Genuinely Loving Relationships
Genuinely loving relationships have a distinctive character to them. They inherently help the participants grow in positive ways. Some of these ways include growing in self-awareness, healthy self-love, capacity for further growth, etc. They also help folks heal the wounds that might have been hindering such growth. (See also: Genuine Love Is A Powerful Force.)
Tragically, genuinely loving relationships are a rarity in our character-impaired times. And there are many reasons for this, including:
- A lack of mature awareness about what real love is and isn’t
- A need-driven tendency to settle for less than genuine love
- Mistaking behaviors mimicking love for the real thing
Growing Within A Relationship
Most personal growth occurs within a relationship of some kind. And the overall character of that relationship will either be positive or negative. Becoming embroiled in a toxic relationship can easily stunt a person’s growth. It can even cause a growth regression. (See also: Chapter Nine, How Did We End Up Here.) Some folks who’ve weathered a character-impaired relationship will often tell you how the experience caused them not to be the vital person they once were. Others will tell you the very moment they realized just how much they had “outgrown” their partner. In any case, discovering how an unloving relationship has held you back often provides the impetus to start growing again and reclaiming personal empowerment. (See also: Chapter 10, In Sheep’s Clothing.)
Genuinely loving relationships facilitate positive, forward growth in both partners. A true lover wants only the best for their partner. They’re also willing to make the sacrifices often required to faciltate their partner’s growth. Such attitudes of mind and heart benefit both partners. (See: Essentials for the Journey.)
How Love Inherently Heals
Let me be clear, no amount of caring can magically bring to health a person of disturbed mindset and heart. That would be a true miracle!! But genuinely loving relationships can go a long way toward helping heal old wounds.
We all come to our relationships with some types of emotional “baggage.” And only genuine love (both for ourselves as well as for others) can help us work through that baggage. But over-caring, and doing someone else’s growth work for them is not genuine love. In fact, it’s to a large degree self-punishing, degrading, and defeating.
On the current installment of the new Character Matters, I begin a discussion of these issues.