Valentine’s Day Is Over NOW… What Is Love, Really?

Valentine’s Day Is Over NOW… What Is Love, Really?

Rick Petronella Newsletter
Rick J. Petronella, PhD
Tel: 678-395-7922

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As former Senior Vice President of HR for the Merrill Trust, life coach and executive coach, Dr. Rick offers a distinct perspective in his practice both professionally and personally. He brings a unique blend of nearly 30 years’ consulting experience with individuals, families, and organizations that he shares with clients to develop insights into why we think, feel, and behave as we do and how we make successful changes that promote and sustain a better quality of life.

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February 2018
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Valentine’s Day Is Over NOW… What Is Love, Really?

The question “What is Love?” has been pondered over for as long as we have had a word to represent it. It has been tackled by some of the deepest minds to have graced this planet with their presence, and yet with all that wisdom at the end of our fingertips, we seem to be further from a good answer to that question than we ever have been.

We use it to describe the relationship between parents and children, intimate partners, our shiny new gadgets from cell phones to cars, our favorite dessert, and our connection to every other living being in our world. Are any of those uses wrong? Well, that depends on our definition of love.

The spread of uses is vast, from something that gives us a moment of pleasure to the deepest strongest connection a human being can experience. The most common dictionary definition of love goes something like this: “Love is a strong feeling of affection.” That certainly explains how we may experience it while at the same time commits a deep error of oversimplification. Does it actually tell us what love is?

Wikipedia states, “The conventional view in biology is that there are three major drives in love—sex drive, attachment, and partner preference. The primary neurochemicals (neurotransmitters, sex hormones, and neuropeptides) that govern these drives are testosterone, estrogen, dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin.”

That just about takes all the special meaning out of the word love. Reduced to neurochemicals, it becomes no more than a feature of this flesh we seem to inhabit. That scientific, biological definition may all be true, but does it help us understand love any better? What about Lyrics to Tina Turner’s song “What’s Love”?

You must understand though the touch of your hand
Makes my pulse react
That it’s only the thrill of boy meeting girl
Opposites attract
What’s love got to do, got to do with it
What’s love but a second hand emotion?
What’s love got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?

Accuracy does not equal validity. We can analyze a baby to the very atom that make up its cells but that doesn’t tell us how we should parent our child.

In the West, the historical foundations of our understanding of love come first from the Ancient Greek philosophers who identified four forms of love: familial love (storge), friendly love (philia), romantic love (eros), and divine love (agape).

When we refer to agape love, Jesus who brought love to the world in a language that was accessible to all. He was asked the question by the scribes…

“Which is the greatest commandment of all”?

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:29-31

Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

When we are able to embrace this message in these words our world will begin to look very different than it does today. Something to think about…

Perhaps the whole idea of “thinking about what love is” leads us off course, and trying to define it in words or seeking “it” takes us further from a the opportunity to experience it. When we feel love we know it in our hearts.

If the meaning of life is to find the meaning of life, likewise love is clearly not a bunch of words put into a sentence. It can only be found through the inquiry into uncovering what is already there ready for us to share and experience. Give it a try.

Featured Article
Top 10 Actions That Say ‘I Love You’

The saying, “Words are cheap, action speaks,” is never more true than when applied to “I love you.” Whether spoken to a romantic partner, your children or other family members, if the actions aren’t there to back up the loving words, it all means nothing. Below are 10 of the best ways to say “I love you” in your actions. But there are thousands more. See how creative you can get in coming up with your own ideas.

1. Greet your loved ones with a big smile, a hug and a kiss.

2. Really listen to what your loved ones are saying; give them your undivided and undistracted attention.

3. Support each other through tough times.

4. Do simple (even random) acts of kindness, such as massaging shoulders or feet, cooking a favorite meal, running a bath.

5. Spend one-on-one time with your loved ones, with no particular agenda.

6. Commit to truly accepting each other’s faults.

7. Come home on time. Sober.

8. Be impeccable with your word. If you say you’ll do something, do it, and by the time you said you’d do it.

9. Take responsibility for your part in any conflict, and then look at how you can do better next time. Step out of the blame game.

10. Share yourself and what lives deeply inside of you. This is a precious gift and conveys trust and security.

What’s Happening At Compass. Take A look.

• DUI Treatment and Clinical Evaluations
• State Approved Treatment Programs

Our DUI treatment programs and Clinical Evaluations are state approved for court ordered treatment. Allow us to help you. We also do Interventions for those struggling to get help. Call today.

We also provide:

• Individual, Relationship, & Child Counseling.
• Choices: Drug & Alcohol Court Ordered Group – Weekly. We also work with your probation officer. (DUI, possession charges, and other issues arising from substance abuse.)
• Challenges Adolescent Group Held Weekly. (Starting in March)
• Anger Management Classes
• Diversion Classes For Shop Lifting & Thief Prevention
• Drug Screening (Also available on site and home kits.)
• Relapse Prevention & Early Intervention Program
• Interventions

MANALIVE Men’s Group (Starts February 13 (filled). Please call for next group.)

Counseling for drug and alcohol issues: We treat both the addicted loved one as well as the battle weary family. We are here for you.

Executive Coaching is also available for the busy professional, who seems to never have time.

Bethany Kinzel MA, LPC has a vast experience working with adolescents as well as young married couples. She also works with families and children going through divorce. Bethany has served in both inpatient as well as out-patient settings. We welcome her to our practice as one of our therapists. 678-395-7922.

Charity Simpson NCC, MS, M.Div. specializes in children, adolescents, and women’s issues. She runs a group for young women on Monday nights from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. It is quite popular. Give her a call. The first appointment is free. 678-395-7922. Charity has been doing a fabulous job. She has just opened up a few more spots and is taking new clients.

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