Shortly after I married Shelly over 31 years ago people started to describe her as representing the heart in our relationship and me, the mind. We were great leading workshops together because I taught distinctions and abstractions, and she told stories to illustrate my abstractions and usually created a better relationship with people in the class.
Even though expressing love was not one of my strong suits, I have always experienced a profound love for Shelly and our two girls, Blake and Brittany. Over the past few years, however, that love has gotten so immense inside me that I am frustrated because I can’t find words to express it fully enough. “I love you” just doesn’t adequately express my feelings.
At the same time I have been experiencing so much love in general that I have just been looking for people to express it to. It’s like “I love” and then I need people to direct that intense feeling toward.
My first awareness
I first started becoming aware this overpowering feeling of love at my semi-annual meetings of the Transformational Leadership Council, which I joined over eight years ago as a founding member. I started to notice feeling love and directing it toward whoever showed up in front of me. I think the precipitating factor was being surrounded by so many people who shared my commitment to make a difference in people’s lives, which meant I really knew their essence and they really knew one of the most important things I valued about myself.
So although I still see myself as a creative and committed person who is focused on getting The Lefkoe Method into the hands of as many people as possible and creating new processes to free people from their barriers to happiness, I have been experiencing myself more and more as someone who loves people a lot—as a truly loving person.
My birthday party
Then, a couple of months ago, Shelly threw me a surprise 75th birthday party. There were about 30 of my friends there. One of them, Dave Ellis, started a toast with a process he had done many time before. He said to me: “What I love about you is everything. And what I love about you is…. And what I love about you is ….” He repeated this at least ten times, stating each time something different he loved about me. Then each of the other people at the party did the same thing.
The experience of hearing 30 people share what they loved about me was overwhelming. It was one of the most profoundly special evenings of my life. What made it especially meaningful was the fact that every person who described what they loved about me included how loving I was. Yes, they mentioned my commitment, my relationship with Shelly and my daughters, and the difference I make in people’s lives … but every single person said they loved how loving I was. Because that’s how I’ve been seeing myself and I wasn’t sure others saw it, I felt more seen and “gotten” by more people that night than I ever have in my life.
A very special gift
And then last week I got a package from a close male friend. In it was a note that read: “You are the most loving man I know. I just wanted to say thank you.” Enclosed was a very special gift. That was the final straw that made real to me that my love for others was so palpable that others experienced it also.
Where did this outpouring of love come from? What got it started a few years ago and what allows me to express it so fully that all my friends experience it?
I’m not sure, but here’s what I think. I stopped judging others. I stopped giving meaning to what others do. I allow people to be who and what they are. They don’t have to be or do anything special for them to be okay with me. (See my post http://www.mortylefkoe.com/love-unconditionally/# regarding love for no reason.)
Allow yourself to get in touch with your love for people. We all have it and if you aren’t in touch with it, it’s right under your judgments and evaluations of people and right under beliefs like If I allowed others to know how much I loved them I’d get hurt and Real men don’t display their feelings.
When we are in touch with who we really are and in touch with who others really are—without any judgments or evaluations—all there is is love. There’s nothing better. Try it and see for yourself.
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