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Love 101

Why is it that we have to be reminded to love or give by having special days set aside for that purpose? Human emotions like hate, anger, envy or greed don’t seem to need a reminder or special day. They seem to have no problem occurring the rest of the days out of the year. Is there something different about the emotion of love? From what I’ve observed, most people are secretly looking for love in one form or another. It’s the great motivator and behind a lot of what happens to people and the decisions they make. Nevertheless, it looks like most of us tend to keep this fact out of focus.

Let’s assume that much of what you identify as your personality is a product of what you’ve been taught. Media, family values, people we look up to, stuff like that. Let’s suppose that whatever benefits come to you, let’s say in the form of health and happiness come as a result of whether or not you’ve learned something positive about love in your life, more specifically, about self-love and love for other people.  Suppose what’s missing is you were never taught how to prepare for and sustain love in your life?

I think we come into this world ready to experience the feeling of love without knowing how to prepare for love or sustain love after it arrives? What if, by not getting the learning part of this in, people were getting hurt, disappointed, and angry as a consequence. Now you have a bunch of hurt, disappointed, or angry people running around passing the hurt, disappointment, or anger along to others because they weren’t taught anything better. They’re just following what’s familiar to them, what they have already learned from other disappointed people.

After awhile you have a bigger and bigger bunch of hurt, disappointed or angry people running around without any faith in ever having love in their lives. Instead they’re focused on other seemingly more attainable things like power and money. So there is always a large number of people living day to day feeling hate, anger, envy, instead of love. No one points out that it’s their disappointments in love coupled with the absence of learning about love that started the mess to begin with. Perhaps the memory fades. Is it possible to learn something new about love after so many years? Why would anyone want to be reminded of those old disappointments anyway?

Dr. Leo Buscaglia a professor of education at the University of Southern California back in the early 1970’s decided to offer what he called a ‘Love Class’ at the university because he thought his students had a lot to learn about love. He offered the course for no credit and no pay and had to cope with the ridicule of his colleagues for teaching a course on ‘love.’ So many students enrolled that he had to close enrollment at 100 students per year for four consecutive years. I think Buscaglia understood the need people have to learn the truths about love. The large number of students who enrolled in his course experienced their own need to learn the truths about love. Truths like, love comes and goes on its own beyond our prediction or control. What we can control are the ways in which we psychologically prepare for the arrival of love, and sustain love in the love relationship we create after love arrives. We’re supposed to learn how to practice getting ready for love and taking care of love in our lives. Whose teaching this stuff?  Dr. T. Jordan

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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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  1. Lost in the dark on November 17, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    What is love?
    I wouldn’t even know how to begin the mess of lessons I’ve grownup learning. Im not sure whats what anymore and I haven’t got a clue where to begin

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