Harry Stack Sullivan, a brilliant and insightful psychiatrist with extraordinary giftedness, said "Love begins when a person feels another person's need to be as important as his own."  There is no getting around the fact that when we love someone else, we take their needs as seriously as we take our own.

 

I talk with many singles who are ambivalent about their current relationship. They feel comfortable and compatible with their partner on many levels, but they don't have a clear sense of being "in love."

 

And it is this kind of loving that will achieve for us relationships that are profoundly healthy. Bondedness always occurs between people when both persons recognize that they are being taken with total seriousness. It is this bondedness which produces the kind of harmony that makes marriages work well, that allows families to achieve their greatest potential, and that provides for every group of human beings the experience of "symphony" which is so vital to joy and success.

 

This kind of love never happens for you or for me until we get ourselves loved this way. That's why I constantly say that when a person gets herself or himself into a right relationship with God, deeply loved and cared for on an unconditional basis, then they are free to love other people unselfishly.

 

This kind of love makes everything different for the people involved.  Dr. Karl Meninger, founder of the Meninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, said: "Love cures people-both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.

 

Now the fact is that love requires a lot of learning.  Hate, on the other hand, seems to come kind of naturally. But loving others creates momentum. Love is always the response to love, and when we get ourselves loved unconditionally at the deepest of levels, we begin to learn how to model after that kind of love.

 

I have found that love is at the heart of my work with people.  When I really love them, they change-and always for the better.  They learn how to experience their lovableness, and they begin to give more and more love to me and to the important people in their lives.  That same Dr. Karl Meninger from whom I quoted earlier said it best:  "It is this intangible thing love, love in many forms, which enters into every therapeutic relationship. It is an element of which the physician may be the carrier, the vessel. And it is an element which binds and heals, which comforts and restores, which works what we have to call, for now, miracles."

 

So, let love guide your life. Get yourself loved clear to your core, and learn how to transmit this same kind of love to everybody you meet. Everything changes for everyone touched by love!

 

"Most of all, let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony." (Colossians 3:14)

 

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