Tag: relationships

Love Is A Verb: Loving, Love, Loved

I haven’t been in many long-term relationships. So I’m often curious about how successful couples manage to not only “make it work” but how they love and like each other after years of life’s waves crashing at their shores.

They fall in love with each other over and over. They choose to be together. They grow together. They love each other a day at a time. Who doesn’t want a love with lasting power? We may love the butterflies, but once it’s over, we want something to keep our hearts warm through the every day, with some romance here and there. It’s said that a huge part of the human experience is to share it with another.

How DO the long-lasting happy couples do it?


It seems that the secret isn’t a secret at all. It’s in understanding the word… and I’m a trained linguistic, so here goes.

Love is a verb.

The Merriam-Webster defines a verb as:

grammar : a word (such as jump, think, happen, or exist ) that is usually one of the main parts of a sentence and that expresses an action, an occurrence, or a state of being

Because relationships involve at least two people (and that’s enough for me personally), the relationship is alive. Because relationships are alive, they evolve, grow and change. A relationship is an organism, a being and beings imply actions as much as states. In fact, states are often fleeting moments in between actions.

Love is an exchange, which you can see in friendships, in parent-child relationships, in romance. The exchange is an action, or rather a series of actions. Love, is inevitably, a series of actions made from a place of awareness and intention.

Love, whether romantic or otherwise, is absolutely an aspect of an intentional life.

love is a verb to be acted outLoving Relationships

Every day is a chance to start fresh. I often forget that I am powerful and that with each sunrise, I am renewed in my creative ability. There’s no way to know the future and all we have is now. So why not make the choice to love?

I’ve been in my relationship for over four years now and it’s the longest and most honest one I’ve been in. I’m free to be me and I learn how to love even the less likeable traits of another human being. It’s a challenge, and some days, as he puts it “we don’t like each other’s behaviour very much” but “we are committed and we love each other”. What he means is “I chose to be here and I choose it again.” It’s rewarding and I’m still standing by his side. There are certainly factors that influence my choice and I try to keep three things in mind when making my choice.

The 3 things that affect our choice to love: Presence, Change and Free Will

  1. Presence: It’s important to keep in mind that we’re in a relationship with the person in front of us today. We can talk about yesterday and tomorrow, but do we love who’s in front of us right now? Can we connect? Is the overall picture still of a healthy, fulfilling relationship? Is this person (and am I) acting out of love and if not, is that something I can help with? We need to bring awareness back to each other, to right now. What can we DO now to show this person we love them? Because the present is a gift, we must think in terms of gratitude and grateful people offer thanks. Why not an act of love?
  2. Change: The one constant in life is change. Living beings also grow and evolve. Actively rediscovering each other as we grow is a crucial part of the process of love. As people, we step forward, we fall back, we leap, we soar, we crash. Our process is messy. There are internal factors and then, there are external factors. Our interests vary, we learn new things, we integrate new lessons. We make new friends, we get new jobs. We undergo a plethora of temptations (from too much sugar to a spending free to wondering what life would be single). Sharing these experiences with your partner and making the relationship a spiritual practice of communication and participation will help grow together.
  3. Free Will: This part is implied in change. We’re in relationships with at least another person. The notion of “one” might be romantic, but it’s not practically true. We’re two parts of a greater whole, but those parts are people, with minds, hearts, souls and bodies over which only THEY have dominion. This is super hard to swallow for any Type A or codependent person (ahem, I know first-hand), but you CAN’T control the other person. Nor should you want to. Learning the balance between respecting yourself in your values and allowing your loved one space to BE is incredibly difficult when it doesn’t suit you (it sounds terrible, but that’s the human truth!). Letting go of control means we’re vulnerable, but it’s the only way to love someone completely for who they are. Express your needs, be respectful and let go!

Essentially, to build (and rebuild) loving relationships, to withstand the waves, we need to adapt. Our relationship is never the same. We then move past habits and beliefs that have become ingrained and no longer serve us. We need to bring our awareness back to the present and focus on loving actions to take. That’s how we show and feel the love we share. To be loved, we must first choose to love. We give before we receive, but we also need to know how to receive. That, in itself, is a bit of a challenge. But love helps us rise to the occasion.

We need to push ourselves (and each other) gently into conjugating love for our relationship(s), or we become complacent. Love is a verb. Take action!

Power VS Control

“Come into your power.”

We hear this type of phrase often to encourage us to be true to ourselves.  When we speak of personal responsibility and blossoming, we speak of “empowerment”.  When we discuss the importance of educating women around the world, or developing countries, we speak of knowledge, tools and confidence that lead to empowerment.

