John Lennon assured us: "All you need is love".
Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. Love is also a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection; and "the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another".
Loving relationships, the sharing of love and the expression of love with others, is one of life's most fulfilling experiences.
- Approach people with an attitude of unconditional positive regard.
- Study this essay on becoming compassionate. Take the steps outlined for getting there.
- List the various loves in your life. This might include a childhood pet, a favorite place, an aunt, uncle, or grandparent, a favorite activity, hobby, song, or book. Recall your feelings of joyful awareness. Extend these joyful feelings toward each person in your present family, including your spouse or lover, siblings, parents, and children. Continue to extend these joyful feelings to those more distant from you, including your neighbors, co-workers, and others. Develop empathy. Eventually strive to extend joyful feelings toward people you disagree with and those you dislike.
- Give and receive consummate love with your intimate partner.
- Give and receive companionate love with others close to you.
Suggestions for further reading:
- Ruggiero, Vincent Ryan (2006). The Practice of Loving Kindness: A Guide to Spiritual Fulfillment and Social Harmony. New City Press. pp. 152. ISBN 978-1565482548.
- Armstrong, John (2003). Conditions Of Love. W. W. Norton and Company, Inc.. pp. 176. ISBN 978-0393331738.
- Salzberg, Sharon (2002). Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness. Shambhala. pp. 208. ISBN 978-1570629037.
- Lewis, Thomas; Richard Lannon, Fari Amini (2001). A General Theory of Love. Vintage. pp. 288. ISBN 978-0375709227.
- King, Jr., Martin Luther (1963). Strength to Love. New York: Harper & Row. pp. 146. ISBN 0800614410. Although written from a christian perspective, many of the messages are universal.
- Fisher, Helen (2004). Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love. Holt Paperbacks. pp. 320. ISBN 978-0805077964.
- Fromm, Erich (1956). The Art of Loving. New York: Harper & Brothers. pp. 184. ISBN 978-0061129735.
- Horstman, Judith; Scientific American (2011). The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex and the Brain: The Neuroscience of How, When, Why and Who We Love. Jossey-Bass. pp. 264. ISBN 978-0470647783.
- Gibran, Kahlil (1923). The Prophet. Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 96. ISBN 978-0394404288.
- (Evaluate: The Ways and Power of Love: Types, Factors, and Techniques of Moral Transformation )
- (Evaluate: Essays in Love )
- (Evaluate: Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray )
- (Evaluate: Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex, and Relationships )
- (Evaluate: The Rules of Love: A Personal Code for Happier, More Fulfilling Relationships )
- (Evaluate: Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love )
- (Evaluate: Socrates in Love: Philosophy for a Passionate Heart )
- (Evaluate: Awakening Loving-Kindness )
- (Evaluate: Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness )
- (Evaluate: Eight Steps to Happiness: The Buddhist Way of Loving Kindness )
- (Evaluate: The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved )
- Oxford Illustrated American Dictionary (1998) + Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (2000)
- Merriam Webster Dictionary
- Empathic Self-Transformation and Love in Individual and Family Therapy, Peter R. Breggin, Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology.
- Fromm, Erich (1956). The Art of Loving. New York: Harper & Brothers. pp. 184. ISBN 978-0061129735. Page 109