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What Love Is…

What Love is…

Deborah Anapol, Ph.D. says, “Love is force of nature. No matter how much we want to, we cannot demand, command or disappear love” It’s true, you can’t make someone love you and you can’t really stop them either. I do believe however you can create love. Love is the most powerful force in the Universe and therefore it is also the most fearful.

Ownership, which many confuse as being love, prevents freedom, however love encourages it.  If love could speak it would say… I am so grateful for you, please just be fully who you are and let me hold a sacred space in which you can unfold.”  Standing in that space feels like a gift to both people. So clearly love is not ownership, manipulation, compromising one’s self, violence, contempt or fear.  Nor is love just lust.

People also mistake love as something that should only be given to a partner, husband or wife.  Actually, love is something that should be given freely to everyone, including ones self. When it is given freely, it leaves little room for depression, loneliness or desperation.  These cannot co-exist with love.

I ask participants at my seminars to raise their hands if they have ever been in love. Only those people who have partners raise their hands. Then, I ask, who here has had a best friend, a child, a mom, a brother, a sister a mentor or a special teacher? Who here has eaten chocolate or peppermint ice cream with hot fudge sauce? Who has had fresh baked bread or hot buttered popcorn? Who here has run in the rain, been blown open or inspired by a truth or been moved to tears by genuine caring?  I believe if you have ever experienced any of these, you have been in love. Love is not limited to anyone or anything. That means, of course that we can fall in love everyday. In fact, you fall in love every time you are able to see the Divine, Spirit, God  or whatever you want to call it, in anything or anyone.

When see your friend’s spirit, or you see spirit in your child’s smile, or your mom’s love…you have just met love. You see love is a choice.  You can make love happen just by seeing the beauty in everything.  Author, Erich Fromm says we make it happen in four steps by caring and demonstrating active concern for each others growth and life, 2nd by taking responsibility for or actions and reactions to each other and our expressed and unexpressed needs.  3rd is respecting each other’s unique individuality and supporting and cherishing that, and 4thfinally by what he calls knowledge, in other words caring enough to really take the time and invest the energy in getting to know each other at a deeper level. Most of us say, “How are you,” not really caring or “Let’s have coffee,” then we go home and within twenty-minutes we have disconnected completely.  Some of that is because we are overwhelmed in our own lives, but acting in this way, disconnects us from the very thing that would fill us up…deep connections. True love is connected, attached and committed, no matter what the form. Obviously, not all the forms of love will come from just one person, so it’s important to connect with many people and create lots of opportunities to both give and receive love.  If you are afraid to receive love, find a good therapist.  He or she will remind you that if you have been hurt in the past or have lost love and are now refusing to be open to it again…that’s a bit like saying “ I once had either the best or the worst sushi in the world, so I am never eating food again.” Whether you eat sushi or not, you get the point.   I am sure whatever your experience, you no doubt learned a great deal, so now go and put that experience to good use and find someone to love.

Here’s the deal. Find the people in your life who see your soul not just how sexy you are. Find the people who care about your character not just who you know, where you have been or what you own. Find the people who stay when you disagree and hear you even when what you are saying is different than what they know to be true. Find the people who can say, ” You’re right, I am sorry.“  Find the people who want to grow with you, grow old with you and who will lie under the stars and listen in the silence to your heartbeat. Find the ones who will hold your hand and stay even when they are as scared as you are. Then love them and yourself like crazy.  Happy heart day from all of us.

 

© Dr Dina Evan 2013

Phoenix Arizona

(602) 997-1200

www.DrDinaEvan.com

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

 

 

 

Love Is…

I have never really believed that you fall in love instantly. You could conceivable fall into lust, or trip mindlessly into passion – but love, real love, takes time – like cooking the perfect soufflé. Love creeps gently into your insides when you glance her way and see the sun gently reflecting off locks of red hair cascading haphazardly over her shoulder or behind his eyes that seems to see forever. Love wells up in your throat when you flip play on the answer machine and hear his sultry voice telling you to “come straight home!”

