep validity for groups of individuals trying to effectively live with each other: live and let live. There’s a new corollary: love and let love.