Leesa Sklover-Filgate, Ph.D. is a regular contributor to Fairfield HamletHub. In this installment, she speaks on "Learning About Love"...
On a perfect planet, we would teach our young about the heart and the gifts of our spiritual heart. If we taught our children how to deal with those we love and to understand the opposite sex early on, there would be far less drama and mystery about each other. So many of us spend our adult lives trying to understand, to grasp the essence of relationships.
For me, love and understanding men have been the great mysteries of my life. I am at a point where I am educating women and men about each other in my counseling and coaching programs. Two projects I am involved in are about understanding the opposite sex and same sex in an optimal way. It is important to know and keep love in the heart as we move to committed relationships. One of my programs, titled called "If You Really Knew Me", takes place on November 1 and 2 at Sacred Heart University, from 7-9 pm (Schine Auditorium). We will act out the various scenarios of understanding men in a clearer light for the benefit of both men and women. The idea is to finally express the inexpressable through intimacy, fun and truth, in a way that only a theatre setting can convey.
The Best of Love is a five- and 10-session relationship program for those in a committed relationship or about to enter into partnership or marriage. Those with whom I work in the wedding catering world suggest that many of the couples with whom they work could use the experience to make their day and their lifetime one of ease and truth. Less focus on the distractions of flowers and honeymoon, more on friendship and love. A love plan guides heterosexual and same sex couples through deep self-knowing and love education that is often overlooked. Preparing ourselves for all we need to know about trust, connection and communication is the key. The areas of trust, communication and connection are known as the three-legged stool -- without one of the legs, the relationship cannot last. We often enter into commitment without the education we need and want. My program is for the success of love. It allows for every anxiety and mystery to be looked at with grace and reverence, for the most important thing we want in the world: the ability to love and be truly loved.
Soulful love is what brings us joy. We long for knowing the true presence of another and to know how to maintain and honor it. We each long for the the heart of all hearts to be ours. I remember being fascinated about trying to understand boys and then, years later, men. As a women, I could love and honor my girlfriends and reach a deep intimacy with them -- most are still my friends today. I can say the same for the boys that were in my life early on, for many of my closest friends were of the opposite sex. Something changed. Once in a relationship, I was always wanting greater understanding, and after many beautiful loves in my life, I realized it was the breaking of my heart many times and breaking of other's hearts many times, that brought me to the truth of genuine love in the relationship I am in now.
"A human being is the only animal to step in the same hole twice". It would have been nice to have some guidance along the way. Truthful guidance early on may have saved some journeying and tears. However, that would not have landed me here.
First, truly knowing who we are going to live with forever is a good start. We have to learn to honor the mystery of the events that led them to our arms and how to honestly honor that separate being, the family and the world from which they come. Archytypal field theory suggests that we know a lot of what we need to know by the first patterns in our initial meetings. How important it would be to be able to read the field and read the world of our relationship as best we can. The essential longing we all have is to know someone completely. This process requires a truthful process of self-growth and awareness, as we plan a wedding or an experience of living together..
The religion of our time is love. All the Mystical traditions and great religions focus on love being the answer. Every person wants to be loved and seen for who they truly are. What a gift it is to want to go on a journey of study about the person you are committing to for a lifetime. "All you need is love", said the Beatles. All the great mystics, healers, teachers are reexpressing the simple things we always needed to learn: how to love well. Why do we not educate our young at an early age to understand the hearts of others? We do somewhat, but not with any depth.
Knowing about relationships at a young age would be the best education to have. Why is it that we wait until there is a problem to fix: our soul, our marriage, our heart? I wish there had been someone to advise me on relationships with the opposite sex when I was a teenager. My father did his best to suggest that boys were different. It took me a long time to believe him.
If only we could explain both sexes to each other and avoid the stereotypes and pressure that prevent the true intimacy and understanding we crave. We have been carrying on with outworn conceptions of each other and ways to proceed in love that do not really heal relationships. Imagine if we can just start with each other, with understanding women and men, Adam and Eve, Yin and Yang and then proceeding on with groups, and all the beings of the planet. We could understand each other in the most magnificent way and see the unity of the world.
"If you really knew me" is the cry of many who wish to be seen and loved. Thich Nhat Hanh said, "The words we all most long to hear are 'Darling I am here for you'". Once you know real love, feel safe in knowing that love, you want to stay right there where you belong.