Love smiles through lathered up faces, tucked in towels and hangs gently mid-air in tunes that get hummed early in the morning. Love grabs you like gentle thunder in the middle of an orgasm, in the middle of laughter, in the middle of dinner. Love walks into the room definitively beside you, not searching, roving or seeking something fantasized, but, not yet found. Love is being present, profoundly here, solid and alive. Love is the connection, the commitment, the ecstasy and relief of right union. Love creates a direct path to Spirit parts, head parts, heart parts and girl parts and boy parts.

When I was very young, I thought I’d fall into love repeatedly. Really, I was only practicing to be in love once. When you are older you become the love, and then give that to each other. When you become the love, there is no separation between who you are and what you feel and no way to give less than your best. If you still feel you are looking for the best you have not yet found love. Love is a surprise because it’s never what you thought it was and it never comes when you wish it would.

Love can take a break when the words seem hard to find, but love never goes very far away and always comes back to resolve the issue. Love believes there will always be a resolve and love chooses not to sleep until we find it. Love reaches across the distance either of us create when we feel a need to protect ourselves and pulls us toward each other.

Real love demands integrity. It tests each of our ability to stay present, aware and truthful. When we are both being love, we are able to cradle the child in each of us, respect the adult in each of us and encourage the Spirit in each of us.

Love is only able to flourish in truth. True love is about being really present, authentic and willing to risk honesty, solidity, sanctuary and grace. Love is in anything real. You can hear love in Chopin, Beethoven, Puccini, Barbra Streisand and Sarah Brightman. Love is about taking care of yourself and committing to your own growth so that your partner is not grieved nor required to spend time cleaning up the mess from your lack of awareness. Love is about embracing weaknesses together, talking together, tearing up together and trying to do it better together. Love is about believing not just enduring. It’s about devotion, not just affinity. It’s about passion, not just fondness. It’s about soul deep connecting, not just sex. It’s about Beingness, not just bodies. It’s about wanting those you love to be the best they can be for themselves, not just for you. Mature love is a sacred thing. Some think it only comes once in one’s lifetime. I believe it can come to anyone who wants it badly enough, with anyone they choose. Real love can be in the middle of every relationship we have, with everyone we know. Real love never just happens. It gets created, moment by moment, day by day, year by year. Love is about your willingness to discover your own capacity for forgiveness, compassion and integrity. It is created with respect for each others beliefs, with support for each others goals and with inspiration for each others dreams. When you have love, there is nothing else you need. When you are really in love the grass is never greener and the questions are l gone. When you become love you have done what you came here to do. Love is not an instantly falling into thing. Love is a feeling fully, failing and forgiving, filling up and flowing over, finding you and finding me – a slowly becoming a forever thing.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Love: Real Deal or Another Spiel?

“Ok, we all know that we are finally waking up and in this great relationship revolution, but, how do we tell what’s the real deal or just another spiel when shopping for a long term commitment? Our hearts, and perhaps something a little lower is shouting, This is it, this is the real deal. Yippee! I have finally found my true love and soul mate. The problem is that while we are mid-air in flights of fantasy we may be missing some very human qualities that could mean the demise of our dream at some point down the road. So what is it that one should look for in a long-term mate? Perhaps the best approach is to become aware of what we don’t want.

I’ll do anything for you!

Run; don’t walk to the nearest exit. There are lots of people out there who really feel this endearing willingness constitutes love. The truth is it constitutes codependency. Anyone who is willing to give himself or herself up completely for you, will, in the not too distant future, be expecting the return of that favor. When it is not forthcoming…you can expect to hear things like, I have given you everything and what have I gotten in return? A person who is capable of loving you in a whole-souled way, loves himself or herself as well. In fact they are not able to commit to you or put you first in their lives as a partner, unless they are committed to themselves and first in their own lives…not in a selfish, but rather, a self-loving way. This kind of attraction is not about being an adult who can give love equally. It’s about a lack of maturity or an inner child who needs to be nurtured and taken care of. Ask yourself, Do I want to be a parent or a partner?

Everyone one else I’ve been with has abandoned me!

Dah! There is probably a reason. People who abandon themselves and don’t have good boundaries that are self-respecting often get abandoned because it’s simply too much of a burden to be with this kind of person. No one wants to be responsible for another’s happiness, safety or fulfillment. If you share these things great, but it’s not your job to be responsible for the quality of another person’s life.

Let me tell you about how bad my past partners were!

