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Here And Now Love

Synopsis: Mindsets that miss out; examples; here and now "distracters"; those good at here and now love; giving here and now love; now for the future; a helper test; Joy and sorrow in the now; training yourself.

Love is best experienced with a "here and now" mind-set.  That takes focusing your awareness fully in the present while love is being given and received.  It is surprising how difficult this is for some people.  So many miss out on full, love experiences because their mind is focused on something from the past or the future and, therefore, not in the "now".

Let’s look at a few examples.  She gives him a loving kiss but his focus is on problems at the office so he does not fully feel the love coming to him.  He, ever so lovingly, smiles at her but her mind is on making sure their children clean up their room so her subconscious sense of loneliness grows a bit bigger.  Out of love the small child puts heartfelt effort into making a picture present then gleefully hands it to the parent.  However, the parent’s mind is on the issues of tomorrow and barely looks at the gift and quickly dismisses the child’s special made, love gift and the child.

The parent misses the feeling of love coming from the child and the child misses out on the receptional love the parent could have given in return.  Plus, the child may learn disappointment is what comes from trying to give love, and they might be being ‘taught by example’ how to not receive love offerings fully.  A friend gives a loving compliment but the intended recipient almost doesn’t hear it at all because that person is focused on whether or not they did the right thing about yesterday’s difficulty.  I bet you can think up your own examples and personal experiences.

So often people grow "love starved" because they are inexperienced at living in the here and now.  Lots of people need and want more love and, in fact, demonstrations of love may be coming their way.  However, they’re missing out on the nourishment of that love because they’re not good at switching into a "here and now" focus.  So many are so occupied with anxieties about the future or painful incidents from the past they don’t see the enriching, strengthening love available to them in the present.

Many have love opportunities surrounding them and all they need do is ask for a hug, or a smile, or to be lovingly listened to for a bit and they would get the love that’s available.  Then they could go about life a little better because love well received usually helps counter pain from the past and anxieties of the future.  Of course, there are appropriate times for making plans for the future, and acceptable times to be learning from the past, and busy times too.  But if love is available, or being offered, don’t miss out on it even if soaking it up needs to be brief.  This is where the "quality of reception" is more important than the "amount of time" spent.

Some people are really good at"here and now" love.  They see loving looks coming their way and fully absorb and are nourished by those looks.  There are those who delight in a lover’s hand as it warmly slips into their own, and their mind is on that and that alone.  Well loved are the ones who don’t give a rapid, perfunctory “I love you too” reply to an “I love you” statement.  Rather, they allow themselves to feel the love just sent their way and in essence digest and are nourished by it before they make a heartfelt reply.  They are more likely to say something like “Thank you, that feels so good, and I’m really glad you do” rather than giving an automatic statement without much feeling.

For some, getting and giving loving hugs spark and spice up their lives.  For others hugging is a quick, empty ritual because their focus is away from the here and now.  Here’s a question.   Do you think those who are really good at really focusing their mind on each love event, as it occurs, live better?  And if you aren’t already doing that do you want to be one of them?

Another part of  "here and now"  love has to do with not missing out on here and now opportunities for giving love.  I like to recommend demonstrating your love often and much.  Love is one of those things that the more you give it away the more you have to give, so long as you remember to give enough of it to yourself too.  To give love often and much you have to work at not letting too many distractions from the past or about the future get in the way.  Say words of love with loving tones, give looks of love, touch with love, and frequently do all the ways of demonstrating love and I’m betting you’ll be so glad you live that way.  Watch out that you don’t let the fear of doing it poorly, or the fear that it will not be well received, or things like that stop you.  When it comes to love it usually is better to make a mistake of commission rather than one of omission.

Do you know how doing well with "here and now" love improves your future and how that works?  First, when you really soak up love and allow yourself to fully ‘get it’ you change your brain chemistry for the better.  Then improved brain chemistry changes your body chemistry for the better.  This means your immunity mechanisms fight off infections better, and fewer stress hormones are produced and your aging process is slowed.  Also your improved brain chemistry produces more good feeling neurochemistry, generally helping to make you happier and more positive about yourself in life.  All this means you are more likely to live longer and enjoy life more.

