Pure love is right up there. It’s top-shelf material. It is the “Holy Grail” of love.
And the good news? Pure love is the most extravagant love and it is within our reach, even if on occasions. Yes!
Pure love has no strings attached. No rules. No boundaries. There’s none of my ‘DNA’ on it. No “What’s in it for me.” It’s a generous act that says, “I love you” without any expectations of reciprocity. It is most sacrificial, yet not necessarily costly, money-wise.
To some readers, a sense of discomfort may be rising. Maybe even some “BUT!”s.
That’s OK. We can only give as much love as we understand we have been given. And some of us, respectfully, have not been loved very well and our “love-tank” is close to empty with the refill spout hard to find.
So I say to those, relax. Move forward when you’re ready. Micro-steps are more manageable than leaps and bounds.
Again, I reiterate. . .
The ability to progress in extravagant love is determined by the understanding of how much we are loved. We can’t give what we haven’t got.
The loving beliefs that we haven’t got in our heart we can’t pass on to others in actions until we possess them ourselves.
Having said that, there is one exception that I am aware of.
And that is when my extravagant demonstration of love becomes a stumbling block to the person or people of my attention. This occurs when I am wanting to love extravagantly, and in so doing, am not aware of the implications that may be damaging. This happens when I make it more about my act than the other’s interests.
Allow me to explain by way of an experience this week.
A Recent Story
I have a son who has been having some mental health challenges. He has given me permission to tell this story. Let’s name him ‘John’.
John has been in an unresourceful ‘orbit’ for the last 8 years. Now, 27 years old, he has struggled to progress in a university degree, get work and stay out of hospital.
I recently became John’s carer and brought him into my home to support him, value him, build up his belief in himself and provide food, accommodation and finances until he gets on his feet, breaking free of the ‘gravity’ pulling him down in his mind.
My aim was to love John extravagantly and demonstrate belief and trust in him to build his self-worth. I didn’t want to dampen any request he made for money which he said he would repay.
So with each and every request, usually for $50, I gave it to John without hesitation and without asking questions.
After a week, John had chalked up $400 borrowed. I noticed his spending was more elaborate than mine and it was certainly far in excess of his future means through government assistance. A significant amount was being spent on comforts.
The next day, John asked me for another $50. What was I to do?
I felt that I had come to the end of my ability to love extravagantly and not place on any boundaries. John was asking for $50 loans at a rate of $50/day. I wrote John a note suggesting that we need to discuss finances further with the $50 on his desk.
I walked away and reflected on what I had done.
I felt personally challenged and disappointed in myself that I found my ‘ceiling’ to loving extravagantly. I felt that I needed to break through into an area I hadn’t been before. This felt so uncomfortably risky.
I understood that to break through to the next level, it was going to feel uncomfortably risky.
I returned and screwed up the note.
Days later, I had realized that I had not been serving John well. My lending freely was not assisting him to use money responsibly, also creating a large debt burden for the future.
I realized that I had not really loved John extravagantly because I was focusing on my ability to love extravagantly instead of on his needs.
Subsequently, with John’s input and agreement, the loan plan was modified to provide a daily ‘drip-feed’ of finances that would meet John’s needs and a bit of ‘fat’ to provide some comforts.
What Did I Learn?
In my journey of pursuing extravagant love and caring relationships, today I have greater clarity on noticing if my acts of love have some component of self in them. On the outside and maybe by other’s standards, it might look like I am doing a grand thing and pat myself on the back for my achievement. But if by my achievement I have not assisted another’s growth or relationship, or worse, actually caused damage, the situation highlights that it was all about me. In a nutshell . . .
If the needs of the others in the relationships are not the primary focus of love, it’s about self.
If it’s about self, it’s not about love.
And if it’s about self, there will be an unresourceful belief in the unconscious mind behind it that needs replacing for love to express itself freely.
The truth remains. Pure love has no strings attached. That is; the best interest of the other person in the relationship comes before mine in my demonstration of love.
Knowing a person’s best interests is worth spending time researching if I want to grow in a caring relationship and love them extravagantly.
So, as I think to act in a loving way, I can ask myself, “Am I achieving something for myself in this act?” An honest “Yes!” to self will help me choose a more loving option.
I invite you to join me in loving ‘string-less’, focused on the other, as I develop in caring relationships and extravagant love.
Please be encouraged to send me your feedback, questions and thoughts as you reflect on and apply any learnings.
Until next fortnight, warm regards as I invite you to join me in the fun and pursuit of loving extravagantly.