Put on your tennies and run again! You are next on the list for bashing and the whole world will know your every flaw. People who have integrity don’t talk about other people including past lovers. They talk about issues, principles, growth, spirituality and love. If your past partner was worth sharing your body and love with, they deserve the respect due any human being once the relationship ends. You can tell about how mature your prospective partner is by how they treat their families and their past partners. Yes, there are times when we must set good boundaries and we might decide a person is not the kind of individual we want in our lives. But we don’t run all over town airing our dirty laundry about the ugliness. We simply move on and learn from our mistakes.

I want to spend every minute with you.

This is not love. This is insecurity and control. Love takes a break, spends time with friends and comes home to share. Love wants you to grow, do the things that make you happy and does not expect 24-hour attention. Control, insecurity and the need to possess underlie this kind of behavior. When someone wants to know where you are every minute and what you are doing and with whom, you are in trouble. This is an unstable person who will make your life miserable with doubt and jealousy. No matter how much you reassure him or her, it will never be enough because it’s not your problem. It’s theirs. It’s a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. Ask yourself, How does my partner make me feel? If you feel afraid to be open, truthful, make decisions that are right for you or if you find yourself withholding information because your partner will become angry or hurt, this is not the right relationship for you. Move on.

True love is based on freedom and truth. It is never about control, coercion, ownership, possession or material gain. It’s about giving. When you want to know the truth of someone’s heart watch what they do not what they say. You can always tell what someone is really like or what they really believe by watching what happens beyond the words. Take your time. Enjoy the ride and stop rushing into anything. There is always time to discover the true nature of the person to whom you are about to give your heart. Not only can shopping for a new love be fun, but it is also a great exercise in self-love.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Being in Love

I love being in love. I love the warm gentle flow of feeling that makes you want to gather someone up in your arms and embrace them forever with your soul. I love the feeling of having come home. I love waiting for the feeling to diminish, and the sense of joy and surprise when it doesn’t.

I love the unfolding, like looking across the table at someone I feel I have known forever wondering what new thing I will discover about him/her today. How will s/he surprise me, reveal another part of himself kept unconsciously hidden until now?

I love the together feeling that comes from knowing we both know, and agree, but neither of us needs to say so because it’s a given. I love the feeling that even when your partner is across in a crowd, s/he is somehow still at your side, covering your back, next to your heart. I love the sideways glances held just long enough to send the profound message that all is well – always will be.

I love knowing someone can hold your sacred secrets, fears and fantasies without judgment and reflect back his own to be held with the same honor. I love the gift of spirit that happens when he shares his innermost feelings and welcomes mine.

I love anticipating arrivals, regretting departures, enjoying togetherness. I love poking fun, dishing dirt and cleaning up the kitchen together after a party. I love creating an extended family, a tribe of especially chosen spirits who dance to the same music, laugh at the same jokes and who share the same values.

I love having a partner in the challenges and a lightening rod in the process of being truthful with myself, cutting through the bullshit and ego. I love getting called on my stuff and being required to wake up. I love having someone who demands that I keep my heart open even in the pain of discovering that I have been less than who I am, but loved none the less.

I love checking in. “How was your day, are we going in the right direction, how are we doing.” I love discovering the ways I have left myself, left him/her, left the process. I love having the chance to heal those parts of myself that are too afraid to believe neither of us will leave. I love knowing I have the courage to come back to reconnect again.

I love looking at the back of his neck, being guided gently with his hand against the small of my back and backing into him to gently rest against his chest. I love looking forward to a future, moving farther into intimacy and removing the separation faster. I love the dance. The ebbs and flow, the ups and downs, the ins and outs.

I love getting enlightened, learning new ideas and bringing them home to work on. I love having my mind and compassion challenged in the center of our differences. I love having to let go of my need for sameness and finding safety in the places we disagree.

I love the process of loving, without reservation, without conditions, without withholds. I love having a precious person in my life who is willing to help me discover who I really am.