That’s not all.  When you get really good at "here and now" love you store up good feeling memories that later you can draw upon to help you get through bleak and bad times.  Those who only ‘sort of’ feel loved when it’s coming their way may be much more likely to experience depression, despair, hopelessness, etc.

Those who do really well at encouraging"here and now" love to come their way are usually better at giving love.  This makes for more generating of mutual love and cycling of love in relationships.  The more love generated in a love relationship the better and healthier the relationship is likely to grow, and the closer the participants are likely to feel toward one another.  That means you and those you love will be more bonded and are likely to experience being more energized and also more loyal to each other.

Here is a little helper test.  Wherever you are right now, look around and see something you can feel, at least a little positive about, that you might not have really noticed before.  Now listen closely and try to hear some sound you didn’t notice until right now; especially listen for sounds that you can be at least a little interested in.  Now touch something, preferably pleasurable, and feel its texture more fully than you have before.  In every environment there always is more you can notice and at least mildly like in a "here and now" way.  Now, think of doing the same things with someone you love.

See something more, hear something more, and feel their textures more.  Be aware that as you do this you are more fully perceiving precious parts of your valued loved one.  With that awareness you might want to tell your loved one that you are enjoying and appreciating them right now.  After that do the same with yourself as an act of healthy self-love.  Notice that if while you’re doing this your mind goes anywhere else, to the past, future, far away, etc. yank it back.  You can force your mind to be in the here and now when finding things to be at least a little positive about and, therefore, to enjoy.

One of the best and greatest joys in my work happens when I hear couples, family members, friends, etc. say things like “I feel so loved right now”, “We are really doing our love and it’s great”, “I just have to hug you right now because I’m overwhelmed with feelings of love”, “Finally we’re all really loving each other in such good ways, and it’s the best thing in the world”, “At long last I love myself, and I know I’m really okay”.

One of the saddest parts of my work as a psychotherapist comes with those who lost a loved one like a child, spouse, family member, dear friend, etc. and I hear “I wish I would have told them I loved them more”, “We didn’t spend enough time loving each other”, “We never took enough time out of our too busy lives to love each other like we could have”.

With some work you can train yourself to pay attention to the love coming your way in the here and now and really get it.  With repeated effort you can notice your here and now opportunities to give love and you can do so.  You purposefully can yank your mind away from the future (and get back to it later) when you have a ‘here and now’ love opportunity.  Likewise, you can yank your mind away from the past when there is a "here and now" opportunity to do love, grow love, experience love, etc. (and later return to whatever you were thinking about from the past).  With some work we all can be better ‘here and now’ lovers.

Hopefully with these thoughts in mind you will do "here and now" love a bit better and a bit more often.  As you do that remember to tell yourself here and now “Good for me” and other healthy, self love statements.

As always – Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

Love Success Question In the next 10 minutes who will you show some love to, and how will you do that?
Remember, it’s OK if your love target is yourself.

Passionate Love - Wondrous and Perplexing

Mini-Love-Lesson  #232

Synopsis: Contrary views and differing forms of passionate love; how it is much more than sex; the romance and the eroticism; the three neural networks involved; its fading and rekindling; true love or not; a real and false passionate love difference; and the pain, problems and pleasures of passionate love are succinctly and with fresh information and perspectives presented here.

Most Sought, Most Mysterious, Most Troublesome

Euphoria, ecstasy, intense eroticism and all sorts of profound, powerful positive feelings - that is one view of passionate love.  Another is much less lovely.  It contains jealousy, obsession, compulsions, enslavement, drives to control mixed with total surrender and submission, intense insecurity covered by authoritarian domination, dangerous and destructive rage and some think a subconscious death wish.  More recently that disturbing view has been increasingly identified with mental illness and false love syndromes and not with healthy, real love (see our Real Love False Love e-book). Nevertheless, passionate love often is viewed as the most desirable form of love and the one that provides the greatest thrills, turn on’s, emotional fireworks, enlivening arousal, intrigue, enticing danger and incredible sex.  For so many, it definitely is a love not to be missed!

Much More Than Sex!

