Monday, June 11, 2018

What is Love?: June 8 2018

Charles West Mindfulness Group
2nd and 4th Friday of the Month
Club/Recreation Room, Floor 31
1:00pm sharp - 3:00pm
Facilitator: Alainnah Robertson

Friday June 8

This session, we meditated for twenty minutes. This is the time many experts recommend.

We considered our homework from our last session, and talked about how we had dealt, or were still dealing with traumatic events that had occurred in our lives. Sharing how we had recovered from such events, we could see how we had managed to put them behind us. It is a process, and can take a long time to recover. First, we had talked about the event with others. This helped to give perspective on the event. We had allowed ourselves to feel deeply the emotions associated with the outrage: denial; and anger. We had looked at the person who inflicted the trauma with empathy, considering the environment that had shaped them, forgiving them. We had become depressed, and managed to work through it. These aspects of the process had often gone round in a circle, until eventually, and with great difficulty, had come acceptance. When we had come to that place where we could close the door and leave the event behind us, finally had come peace.

As seems to happen so often, Carol told us a story of deliberately taking the time to sit down with an other person, and really listening to what was being said. This made a perfect lead in to the subject for this week's discussion.

What is Love? This is the question. We all know what the emotion we call Love feels like. As a Group, when we began to examine Emotional Intelligence, we had experimented with feeling that emotion, noting what it felt like for us, and giving it a name. 

But it is much more.

How do we express, or show, Love? 
The five most prominent ways to show love are considered by many experts to be, as follows:
  1. Touch: Hugs
  2. Quality Time: Giving time to really listening to the other person
  3. Words of Affirmation: Holding up a mirror showing the other person's good qualities
  4. Acts of Service: Doing something for the other person
  5. Gifts: Giving from the heart
As we went through the list, we shared our thoughts and experiences. 

1. Touch: Everyone in our Group loves giving and receiving hugs. It was commented that the North American culture is emotionally open, warm and demonstrative, and we all like that.

2. Quality Time: We revisited Carol's story, because it demonstrated exactly what was meant by Quality Time. It means listening to the other person, really hearing what they are saying. It means not talking AT them, and dominating the conversation with only our concerns, or our stories. It means being non-judgmental and encouraging the other person to work through to their own solution, without telling them what they ought to do. Only they know what solution they can accept.

3. Words of Affirmation: As we interact with other people, we have the choice of bringing positive or negative energy to that relationship. We can lift the person up, or dash them down so far their day is ruined. If we love them, we can hold up to them their good qualities, support them in their goals, and remind them of their inner strength. We can interject a sense of humour, if appropriate.

4. Acts of Service: From giving a red rose, to creating a home for someone, we can be performing an act of service that is also an act of love. We can see our paying job as a labour of love. When we contribute to our society, we can be doing so out of love. Anything, and everything we do, can be considered an act of love for others, if done with love in our hearts.

5. Gifts: Many of us disliked being forced to give gifts, just because custom says that we must do so at a certain time. We all like giving gifts when we want to do so, for any reason, and from our hearts.

Our discussion triggered lots of thought and comments. Also lots of laughter.

We will think about Love, and what we have been discussing today.

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