One would think that as much as I love being in love, this Valentines Day might not be so filled with joy, given that the special person for this time in my life has not net arrived. And yet, oddly enough, I am so filled with joy I can hardly stand myself. I have had these precious moments with every person I have ever been with, and share every one of them now with the incredible group of people who sit in my inner circle. We tell the truth, explore our fears, move deeper into intimacy. We dance the dance. It is delicious, ecstatic. One day, in the not too distant future, perhaps my beloved will appear. We will immediately recognize each other and know that we have been found. For the moment, it is less important when that happens, or even if it happens because the relationships I have are so intense and beautiful, that little seems missing in my life.

I guess the real lesson is that being in love is a state of mind. I am so in love with each person in my circle, with who they are and who they are becoming. I am in love with life, its challenges and its blessings. I am in love with the person I am – even her broken parts, as well as the person I am becoming. Most of all, I am in love with Spirit, sensuously, sacredly. If I died today and missed my soul mate, I would still say I have been and love being in love. How about you?

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

This is the month when Cupid runs rampant and our ideas about love come into question. When you are a child you think love is getting a valentine at school from that really neat kid who sits in the desk two rows behind you. Then, as a teen, you think love is being asked to the dance or getting a “steady ring.” As you get into young adulthood, you may think love is about ownership, thinking exactly alike and finding the right mate to resolve all your problems. When you finally get to maturity, love really changes. It’s far less theatrical, comes with fewer spot lights, horns and dazzles, but, carries much more meaning and a great many more gifts.

Love is about being truthful, being really present and authentic and being willing to commit to something most of us have yet to create in our lives – honesty, solidity, sanctuary and grace. It’s about taking care of yourself so your partner is not grieved or having to spend time cleaning up the mess from your lack of awareness. It’s about telling your truth, being understood and risking the assumption that it matters, even when there may not be agreement. Love is about a willingness to disagree.

Mature love becomes more about giving than getting. Barry and Joyce Vissell, In Chicken Soup for the Soul, tell about a story of Moses Mendelssohn, grandfather of the well known composer who was short is stature and had a grotesque humpback. Moses fell hopelessly in love with a beautiful maiden named Frumtje, but, she was repulsed by him. One day he asked her if she felt marriages were made in heaven. “Yes,” she replied looking at the floor. And do you believe marriages are made in heaven?”

“Yes I do he replied. “You see, in heaven, at the birth of each boy, the Lord announces which girl he will marry. When I was born, my future bride was pointed out to me. Then, the Lord added,’ But your bride will be a humpback.’

“Oh Lord, Mendelssohn called out right then and there, “A humpbacked woman would be a great tragedy. Please, Lord, give me the humpback and let her be beautiful.” It is said, Frumtje looked deep into his eyes and was stirred by some deep memory. She reached out and gave him her hand and later became his devoted wife. Mature love is about being willing to be the humpback.

Love is about tooting together, talking together, tearing up together and trying to do it better together. Love is about listening, not just hearing. It is about believing not just endorsing. It’s about devotion, not just affinity. It’s about passion, not just fondness. It’s about soul deep connecting, not just sex. It’s about beingness, not just bodies. It’s about wanting those you love to be the best they can be for themselves, not just for you.

Mature love is a sacred thing. Some think it only comes a few times in one’s lifetime. I believe it can come to anyone who wants it badly enough, with anyone they choose. Real love should be in the middle of every relationship with have, with everyone we care about. Real love does not just happen. It gets created, moment by moment, day by day, year by year. Love is about your willingness to discover your capacity for forgiveness, compassion and integrity. It is created with respect for each others beliefs, with support for each others goals and with inspiration for each others dreams. It comes out of a willingness to stand together giving each other equal independence, as well as equal dependence. It arrives in the same moment your willingness not only to forgive, but also to forget arrives.

Love brings the chance to see each other as cherished and special, not just in the memorable moments, but also in the everydayness of being. Love means you commit to be at each other’s side in times of abundance and in times of need – in times of trying and in times of triumph – in times of illness and in times of health, knowing that these are the times of greatness and growth. True love brings the best opportunities for finding one’s Self.

As a community, it is time to raise the bar on this issue of love. It is time to rise to the challenge that has long been awaiting us and stop pretending that we don’t know what real love is, how it acts and what it does. It’s time to take deep breaths. It’s time to step forward, go deeper and realize the potential gifts love offers to each of us, both in the giving and the receiving. More than anything else in 1999, I wish each of you great love.

