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In this Journey, my understanding of Love expanded and changed. I became familiar with various understanding/meanings of Love as different people shared and talked about their meanings and understanding of this notion. I listened to delightful amazing descriptions of Love. The followings are a few definitions of Love from people who shared ‘the way’ with me:
An Italian person shared his understanding and definition of Love. He said this: “Love is like a fire; it could hurt. That is why one has to be protected from Love. He continued and said: “When Abraham wants to see God, God tells him that he should go to the corner and protect himself from His Love because His love is so strong that could burn him”. He said “Love for another human being can be harmful if two people don’t know how to guide each other. However, It is powerful and strong; it is source of life”.
A Belgium person described his definition of Love this way: “Love is a beauty; it is magical; It is a powerful force. Love is a way of being; it is understanding; it is having respect for others’ wishes; it is a two- way street consideration; it is a collaboration between two; it is when no one is an object to another.
A Dutch person said this: ” Love perhaps is doing something for another person without expecting any reward. Love is perhaps being teary when one does something good for another one. Love is giving without expecting anything in return”.
A German person described Love this way and said: “Love is when things continue; where there is no cut off; when there is a continuity in expressing oneself in certain manners. When one’s expression of Love doesn’t change due to physical distance”.
Their definitions have broadened mine. This journey has broaden my perspective and has made my life further multidimensional. This journey has brought things to my attention that i wouldn’t be able to recognize otherwise…
Any action we take has consequences, why not taking actions that are life- changing and long- lasting!
Tahereh Barati, M.A, RMFT
We all want Love in our life. We all have strong desire to experiencing loving relationships. We all want to reassure ourselves that we are being loved by someone special. But what is Love? How can it be possible? Can it be constructed?
Loving ourselves, loving each other, our neighbors, and our enemy are essential part of philosophical political and psychological debates in human history. It is said, most fights/ conflicts are linked to the absent of Love in human relationships.
Thick Nhat Hanh shares his views and wisdom on ways of bringing Love more present in our daily life. In his book, True Love (1997), he says: according to Buddhism, there are four elements of true Love. I am going to share with you what he consider as essence elements of Love. They are the following:
a) The first element of true love is Maitri, which can be translated as Loving- kindness or Benevolence. Loving- Kindness is not only the desire to make someone happy, it is the ability to bring joy to the person you love. To have this ability, you must practice ‘deep looking’ directed towards the person you love. If you don’t understand this person, you can’t love properly. Understanding is the essence of love. How to understand the person? We must have time; we must practice looking deeply into this person. We must be attentive. We must observe and look deeply.
b) The second element of true love is Karuna, Compassion, this is not only the desire to ease the pain of another person but the ability to do so.
c) The third element of true love is Mudita, Joy. If there is no joy in love, it is not true love. If you are suffering all the time, if you cry all the time, if you make the person you love cry, this is not really love. It is even the opposite.
d) The forth element is Upeksha, Equanimity or Freedom. In true love, you attain freedom. When you love, you bring freedom to the person you love. You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free; not only outside but also inside.
I would like to invite you to reflect on your love according to these elements and see if your love has these elements and if not, what could you do differently. Please share your thoughts and ideas!
Tahereh Barati, M.A, RMFT
abuse, Aggression, Amour, Conflicts, cultural values, democracy, domination, empowerment, human relationships, Land, love, patriarchy, power balance, refusal acts, Social discources, tradition, violence, War, War Machine
Violence has many forms, levels and degrees; for instance, violence between men and women, violence between generations, violence between races, cultures and religions in a society and international violence between countries.
Most violence are ironically related to love; love for a person, love for God, love for democracy, love for land, love for …..
Do you think it is possible to love without any desire to possession, domination and control? Is it possible to love without being intrusive, without eliminating and limiting others’ freedom and wishes in life?
As we know, traditional patriarchal relationships have changed in western countries and women have fought for their advancements in the past few decades. This social cultural shift has not happened in eastern countries. It seems that eastern countries are experiencing what western countries went through in 1950s. This transition, as hard as it may be, is necessary.
Women in eastern countries are in transition; they are in the process of change; they began to question patriarchal traditions as well as their own roles in family and society. They take initiatives to invite new ideas to their lives but social cultural and legal support are not there yet.
Why do you think love and violence got linked together? Who gets benefits from this marriage? Why do we attach positive meanings to acts of violence at times? What is the role of social discourses in this? Why have not we learned to love without exercising possession domination and violence? What are the barriers to experiencing love without violence? Any ideas?
We intuitively know that love and violence don’t mix. We know that love is not genuinely experienced/ felt at presence of violence. We know that any signs of violence- possession, domination, aggression- is destructive to love. Why is it that this knowing is not included when interacting with one another?
To reduce violence in our interactions, we need to review our cultural values and beliefs; we need to separate destructive behaviours from acts that signify love. We can not practice violence, domination and possession and name them as acts of love. Love is damaged when violence, domination and possession are practiced in relationship.
Let’s resist accepting traditions that maintain the presence of violence in our life. Let’s open our eyes, see things differently and do things differently!
Tahereh Barati, M.A, RMFT
Abbas Kiarostami, abuse, cultural beliefs, in love, Individulaistic culutre, international violence, love, men, Moives, possessiveness, reflection, relationship, research, roles, social interactions, social life, tradition, violence
Movies are great, provocative and generative; they bring new ideas into our consciousness. One of my favorite directors, Abbas Kiarostami, recently directed a great movie; Like Someone In Love. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is highly recommended.
Kiarostami’s way of movie-making and story-telling is very special. His movies are intentionally crafted and directed; they are very purposeful; and his movies tend to show invisible subtle and neglected elements of our daily life very vividly. Like his other movies, he conveys significant phenomena that has been affected many people; Love and Violence. Love and violence, for some reasons, have been linked together in our life. This marriage is destructive.
A former university professor and a student of sociology- who has a fiance – have an encounter in a very strange way. These two main characters are affected by violence when the fiance performs love with aggression, violence and domination.
The main character in the movie is in the process of change; she questions past traditions and her role as a woman in family and society. She is pressured to do things against her will. She wants to rebel but social cultural and legal support are not there yet. Her voice is not developed yet.
This movie made me think of writing my next post- Love and Violence. Check out my next post and let me know what you think.
Tahereh Barati, M.A, RMFT