Passionate love often involves intense and extremely exciting sexuality but is much more than just sex.  In fact, sometimes passionate love is not sexual at all though that is what so many focus on when they think of passionate, romantic love.  Passionate, romantic love has been defined as a state of intense seeking for and or a sense of being in an ecstatic union with a reciprocating other.

Passionate love is felt with powerful compelling enthusiasm, eagerness and intense desires not always erotic.  The desire in real, passionate love is to be hugely involved with, enraptured by and immersed in the totality of who or what is loved.  Sometimes passionate love is not about a who but rather a what.  Religious zealotry and fervor are identified with passionate love as are patriotism and sometimes altruism.  To understand passionate love more fully, let’s first look at passion itself.  

Passion can refer to any emotion felt very powerfully and in ways that are compelling, almost uncontrollable, frequently consuming and involving intense yearning, craving, adoration, relishing, zeal, euphoria, compulsion, ecstasy and acceptable or even desired agony.  Now, let’s consider love (see “The Definition of Love”).

Passionate, real love can be identified as love felt with powerful, compelling enthusiasm, eagerness, intense pleasure and a huge drive to be connected with and able to act for the happiness and well-being of the loved.  It involves a great, high valuing and enjoyment of the loved, a valiant nurturing and brave protectiveness toward the loved and when romantic profound affection and eroticism.

The sharing, seeking for and experiencing of intense pleasure is involved in passionate love.  Simultaneously with passionate love comes a diminished awareness of pain, fear and everything which is unpleasurable.  Fully passionate, real love can involve incredible emotional intimacy, and what is sometimes called a great intermingling of spirits and a sense of ecstatic, cosmic connectedness.

Passionate love can be likened unto Germany’s grand, roaring Rhine River - fast, vast, extremely exciting, enormously enjoyable and all to often seductively dangerous and disastrous. When thinking of passion, one might do well to ponder the Rhine’s legend of the irresistible Lorelie who lured many a boater to a drowning death in its powerful swirling turbulence.

Differing Forms of Passionate Love

Think for a minute beyond  those two most commonly focused on areas of passion - the romantic and the erotic types of love.  Are you passionately in love with life, with nature, with a spiritual involvement, with beauty, with a great cause, with your children or family or with any deeply satisfying or meaningful endeavor?  You see, there are many ways to have true passionate love beyond the romantic and sexual, wonderful though they may be.

What about Romantic and Erotic Passionate Love?

It seems we are considerably hardwired to seek for and get into erotic and romantic love and love-like relationships.  It appears this has been crucial to our species survival.  Furthermore, it has been instrumental in helping humanity attain its preeminent status on our planet.  Not only that, but seeking and getting into love relationships has turned out to be exceedingly healthful for those who manage it successfully.  However, for many others who have tried and failed at love, it has often been disastrous.  For those who only partially learn to do love-relating well, it often has been a painfully growthful and exciting but arduous mixed blessing.  Nevertheless, our strong natural drives for sex, for passionate love, and for other kinds of love too, are now understood to have pushed us into populating the world, and to have become the most creatively cooperative of all species.

The Three Neuro Networks of Passionate Love

Psychoneurological research involving electronically looking into the brain while romantic love relationships are focused on, reveals a lot about passionate love.  That research points to three neuro networks involved when we feel passionate love.  One of our brain’s networks appears to handle attraction, another facilitates lust while a third processes emotional connection and attachment.  Operating together at strength, they help us have and experience the incredible feelings of romantic passion.  Sometimes that later leads us into lifelong, healthy, real and lasting love relationships and sometimes not.  In both cases, and after a time, romantic passion fades.  Replacing it can be a much more general, life assisting type of love variously identified as life partner love, spousal love , marriage type love, love mate love, companionate love or companion love.  These are thought to be processed by additional neural networks and somewhat different neurochemistry than that of passionate love.

What about Fading and Rekindling Passionate Love?

Some couples with life partner love can, and frequently do from time to time, briefly re-enliven their passionate love feelings.  Others practice various alternate lifestyles to re-experience their passion via the new and different.  Real love is not thought to be a part of the alternate lifestyle approach very often (except perhaps for those who become throuples) (see “Throuple Love, A Growing Worldwide Way of the Future?”).  Still others are glad to leave passionate love behind because it took so much energy, concentration and work that left little time for the rest of life.  Many others bemoan the fading of the passionate and long for its return.  Some of those search for and find ways to bring it back at least temporarily; quite a few others don’t but probably could with some professional counseling or coaching.

