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What Love Really Means…

What Love Really Means…

I am sure that many of us have grown up reading and hearing about the term ‘once in a lifetime love’. It may be an ancient adage, however, I believe it’s true and definitely possible.

Love may acquire various forms, be it parental, siblings, family, friends or the romantic types. However, foundation for love remains the same.

In Indian history, the love between Radha and Krishna is immortal. Krishna was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who came on earth to free the world from evil and to establish ‘dharma’ or righteousness on earth. Radha was an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi on earth, in the form of a cowherd girl.

Radha and Krishna were childhood playmates. Of all the cowherd girls, Radha was dearest to Krishna as she was devoted to him. When Krishna played the flute, Radha sang and danced with him.

Their love was truly divine and unconditional. It was at a platonic level.

After spending 11 years of childhood together, Radha was cursed to bear separation from Krishna for 100 years!

Meanwhile, Krishna fulfilled the purpose of his incarnation on the earth. Radha’s devotion to Krishna was unprecedented. She was a part of his soul.

After 100 years, they did reunite and spent 14 years on earth, before returning to their heavenly abode.

We aren’t even capable of imagining the amount of pain and emotional turmoil she must have gone through during their period of separation.

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    In today’s age when lust is perceived as love and ‘out of sight’ means ‘out of mind’, one would find it hard to imagine back then how pious and pure Radha’s love was!

    That is the reason that even after thousands of years, we still worship Radha and Krishna together. The name Radha-Krishna is inseparable.

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    Another story goes as:

    Once Lord Krishna had a terrible stomach ache. He said that only solution to this problem is ‘charan amrit’ i.e. drinking the water with which the feet of his true love have been washed.

    All cowherd girls refused to give the Lord water with which their feet had been washed, since it would lead them to hell.

    Radha was the only girl who readily gave him the water since she felt that it is better to go to hell instead of seeing her Krishna in pain.

    This is truly what love really means! :-)

    Love means.. A soulful connection with your beloved

    It is said that the hearts of people in love are very close to each other, hence lovers speak very softly.

    At times, no words are needed when eyes do the needful.

    Love means… Selflessness

    True love is all about giving without expecting much in return. It is beyond materialism or any conditions.

    Seeing our beloved happy is blissful indeed!

    Love means…. Madness

    Love is about giving in to that awesome power that brings two people together in the craziest ways!

    Have you ever blushed thinking about your loved one?

    Or found yourself smiling do no reason at all?

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    Traveled miles (or even oceans) just to catch a glimpse of your sweetheart? :-)

    Love means… Loving with all your heart!

    It is said that part of staying in love is believing in it.

    We genuinely care for someone; feel elated seeing them happy;

    feel restless or even have our mood off knowing that they’re sad.

    What love really means is pouring our heart out and loving them!

    Love means… Acceptance

    We are all human beings with various flaws. It’s perfectly alright.

    True love would overlook these flaws and love the other human for the gem of a person they are!

    That too, in the strongest way possible and complement them.

    A quote I remember goes like, “I chose to stay with him for all the things he did right and not leave him for one thing he did wrong.”

    Love means… Being yourself too!

    Agreed you have given your heart wholly to your beloved.

    How great would it be if you are able to retain your individuality even while being together!

    Because in the first instance, it was the original independent YOU that was so adorable for someone to fall for.

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    Love yourself!

    Love means… Courage

    In some unpleasant situations, love could lead to disappointment. It may make you realize the hard way that though you wholeheartedly desire, you can’t make someone love you.

    Standing the test of time is essential; true love wasn’t achieved overnight.

    Take a chance, be enduring and courageous.

    Love means… Hope

    A quote that has captivated my mind is that,

    “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it’s destination, full of hope!”

    Hope, even in the darkest hours, makes the happy ending worthwhile.

    Love means… Humility

    True love would be about zero ego; placing your beloved and his priorities above ours, thus being really humble.

    Love means… Tremendous Patience

    Some confrontations or misunderstandings with our loved ones tend to anger us.

    However, it is at ‘this’ point that one needs to have tremendous patience. It is like waiting for sunrise after the onset of night.

    Have faith in yourself that the end of this process would surely be worth!

    Give time some time for things to fall in place.

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    Love means… Trust

    Trust yourself and your loved one.

    One should not rely on constant contact with your sweetheart, either in person or via text, just to feel secure.

    Instead, set it free.

    See how beautifully it comes back to you! :-)

    A verse from the Bible says,

    “Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous.

    Love is never boastful nor conceited. It is never rude or selfish.

    It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasures in other people’s sins but delights in the truth.

    It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, to endure whatever comes.”

    Need I say more? :-)

    Featured photo credit: Pixabay: meineresterampe via pixabay.com

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2020

    How to Be a Good Listener (And a Better Communicator)

    How to Be a Good Listener (And a Better Communicator)

    Listening skills aren’t easy for a lot of us, especially during a global pandemic when we’re especially stressed and easily distracted. The art of communication is more than just talking; it requires listening and paying attention. You have to learn how to be a good listener, as most of us aren’t born with it.

