It’s time to upgrade our view of love. First and foremost, love is an emotion, a momentary state that arises to infuse your mind and body alike.
Love, like all emotions, surfaces like a distinct and fast-moving weather pattern, a subtle and ever-shifting force. As for all positive emotions, the inner feeling love brings you is inherently and exquisitely pleasant -- it feels extraordinarily good, the way a long, cool drink of water feels when you’re parched on a hot day. Yet far beyond feeling good, a micro-moment of love, like other positive emotions, literally changes your mind. It expands your awareness of your surroundings, even your sense of self. The boundaries between you and not-you -- what lies beyond your skin -- relax and become more permeable. While infused with love you see fewer distinctions between you and others. Indeed, your ability to see others -- really see them, wholeheartedly -- springs open. Love can even give you a palpable sense of oneness and connection, a transcendence that makes you feel part of something far larger than yourself. Love, like all emotions, surfaces like a distinct and fast-moving weather pattern, a subtle and ever-shifting force. And the new take on love that I want to share with you is this: Love blossoms virtually any time two or more people -- even strangers -- connect over a shared positive emotion, be it mild or strong.
Odds are, if you were raised in a Western culture, you think of emotions as largely private events. You locate them within a person’s boundaries, confined within their mind and skin. When conversing about emotions, your use of singular possessive adjectives betrays this point of view. You refer to ‘my anxiety,’ ‘his anger,’ or ‘her interest.’ Following this logic, love would seem to belong to the person who feels it. Defining love as positivity resonance challenges this view. Love unfolds and reverberates between and among people -- within interpersonal transactions -- and thereby belong to all parties involved, and to the metaphorical connective tissue that binds them together, albeit temporarily. More than any other positive emotion, then, love belongs not to one person, but to pairs or groups of people. It resides within connections.
Perhaps most challenging of all, love is neither lasting nor unconditional. The radical shift we need to make is this: Love, as your body experiences it, is a micro-moment of connection shared with another. And decades of research now shows that love, seen as these micro-moments of positive connection, fortifies the connection between your brain and your heart and makes you healthier. [...] It can seem surprising that an experience that lasts just a micro-moment can have any lasting effect on your health and longevity. Yet there’s an important feedback loop at work here, an upward spiral between your social and your physical well-being. That is, your micro-moments of love not only make you healthier, but being healthier also builds your capacity for love. Little by little, love begets love by improving your health. And health begets health by improving your capacity for love.
--Barbara Frederickson, in Love 2.0
ServiceSpace.org is an incubator of gift-economy projects that is run by inspired volunteers. Its mission statement reads: "We believe in the inherent goodness of others and aim to ignite that spirit of service. Through our small, collective acts, we hope to transform ourselves and the world."
Really great stuff, and I couldn't agree more.
One Spirit One World
I like what she says, and I recognize it. The flashes of mutual appreciation and affection that are possible on the street, or when buying coffee, or among co-workers - these are very real forms of love. And like the long-term love spoken of in the post above, they give life.
This is an interesting concept and i agree with it at the level of the article. However love can be lasting and unconditional, once one escapes the cultural stories and recognizes the male journey construct that has prefaced our knowledge for quite some time. When more of us realize that quantum physics when applied, changes everything our viewpoints will shift. What this has to do with love, is that love is the feeling attached to evolution, consciousness and as i suspect how they interact. Love is an emotion and a verb, a noun and a link. Love via our western culture has been shaped to be something very, well shallow. Romance, bonding mechanism, happy ever after, the rush, lust divided into terms..really how quaint, no? The stories we inherit affect the beliefs we actualize. So moving into a co creative paradigm, past the procreative (make more humans) we will start to embrace the whole of our emotional states and the full psyche of free will. That story is part of the new narrative. Any others working on this big picture change? Please let me know!![Hide Full Comment]
On Dec 15, 2014 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:
True Story! And this is one of many reasons why I never leave home without my FREE HUGS sign. Even those micro moments of love shared lead to larger moments of conversation and connection. Thank you for sharing a lovely post.
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