Is Passionate Love True Love?

Some think passionate love may not be real love at all but rather a sort of pre-love state testing whether lasting partner love can come into existence or not.  Others insist that passionate love is the real thing and the only kind worth totally surrendering to.  Still others note that several identified forms of false love-- namely Limerence, the IFD and the Fatal Attraction syndromes (see our Real Love False Love e-book)-- are full of passion but by no means do they dependably result in anything like healthy, real and lasting love. (Also see Title Index for each)  There are brain researchers who note how passionate romance and addictive opiates similarly seem to activate certain brain centers.  A difference is that romantic passion eventually fades or evolves naturally while drug addiction and some false love syndromes do not.

Romantic passion in the past has been variously referred to as being smitten, bewitched, spellbound, infatuated, love crazed, blessed out, beguiled, temporarily besotted, lovesick, having a crush and my favorite twitterpatted.  Interestingly none of those terms convey the idea of long lasting love even though those experiencing passionate love frequently pledge everlasting love, to love forever, etc.  The truth seems to be that a very high number of highly passionate, romantic relationships do not stay that way or even continue in any form once the passion fades.  Although, some do and those in them frequently proclaim theirs was real love right from the start.

A Possible Difference between Real and False Passionate Love

It is suspected that false, passionate love is the kind that pushes out and is destructive to other forms of love and love relationships.  Family love, friendship love and parental love and even pet love are all known to suffer, be neglected and even rejected when people are involved in passionate relating.  However, it actually may be that in passionate, real love those other love relationships tend to be enhanced, better appreciated and better taken care of.  The suspected reason is that the selfishness factor increases with false love and decreases with real love.  No one knows for sure.

It is entirely possible that some people have a real love springing up within a highly passionate beginning relationship while others do not.  Some of those who do not probably are experiencing a passion-filled, more temporary, false love syndrome.  Others may be experiencing a natural and healthful, but short term, romantic and passionate involvement which will provide an enriching interlude but not a deep and lasting love.  Terms like shipboard romance, close encounters of the temporary kind and weekend love affairs may have arisen from this kind of passionate, non-real love or only a mini-love experience.

The Pain, Problems and Pleasures of Our Passions

Maybe, more than you might think, there are people who learned to relate in and with love quite well after first having had passionate love’s peak emotional and sexual experiences followed by horrible, heartbreak disasters.  It is interesting what they have to say about their times of passionate love.  Lots of them proclaim they are quite glad for their previous times of passionate love but would not want to go through them again.  It was for them, a great adventure and they grew from it tremendously but it involved far too much chaos, agony and effort.  They also tend to proclaim that the love they have now fits their life far better than the tumult, tortures and tentativeness of their past passionate involvements. link “Adamant Love - and How It Wins for Us All” link “Ebullient Love - Love’s Joyous River” and link “Serene Love - A Gentle Power Flowing”  One of the things they learned was to be very self lovingly careful when it comes to passionate love.

One More Little Thing

Wouldn’t it be good to talk over what you just read with one or more others to see what they might think about passionate love and these ideas?  If you share this with them, we would appreciate it if you mention our many Mini-Love-Lessons, this site and our free subscription service.  Thank you.

As always – Go and Grow with Love
Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

Quotable Question: If you fall into passionate romantic love, will it end like other falls – in a crash?

A Sexy Halloween Love Story

Jack and Jill (not their real names, of course) were both in their 90’s and starting to celebrate their 50th Halloween together.  In their first year together as a couple they hosted a very sexy, Halloween party inviting all their friends to come costumed ‘as their favorite sexy character from history or literature’.

Jill had read about Winston Churchill’s mother, Jenny, shocking Victorian London society by going to a big, Royal, costume affair as the prostitute who rose to become Theodora, Empress of the world’s grandest and most glorious Empire, Byzantium.  So, copying Jenny, Jill created her risqué costume, one made up entirely of strings of fake jewels (glass beads) including a totally glorious crown.  Jack went as a sexy sorcerer from a fantasy novel.  The party was a great success, pictures were taken and, thus, the first entry into their Halloween scrapbook was soon thereafter created.