I didn’t use to understand why often, life coaches and motivational speakers would say

Source: healinglightonline.com

Source: healinglightonline.com

“find your power” or “stop giving your power away” or “empower yourself”… I didn’t think I was ever handed a spell book or a magic wand. How could I, of all people, have a power? I wasn’t an X-Men mutant or Wonder Woman. I wasn’t born an heiress of any hotel chain or car company (I know, my name could fool so many!). So I always thought power was something outside of myself. Power was something I didn’t own; it was something I could reach for but I needed others to give it to me.

The other misconception I had about power, is that it was synonymous with control.

Somehow, in my head, I’d registered that to be “in control” or to “have things under control” meant that you had power over something, as if an external force decided that you were worthy of control and authority over a dominion. You were then awarded power to do with what you pleased. And obviously, everyone had to be cool with that, right? Well, no.

So what does empowerment mean? How does one come into their power? Do we have personal power and if so, how does one tap into it?

It recently came to my awareness that power is something intrinsic to each person. Every single one of us is born free and powerful and unique. You don’t have to be popular, rich or democratically elected as “special” to be powerful. Power isn’t found in your title, your net worth, the size of your social circles or the magnitude of your following. Power isn’t receiving unwavering obedience from underlings. Power isn’t manipulation and deceit. Power isn’t aggressive and it isn’t something you need to acquire. You do not need anyone’s permission to be powerful.

The only person’s approval you need is your own. That’s the key.

I’ve come to realize this through a lot of personal work on codependent issues and spiritual work on agreements. I’ll get into codepency and agreements in future posts, but for now, what’s important to remember is to separate Power from its insecure cousin, Control.

Here’s a little table I made of the two, very different relatives.

Self-Acceptance Self-love, Feeling Worthy Self-rejection, Feeling Unworthy
Attitude Positive, Confident, Accepting
Passionate, Dynamic
Negative, Insecure, Controlling, Pushy, Overbearing
Decisions Love, Intuitive & Reasonable Fear, Analysis-Paralysis
Feelings Trust, Peace Doubt, Unease
Approach Assertive, Open, Honest and Kind Aggressive, Stubborn, Abrupt or Deceitful
Focus Process, Present Moment Outcome, Past or Future
Personal Strength Internal, Infinite, Energized Projected Externally, Burned Out
Relationships Healthy, balanced, Harmonious, Respectful, Clear Boundaries Dysfunctional, Co-dependent,Unequal, Disrespectful, Non-existent Boundaries or Lax
Perceived Power Leadership, Reputable, Recognition Authority, Notoriety, Fame
Impression of life Grateful Victim, Fighter

When you tap into your power, you’re accepting yourself. You’re confident in who you are, in your place in the world and in how life unfolds for you. You’re not delusional in thinking you’re perfect, because you’re not but you’re self-aware and you embrace your darkness as well as your light. Your decisions come from a place of love – for yourself and others.

control freaksWhen you’re exercising control, your decisions come from a place of fear, you feel insecure and you doubt your path. You are either not accepting yourself or the situation.  There’s this fear of lack, or of being unworthy and so when in “control-mode”, we tend to be more aggressive as we feel the need to fight others for relationships or things we do not feel we deserve. Our relationships often become dependent or codependent; we feel the need to control our surroundings because we feel we have little control on what’s happening to us. This feeling feeds our fears and our distorted way of seeing ourselves (i.e. as unworthy, unappreciated, unskilled, unlucky/unsupported…).

When you find your power, you’re in tuned with who you are, you are present in the moment and your life feels meaningful. In the moment, anything can happen. In the moment, every possibility is at your finger tips. The strength of your power is sourced internally; you have every answer, every ability and an universe full of love inside you. Therefore, your focus is not on any outcome but on the process. Of course, there are things we want out of life and that’s part of being human, but when we’re too focused on having things in just such a way, we outline to a point where we fail to see the beautiful art outside the lines…

“Life is what happens when we’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

Finding your power means that you becoming free-er; everything that isn’t you seems less important and you no longer feel sorry about not fitting into this box or the other mold. It’s no longer about rejecting these ideas out of spite, but letting them go in love, knowing where you want to be, exactly how you want to be at that moment, with the people you want to share this experience. Life-Facebook-Status-20334

Your boundaries are clearer to you and you take very little personally. Your relationships become harmonious because you draw the people who feel similarly and share your values and compatible ways of expressing them. Your projects benefit from support because you call upon your passion and leadership, instead of trying to command authority and respect. Everything flows a bit more organically.

When you know who you are, you are HERE NOW to experience being you, and you’re unapologetically yourself, you are your truest, strongest self. Nothing is impossible (except becoming a mermaid, or a unicorn – I’ve tried!).

I hope you dig deep and start recognizing your power – it’ll change everything!

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