Synopsis: This mini-love-lesson first introduces you to the value of contemplating love by way of some mind-tickling and significant questions; then touches on a few super sources for love contemplation; next comes contemplative wisdom and trash; and ends with five starter, love-based conceptions likely to be well worth contemplating.
The Questions of LoveDo you give love much thought? Lots of people don’t until it goes away or turns out to be false. Perhaps you have pondered what love really is? Or maybe you puzzled over how love works? Do you ponder about how to tell the real thing from the false? What do you think of love’s reported ability to heal physical and psychological illness? Have you tried to figure out how one gets, gives, grows, loses, destroys, recaptures, sends, receives or benefits from love? Yes, there are a great many questions when contemplating love and probably in doing so can significantly improve one’s life of love. As might be expected, those who don’t give love much thought seem to be the ones who commonly run into all sorts of love troubles and big love failures.
You also can contemplate lots of questions concerning yourself and love. Are you well loved? Do you love well? Have you ever thought about your own love skills? Are your love skills poor, average or superior? Are you skilled at integrating love and sex? How about integrating love and parenting? Then there’s integrating love and friendship? Are you good at healthy self-love? You have heard phrases like love of country, love of God, love of life, etc. But do you know what actions to take to accomplish those kinds of love? Are you a person who relies more on love luck, or are you someone who develops your own abilities to act with love? Do others see you as a loving person, and do you see yourself as a person of love?
Contemplating love regarding others also is important. Does she or he love me? Do my children really love me? Do I have friends who genuinely love me? Do my family members love each other well or poorly? Do you associate with people who love well, are love skilled and love oriented? Are the people in your life mostly anti-loving and/or non-love oriented? Contemplating these types of questions just might change your life.
What the Greats Have SaidAnother way to contemplate love is to study and give consideration to the writings of philosophers, religious leaders and the great thinkers that have preceded us. Socrates, Aristotle and especially Plato, who wrote his famous Symposium on Love, had a lot to say about love. Teachings, concepts and ideas about love can be found in all the Scriptures of the world’s great religions. Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, Krishna, Confucius and many other great religious masters have taught a great deal concerning love. More contemporary great minds in a wide variety of scientific, research, human services and many other fields also have contemplated love and produced highly worthy and influential volumes on love. So, you might want to do some reading to assist your contemplations.
Wisdom and TrashThe largest number of ideas about love contemplated by the largest number of people probably comes from songwriters, poets, novelists, playwrights and the like. Love stories are thought by some to be the very first written works. For ages it was only those in the arts who tried to convey understandings concerning love. Not only writers but painters and sculptors have presented much that can produce meaningful and inspirational contemplations concerning love. Some of this is very wise, helpful, healthy, useful and right. Unfortunately, a great deal of it can be considered trash, wrong, stupid, misleading and downright destructive. But that also is true of many of the ideas presented by the supposed great thinkers, writers, etc.
So, it is by contemplation that one may sort out some of the trash from the jewels of wisdom that actually can do you and your loved ones some good. For example, consider this. Many a love story and love song has reinforced the idea that love is jealous. The teachers and Scriptures of several religions definitively teach “love is not jealous”. Which one is right? Which one is wise and which one is more likely to lead you astray, and best be considered trash? Perhaps you will want to contemplate that!
Starter Things to Contemplate about LoveBelow are some statements involving love which you may enjoy thinking about, or in other words, contemplating. It’s perfectly all right to not believe them, disagree or agree, or to go off on some tangent. You also might want to think them over, out loud, with someone else. That’s another way to help contemplation, by discussion. See what you think about these ideas.
1. Hate destroys the hater
Indifference dulls the indifferent
Love makes better the loved and the loving.
2. Healthy, real love is always about and for the benefit of the loved.
It is only false love that can turn to wanting to hurt, harm and destroy.
3. Love is the greatest of all naturally occurring phenomena, but how to do it, give it, get it and grow it takes lots of learning.
4. Two things get better and bigger by giving them away, ideas and love.
5. How well and how much you do healthy self-love will effect how much and how well you get healthy real love from others, and how well your love relationships will do overall.
Now, I suggest you contemplate the above statements and above questions as a way to get started on practicing love contemplation, and see where it leads you. I think you may be quite pleased with the results you get.
As always – Go and Grow with Love
Dr. J. Richard Cookerly
What is the most important, influential and significant thing ever said to you, or read by you, about love?