Now, Jack got out the large, old-fashioned, leather bound, orange and black scrapbook and placed it in front of Jill.  Jill poured a glass of their special celebration wine, and they began to look at the pictures from 50 naughty, intimate and ever so love-bonding experiences which they had so happily experienced and created together over the years.

There were pictures from the Halloween, midnight, Goth wedding and party of their best friend’s child, where almost everyone was dressed in weird, black, Goth garb.  They reminisced about the Wicca ceremony which had been surprisingly spiritual and how everyone had cheered as the couple left for their honeymoon in a hearse.  Jack and Jill laughed and smiled knowingly at each other as they turned the pages and paused at a picture of one Halloween night that showed them so very together in their bedroom, lighted only with five, very saucy, carved jack-o’-lanterns which cast amazing, wanton, leering shadows on the walls turning their skin a mischievous orange color.

Other photos were from a nearby city’s gay pride organization’s costume party for everybody, which had been attended by thousands of gays and straights in costumes both ‘beyond the pale’ and beyond belief.  Some pictures were taken at the restaurant which every year held an after Halloween party, 2 AM breakfast reminded of them of the time they arrived and everyone from other parties stood up and clapped because their costumes and those of their friends were so sexy, elaborate and amazing.
Jack and Jill recalled with sadness as they viewed pictures of costumed close friends they had loved but who had since passed away.  They still were amazed by the New Orleans, French Quarter Halloween party where they had seen a woman dressed only in boots, a cat mask and holding two, live leopards on leashes.

The wildest pictures came from the time friends invited them to a nudist colony, costume party where they both went festooned in ribbons as elves. (Let your imagination work on a ‘nude, costume party’).  Jack and Jill hugged each other remembering the time in New England where they attended the telling of Halloween ghost stories at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

Many other pictures showed them dancing into the wee hours at a costume ball; carving jack-o’-lanterns with their grandchildren and the friends of grandchildren; other super sexy times, in super sexy costumes, with dear super sexy friends; the Halloween hospital staff party were a nurse won the best costume prize by wearing only very skimpy orange and black bandages; the Boo-at-the-Zoo Halloween party for disadvantaged children where quite a few little tiny Darth Vaders were observed flashing their light sabers.

Then there was the long ago time they, with other Americans in Germany, gave a Halloween party with hand-made cardboard bats, skulls and skeletons everywhere.  Their European guests were very puzzled about this seemingly macabre holiday celebration; they thought it must all have some strange, religious significance, and couldn’t believe all the fun the Americans were having but joined in once they got past their shock.

Jill and Jack got a big laugh viewing the pictures of a dear friend who had come to their party looking extremely ordinary, until you realized he had three arms, one arm which mechanically stretched out stealthily to pinch bottoms and lift skirts at quite a distance.  Jack, once again, expressed his great appreciation for Jill going to the trouble to make a marvelous wizard’s cloak costume for him and one for herself as Queen of the Autumn fairies.  Even more amazing was the costume she had made for him as the Greek god, Pan, and for herself as a woodland sprite.

Pictures of another party where their blackest, dear friend came in a safari outfit explaining he, of course, was “the great white hunter”.  Then there was the time at a Halloween party where Jack and Jill sneaked into a closet to make out, only to find a unicorn getting it on with a fairy princess already there.  Other times of passion, after the guests left their parties were recalled, and they smiled at each other in the most intimate way.

As Jack and Jill went back through the many pages of their scrapbook, they cried together, they laughed often, they talked seriously, and they shared and re-lived great times of spicy and sweet love with one another and with those most dear to them.  Then they went to their special toy chest — where we will leave them now in this little Halloween story of ours.

So, dear reader, are you and yours doing as well at creating love experiences and using things like Halloween to help in that endeavor?  You can, you know!  You can weave together love, sex, intimacy and fun and in doing so grow your love-bonds and love-memories together most magically.

As always – Go and Grow in Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

Love Success Question
If your next Halloween was a lover’s Halloween, what would you want it to consist of?

