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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 May 21, 2019

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

    If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

    Example 1

    You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

    You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

    In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

    Example 2

    You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

    People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

    You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

    Example 3

    You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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    The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

    Example 4

    You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

    Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

    If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

    Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

    • Understand your own communication style
    • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
    • Communicate with precision and care
    • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

    1. Understand Your Communication Style

    To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

    In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

    Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

    2. Learn Others Communication Styles

    Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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    If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

    “How do you prefer to receive information?”

    This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

    To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

    3. Exercise Precision and Care

    A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

    On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

    Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

    I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

    I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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    In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

    The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

    Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

    4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

    Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

    In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

    “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

    Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

    Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

    It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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    It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

    It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

    Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

    Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

    The Bottom Line

    When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

    I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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    Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

    Reference

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