    Every relationship you have needs communication to survive, and that takes work. The good news is that it’s not hard to learn how to be a good listener. In fact, if you’re someone who feels like you could use a brushing up on your communication skills, here are a few pointers that you can start using right away to help you have more meaningful connections in all of your relationships.

    1. Validate Feelings

    Have you ever had someone tell you that you’re overreacting or to stop crying during a conversation? I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard that at one point in our lives. The thing is, it doesn’t feel good to be dismissed by someone you care about, especially in times of heightened stress or intense discussion.

    Feelings matter, regardless if you agree with them or not. One of the greatest things you can do for someone is to validate their feelings when you’re learning how to be a good listener. Tell them that you hear them and that you acknowledge how they feel[1]. When you do that, you’re creating a relatability element by showing you understand the other person’s feelings.

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    When you can be more relatable to someone you care about, it raises the level of trust in your relationship. Back in March, when the pandemic started, my eight-year-old son was struggling with virtual learning away from his friends and school that he loved so much. There was no closure for him, and it was apparent in the way he approached is day as he refused to acknowledge school because it wasn’t physically in his classroom.

    Most days included a breakdown of some kind, which was very stressful for all of us. One day he was laying on our living room couch, crying about how awful the situation was for him. “I want to go to school and see my friends. I miss my teacher. This is the worst thing ever,” he sobbed. As I watched him in that moment, I realized I had two choices: I could tell him to stop it, suck it up, and go to school, or I could get in it with him and help him understand that I, too, was experiencing the exact same feelings.

    I decided to sit with him and take him in my arms, hug him, and tell him I felt the same way. That I wanted him to be in school with his friends, that I wanted him to be able to go to soccer practice and have fun, that I missed my friends, too, and that yes, you’re right, this is the worst.

    Once I did that, something shifted. He looked at me with the realization that I did understand what he was going through because I had a similar experience. Demonstrating relatability, validating his feelings, and being a good listener to his needs helped us have a breakthrough in our communication.

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    2. Be Present

    Distraction is all around us. With lots of information being thrown at us at a million miles an hour, it’s no wonder communication in relationships can suffer. When you are in a discussion with someone you truly care about, whether it’s your life partner, a good friend, or you child, make sure you are free of distraction during your conversation.

    Having little to no distraction allows you to be a better listener. It allows you to focus on the conversation and really digest the discussion. Furthermore, it helps in allowing you to be thoughtful and considerate in your interaction.

    I find that my most successful conversations[2] happen on neutral ground. It helps to reduce stress and remove judgement from the interaction. Some of the best conversations I’ve had have been on walks, while driving in the car, or even laying in bed with the lights off. I can be fully present and engaged with the ability to absorb the conversation at hand, especially when the conversation is about a sensitive subject.

    It’s hard to have an uncomfortable conversation sitting across a table or not in your own territory. It can make it feel more like an interrogation and can often start with apprehension or having your guard up. When you do your best to eliminate that from the situation, you’re offering a desire to find a solution by creating a safe space to listen and communicate more successfully.

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    We tend to expose ourselves and our feelings easier when we feel like we’re not being judged. When my husband and I need to have a hard conversation, we often go for a walk or have a conversation in the middle of the night in the dark. The absence of distraction allows us to truly listen to each other’s needs and desires and creates a stronger bond of respect and intimacy.

    3. Respond

    As you’re trying to learn how to be a good listener, respond, don’t react. How many times have you regretted the way you reacted to a conversation with someone you care about? Whether it’s a personal or professional relationship, the way you reply is important.

    Because we’re human and it’s only natural to get defensive, especially if the communication is not something we agree with, we typically react without giving consideration to the big picture. That isn’t helpful when you’re trying to make progress in a situation.

    You may be thinking, how does listening come into play when you’re replying to someone else’s engagement with you? It doesn’t matter if you’re having that conversation via text, email, or in person; the way you absorb the information is going to directly affect the way you have your interactive dialogue.

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    Think about a time when you’ve been at work and received an email from a co-worker that triggered you[3]. It’s happened to all of us. A lot of times, we hit the reply button and go to town unloading our feelings and thoughts without taking the time to fully digest and consider the content in front of us. We’re not “listening” to what our peer is requesting.

    Handling delicate situations can be tricky. That’s why I like to advise my clients to respond rather than react, and start with the end in mind. When you’re faced with a challenging situation, think about how you want that particular experience to be resolved. Do you want to be able to walk away with a hug, an agreement, and a positive outcome? If so, the way you do that is by being a good listener and planning your response.

    Final Thoughts

    Communication in any relationship, personal or professional is hard. We have to be committed to showing up and doing the work to make sure they are successful and thriving. Learning how to be a good listener plays a huge part in the success of each and every one.

    The next time you find yourself in a situation where you need to pay attention, remember to validate, be present, and respond with thoughtful consideration. You’ll be amazed at how much your interactions improve.

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    Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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