Ebullient Love: Love’s Joyous River

Mini-Love-Lesson  #231

Synopsis: The dynamics of this all too often under-explored form or “River” of Love are presented, clearly explained with quick examples along with an outline for achieving ebullient love and its many upbeat, healthful, positive emotions.

The Champagne Kind of Love

Has your spirit ever seemed to bubble up with happy love?  Has your heart been effervescent with joyous love feelings?  Have you experienced the heady excitement of irrepressible, buoyant love?  If so, you have known ebullient love.

Ebullience is the quality of lively, zestful, high-spirited, effusive positive feelings often spontaneously, animatedly and exuberantly felt and expressed.  Literally it has come to refer to filling up with and bubbling over with  positive emotions.  The word itself has an older meaning, now falling out of use, which has to due with bubbling up and over with any type of feeling.

Ebullient love refers to bubbling up and over with love’s natural joy.  It is the sparkling, bubbly champagne type of love.  This kind of love usually is seen as wholehearted, vitalizing, sometimes rhapsodic, thrilling, ardent, vibrant, blithely elated, extraordinarily cheery and, even at times, spiritually awesome.  Descriptions like overjoyed and overwhelmed with love frequently have been used to describe ebullient love experiences (See “Happier Love and Six Big Ways to Make It So!” Link “Pet Love”).

Examples of Ebullient Love

Ebullient love can be seen in the response of natural joy of an infant picked up and lovingly played with, cuddled and snuggled by a similarly effervescently happy, loving parent.  It also is often evident in the joyous greeting and heartfelt interaction of people reuniting after an absence.  Sometimes it is not so obvious but definitely felt in people walking hand-in-hand with a spring in their step and smiles on their faces.  Occasionally it comes more internally with mindful stillness as one person joyously observes deeply and reverently a person they deeply and reverently love.

Couples, deep friends, comrades and whole families simultaneously, mutually can become elated together with their ebullient love as they dance, hug, sing, shout with joy while they celebrate their connecting and uniting love on sundry special occasions.

Lovers fully present with each other in the existential now can repeatedly tap into their ebullient love and be infused with its happiness again and again.  This may lead to the most loving of embraces in the simplest and most ordinary of times, making such times extraordinary and very special (See “Many Good Feelings Brought on by Love”).

Small, Medium and Large Ebullient Love

Sometimes ebullient love is felt in rather small and also medium size amounts.  A sudden flash of momentary joy on observing someone you love just be themselves in some idiosyncratic way can trigger a bit of heartwarming ebullient love.  Receiving a special hand squeeze, a smile, a compliment or even just a nod or a wink may trigger a surprisingly impactful, tiny spark of ebullient love joy.  Sometimes couples dancing together in intimate connection brings on these precious, ebullient feelings.

Engaging together in prayer, mutual meditation, rituals of the spirit and the heart and jointly appreciating the awesome and the grand can bring on a quieter, deeper form of ebullient love.  When that happens, people sometimes describe their love joy as jointly feeling at one with each other and the universe, overwhelmingly awesome, deeply spiritual, exploding with joy and beyond their ability to describe what they are experiencing.  Profound mixtures of love and sex experienced together can do the same thing.  A great sense of total connection and unity also can  be part of the ebullient love experience.

The River of Ebullient Love

Ebullient love flows like a river full of delightful twists and turns, safe but exciting little rapids, eddies, tributary waterfalls with rainbows and endless other precious, elation surprises.  It is the kind of love that keeps you aware of and fully feeling the here and now with little or no attention given to the disturbances of the past or the future.  It is like you might repeatedly feel traveling down a pleasant but exciting river.  Furthermore, it tends to create memories that you can later tap back into and by doing so re-experience a bit of the abiding nurturing which ebullient love often provides (See  “Living Well via Loving Well” and “Quality Love, Quality Life?”).

Reward – Reinforce – Motivate

All the rivers of love - Adamant Love, Compassionate Love, Passionate Love, Serene Love as well as Ebullient Love - have their rewarding functions.  However, nothing rewards us quite like ebullient love.  This form of love often is immediate, obvious, easily experienced, lighthearted, fret free and very delight-full.  It can be seen as providing a great many of feelings which help make living with and in love extremely desirable.