Arizona Together
February 1999
Dr. Dina Evan

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

You’re in Love When…

When you are young you believe that you fall into love. You could conceivably fall into lust, or trip mindlessly into passion-but love, real love is something you become – not something into which you fall.

We also often confuse unconditional love and romantic love. Unconditional love is the glue that holds the universe together. It is called morphic-resonance, alignment, attunement, peace or grace. It is the act of energies coming together in way that creates harmonious fluidity in the system. It is the dance that makes each of its parts more, united in the mutual blessing of mutual recognition and honor. Each integral part moves into union. Each part having the implicit awareness that it individually is, and is necessary to the whole. Love is an act of recognition from one soul to another. Your spirit is familiar to me – I know it as my own. Jeez that sounds a lot like romantic love as well. Hence the confusion. They are one in the same, with romantic love having a few, okay a lot, more challenges.

Love can be spontaneous, it can pop up in unexpected places; between friends over lunch, between words in secret sharings, between breaths beside the ocean. Love is found in sad songs, love songs, in nearly all songs. Love is in the eyes of a child, in the warmth of a shaggy dog’s coat lying across your foot as you write your column, or in the recognition of humanity in a stranger’s glance. Love is found in uncommon acts of kindness and in moments of being vulnerable. It is in the space behind our fear. Love can peek through the eyes in the mirror when there is acceptance or compassion for ourselves. Love gets created between two people who are healing themselves and each other. Love is in each of us when we are open to being it.

In relationships, love is often confused with need. Love is not need. Love does not seek anything. When there is true love it is never partial, it is already complete. When we seek out each other to fill our needs, our lovers become the object of filling those needs rather than our beloved. Love is being present, profoundly here, solid and alive. Love is the connection, the commitment, the ecstasy and relief of right union. Love creates a direct path to Spirit parts, head parts, heart parts, girl parts and boy parts. When love is real all of our parts are in it and nothing is held back. When we are both being love, we are able to cradle the child in each of us, respect the adult in each of us and encourage the Spirit in each of us.

When you are being love, there is no separation between who you are and what you feel, therefore, there is no way to give less than your best. When you still feel you are looking for the best, or still trying to give the best, you have not yet found love. When you have found it there are no questions left. Love is a surprise! It is never what you thought is was and never comes because you wish it would. Love knocks you off your feet and onto your butt when you least expect it or have decided you don’t need it.

Love walks barefoot in summer and wears sweats in winter. Love stays up through the night to help you solve problems. Love reaches out through fear or pain to touch your face or take your hand. Love reaches back to touch his or her face or take his or her hand. Love reaches through all the distances we each create when we feel a need to protect ourselves, or have begun to doubt ourselves – and it pulls us toward each other. Love believes there will always be resolve and does not leave until we find it.

Love cracks me up laughing while dishing the guests at a party we’ve just left, or while describing how somebody – the invisible person who lives in my house – ate the last fat free cookie. Love calls me Einstein when I launch into an explanation of morphic- resonance but I can’t even remember the date or time of an event after being told twenty-seven times. Love is an amazing thing.

When we are being love, we are also being integrity, honesty and truth because love walks hand in hand with them. It is not possible to stand in love and also stand in lying, cheating, leaving in any way, or pretending. Love knocks at your hearts door and reminds you to do these things would be a betrayal to yourself.

No, love is not an instantly falling into thing. Love is a feeling fully, failing and forgiving, filling up and over-flowing, finding you and finding me thing. In truth there are only two emotions in the world, love and fear… and love is the only real one. Perhaps this will help….
You Know You’re In Love When…

Love becomes something you do, rather than something you want.
Taking care of yourself means you get another moment
to brush the hair from off her forehead.
Cuddling is not about the weather
An expected glance at her takes your breath away.
Sex becomes sacred
How she looks is less important than who she is
You are willing to discover something new about her
from moment to moment
Uncertainty, questions and greener grass no longer exist.
Leaving is not an option
You would gladly give your inner child to her
What you feel begins to heal you both.
You are willing to open your heart in ways
you never thought you could
Giving less than your best feels like lying
You can feel her imprint on your soul
You can feel her presence even when she’s not near
It’s more fulfilling to listen than talk
Truth becomes a gift of spirit
And, loving her becomes all you need

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.