This was a line from the 1970 film “Love Story”. It’s actually voted #13 of the top quoted line in movies throughout the industry’s history. So what does it mean? It could be interpreted that when you are in love, there are things that we forgive more easily because of our insight or knowing of the other… Does that mean that you get a free pass to do whatever you want when someone loves you? Then there’s the adaptation of the quote by John Lennon – “Love means having to say you’re sorry every five minutes.”
So in this Valentine’s month, let’s consider love, apologies and forgiveness, and how this works within our subconscious minds how it affects our relationships, loving or otherwise.
What does it mean when we way “I am sorry”? Tehre are a number of different definitions for the word “sorry”. The most popular is defined as a “feeling or expression of sympathy, pity or regret”, however another aspect of the definition is “worthless or inferior, paltry”. In hypnosis, sometimes we use words that have double meanings to assist people in accepting certain suggestions in a different way (like finding a side entrance to a fortified house). So when we say something that speaks of our empathy to others as well as an indication that we are somehow lacking or worthless, what does that mean to the mind?
So when we say something that speaks of our empathy to others as well as an indication that we are somehow lacking or worthless, what does that mean to the mind?
I usually take a moment and change the words when I’m about the say ‘I am sorry’ – what do I want to say? “I apologise”, “I feel sad about…” – sometimes when we take a moment, we can be clearer in our communication to others as well as send ourselves proper messages for our own minds to reflect upon. This works for other emotions as well – “I feel angry” rather than “I am angry” is a perfect example – these are feelings but aren’t who we truly are. Feelings pass, but the truth about our lovability and preciousness endures.
Fifty shades of love
I love love. When people are connecting I can’t be jealous; when they are working with others (whether a partner, friend or even colleagues) that allows them to tap into their strengths and feel joy or contentment, I’m the cheerleader with pompoms yelling, “go team”. Yet many of us have problems with translating the concept of a loving relationship to the actual thing.
Some people find it easiest to have loving relationships with people from their childhood, others on a loving friendship level, others have found one special love relationship… Even then the ‘look’ of love can be so different. Some are quiet, others need a lot of discussion and negotiation, others… this could go on as long as there are people and relationships.
What is love? More importantly, what is love to you? It is sometimes in the reflection that you can discover what you want and need, where there may be miscommunications with others, and how your expectations of love might align or misalign with your reality.
I know that most of the times when my husband and I have ‘disconnected’ in our relationship, it’s because we’re looking for love and giving love ‘my way’. Which means we’re expecting to be loved in a way that’s familiar to us, or expecting that the other will automatically feel love in the way we’re giving it. But just like two people talking in different languages and expecting to be understood, we sometimes miss, or misunderstand, these approaches to love. Gary Chapman’s “The 5 Love Languages” (words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch) was one of the resources we found to understand that we needed to learn different dialects when speaking to each other.
As Steven Covey was known as saying (and before him St. Francis of Assisi), “seek first to understand, then be understood” – inevitably many of my ‘problems’ with others have been based upon misunderstandings, old beliefs about what love should look like and how it should behave, and by shifting my perspective, I could see more clearly.
When to hold ’em, when to fold ’em
But what happens when love hurts’ for real? Whether it is mental, emotioanl or physical, sometimes we get into relationships and patterns that are unkind or unsupportive. I spoke to a person who worked in a shelter who experienced women going back to their abusive partners. “How can they go back to something that may, literally, kill them? I asked. “It’s what they see as love – many of them may have seen this in their past, and some truly believe that because of intense love, it needs to be expressed in violence. So within their own minds, whatever else might be happening in their reality, they are being loved. How does sorry come into this equation?
I am in no position to deem one relationship ‘good’ and another ‘bad’ – I wouldn’t feel able to do this for most issues that happen to others in life. As I’ve said before and will again – is it working or not?
Whether you are looking at your relationships or others (trust me, it’s easier to help others with their relationships than pull out the dirty laundry of our own mind and patterns), there are a few aspects that are helpful to consider:
- What are the benefits for a change in the relationship (sometimes we’ve been stuck in a groove with an affiliation for a while and have forgotten to imagine about what we’d like our lives to really be)?
- What are the reasons for staying the same? It might be ‘familiarity’ or ‘I’ll never find anyone else to love me’ – really reflecting on the losses that ‘may’ happen can help us confront our fears and move past them if needed.
- Can you ‘lose’ and not lose the lesson? Sometimes we don’t feel as though we’re coming out on top with a relationship – what might it be teaching us for others, for the future, for ourselves? Do we have to keep sinking our resources into a ‘fixed’ game, or can we cut our losses, forgive ourselves and the others involved in the drama, and move to the next chapter of our lives? Imagine how wise you’ll be because of it.
- What would it be like once it has changed? Really imagine what you’d like on the other side – how it looks, how it feels, what you’ll be doing, how it will affect others… when you make it real in your mind, you’re subconscious starts to set a course for a destination you really want.
Love like the Sun?
There is a saying I like, and forget often in my daily life, which speaks of the sun shining on all without discrimination. What would love look like if we were ‘suns’? Taking our own recipe of love – for me including patience, kindness, respect… and showering it on others in good measure – how would that change our lives?
Looking at the rules of the subconscious mind, it would ‘have’ to change it.
- The mind is where the action is, the body is where the reaction is – we have seen that anger and stress increases inflammation and issues within the body over time. If these are absent, how would that positively affect that body and our health?
- What we focus on, tends to expand in our awareness – when we look at people in loving and deserving ways, we tend to find more people who are loving and deserving (when we look for people who will hurt us, we tend to find that as well)
- What we repeat, tends to become our automatic reality – the law of compounding says that we build up by recurring thoughts, feelings, words and actions, making it simpler and improved over time. This works for the positive or the negative.
- As we change, others tend to change – like the knot in a fishing net, as one is raised, so are the others that are closest to it. How would being a living example, a role model to others feel for you? How would it start to change the world?
I love the thought of that. No apologies for saying so…
Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe Me.”
Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.
Love to all,