Ebullient love provides strong reinforcement for doing all the other things we do about love.  Its wide variety of various joys and other good feelings reward our learning how to seek love, relate with the love, behave with love, improve with love, bond with love and bask in love.  Not only that, but ebullient love helps make love attractive, intriguing, playful and fun to share.  It, therefore, is a great help in making life feel worthwhile.

Ebullient love plays a major role in helping us celebrate our love connections, strengthen our love bonds, mutually and repeatedly nurture and enrich each other, live happily and feel fulfilled.  Beyond that, it also is a part of letting us experience and appreciate the majestic nature of love itself.  Because of all that, ebullient love is a great motivator to seek and keep doing life in ways that bring and share many of life’s most wonderful experiences.

Infectious Ebullient Love

People usually enjoy being around those experiencing ebullient love.  That is because it tends to be automatically infectious and, therefore, very easily shared.  This makes it great for relationships.  Being part of a mutual, ebullient love event can make for a sort of happy, upbeat bonding.  It is the sincere “I am happy for your happiness” and the “your joy is my joy” type of heart touching, ebullient experience.

An Outline for Growing Ebullient Love

How good are you at being happy?  Lots of people are not nearly as proficient at getting themselves happy as they might be.  Lots of them grew up being unknowingly trained to think that things and events come along to make us happy or not.  Too many grew up in families where they absorbed the non-conscious, antiquated idea that overt happiness is frivolous, suspicious or even sinful.  That is a leftover from the Puritan days when secular happiness was considered Satanically inspired and only the somber were godly.  We now know that usually happiness has much more to do with your mindset and mindfulness than do the things and events which happen to you.  Your mindset and your mindfulness are things you can do something about.  We also know that not making yourself sufficiently happy, frequently enough is a very unhealthy way to live.

If, on an average day, you are good at making yourself happy and you are good at the getting and giving of love you may be able to produce lots of ebullient love experiences.  Perhaps you know someone or are yourself the kind of person who is really proficient at enjoying being loving and loved.  Some of the people who are described as romantics are experts at this.  Their mindset is to enjoy the manifestations and elaborations of romantic love and they do it with relish.

Natural Happiness, it turns out, is extremely healthy.  So is Real Love (See “Wellness: Its Necessity, Healthy Real Love”).  Learn to focus frequently on the things that you can savor, enjoy, appreciate, be inspired by, find enriching and be delighted with as you also learn to deal with and dismiss more quickly unhappy stuff and healthy happiness is likely to come your way quite a lot.  Along with that, become increasingly love centered, love oriented, love mindful, love knowledgeable, love active and love receptive and you are very likely to be quite healthfully often happy.  Do that with others who are doing likewise, and maybe with a super special other, and that is a way to voyage on the river of ebullient love.  So, work on your mindset and your mindfulness habits for love and happiness and ebullient love is likely to become more and more a part of your life.

Now, let me suggest you happily go talk all this over with a perhaps lovable somebody.  In the process, you might tell them that they can regularly receiving our mini-love-lessons via our free subscription system?  That may help put a bit more much-needed love knowledge into our love hungry world.

As always – Go and Grow with Love
Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

Quotable Question:  Is it “love makes you happy” or “with love you can make yourself happy - or not” ?

Do You Start and Part with Love?

How do you do ‘Hi’s’ and ‘Bye’s’ with those you love?   To keep a love relationship healthy it is best if every (yes every) ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’ experience includes at least a brief love connecting and sharing experience.  Every “Hello, I’m home” event is best done with a hug, a pat, a caress, a nuzzle or a kiss.  Going past each other to whatever you want to get to next without any expression of connecting love can be detrimental to your love relationships.  Likewise, every “So long” is better done with similar brief expressions of love.

In some relationships the lack of such love when parting can lead to hours of vague anxiety, worrying “is anything wrong”.  Starting off time together with a little demonstration of love means that the following time is more likely to go well.  Ending a time together with expressed and received love actions makes your next encounter more likely to be a bit sooner, a bit better and a bit more wanted.  People who start and part with love are seen as having better attitudes, better cooperation likelihood, less stress and a host of other small but significant benefits.

Many couples and many families I see in counseling for reasons of deteriorating relationships have not been greeting each other or saying goodbye to each other with any love at all.  Sometimes there is no greeting or saying goodbye what so ever.  Often when I get them to experiment with a little ‘start and part’ love action improvement begins.  This is one of the simplest and quickest ways to start toward the repair, or enhancement, of a love relationship.  Notice that this is the way most pet dogs (who were put in the world to teach us love according to an old Indian legend) do it.  Actually many apparently love- connected mammals greet and part with what looks like shows of affection.  So maybe love starting and parting is natural.

It is not only failing love relationships that often lack this love expression ‘start and part’ behavior. ‘Blah’ and ‘in a rut’ stagnant, and semi-functional relationships frequently exhibit this lack of love ‘start and part’ way of doing things.  So, I would like to suggest you check out how well your love shows in ‘start and part’ situations.  Might you do well to greet your spouse, children, friends, and maybe even yourself with an improved, more love demonstrative ‘start and part’ set of actions?  Would you like to dedicate yourself to starting every encounter with a brief but sincere show of love?

Be sure to do that before you try to take care of anything else each time you encounter a loved one even if you have been away from them only for a brief amount of time.  When coming together after work, going to the store , visiting with others, etc. making some action to lovingly touch, saying words of love followed by asking “How are you feeling” delivered with a loving tone of voice and loving facial expressions are usual ways to create a pleasant and caring environment.

Coming in from outside while saying a term of endearment like “Hello, Sweetheart”, giving a good morning kiss upon waking, smiling at first sight of one another, and adding a caress or pat are also quite helpful.  Departing with similar sentiments and behaviors works in much the same way.  If you already do these sort of things ask yourself how can you improve?  If you don’t already do this sort of ‘start and part’ love might you want to dedicate yourself to making a plan to do so, and enacting it?

If when coming together you usually begin with some sort of practical ‘what’s to be done’ talk, or ‘what has been done’ inquiry a sense of low grade aggravation is likely to grow.  If the last thing said on departure is something like “Remember to mail the letter, pickup the cleaning, do your homework”, etc. that person’s return to you is less likely to be happy.

If the last thing said is a message of love the reverse is true.  Get the practical messages said but end with an expression of love.  If the first thing said upon coming together is “Did you remember to pay the bills, do your assignment, call so-and-so”, etc. a small dose of subconscious emotional abrasion may occur.  That abrasion experience could later lead to growing difficulty, or at least to fairly strong disappointment.  If instead a happy “Hello, darling, it’s so good to be with you”, or something like that, starts a new encounter with each other it is much more likely to go smoothly.  Usually it only takes 20 seconds or less to start or part lovingly.  The return on your loving effort can yield hours of happier time together.  Of course you can take longer than 20 seconds and do it even better if you want to.

If you are the recipient of loving ‘start and part’ behaviors do you soak them up, reciprocate in kind, and cycle the love being offered?  Ignoring, or quickly moving away from such tokens of love deprives yourself and your loved one from the healthy, positive effects of these small important actions.  Unfortunately, in our fast paced, often goal oriented and impersonal daily lives there is an insufficiency of loving behaviors, so savoring those love actions that do come your way can enrich your life.

A good love relationship takes good love teamwork.  Good teamwork love takes good sending and good receiving.  Being a good receiver and an equal participant when a loved one initiates a ‘start or part’ love action helps the process of good teamwork love quite a lot.  So, if a love ‘start or part’ action comes your way take it in and send some back.

People sometimes say to me things like, “Dr. Cookerly, doesn’t starting and parting with love get to be an empty habit or meaningless activity”?  It can if you let it but it doesn’t have to.  Be creative!  Also all around the world friendly, affectionate greeting and parting rituals make life work better.  It’s healthy for those in all loving relationships to develop their own, informal love rituals.  If you get a sense that your rituals are beginning to feel empty or meaningless that might be a message from your inner wisdom-filled subconscious to do them better.

So, here’s a simple challenge.  Make an experimental ‘start and part’ with more behaviors of love action plan, and carry it out.  Then see if you and those you care about like the results.

As always – grow in love!

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly