Love a powerful word with a magnificent effect on one’s life. What is love? It’s when we feel deeply for something or someone; like the intense feeling we experience towards our parents, children, friends, country, and so on. It is when we want nothing more than for them to be truly happyno matter what it takes, because we care for them unconditionally and because their needs come before our own.
A prominent American psychologist Robert Sternbergproposed a theory that concretizes something that has baffled many minds and wrenched many hearts: Love. He called it the Triangular theory of love as it is best represented in the form of a triangle with passion, commitment and intimacy at the three vertices of the triangle.
According to this theory, also known as the Sternberg’s Theory of Love, the forms of love are combinations of the three components, and it takes six manifestations namely Infatuated Love, Empty Love, Romantic Love, Compassionate Love, Fatuous Love and Consummate Love.
The Consummate Love sits at the very center of the triangle because this is said to be the perfect and ideal type of love.
Sternberg also emphasizes the importance of communication in any kind of love, because without it, he says, even the greatest love can die.
We cherish all our relations dearly and take care of them like a fragile and exquisite crystal vase. We work day in and out for them and go to any length to make them happy. There is no emotion more intense than seeing our dear ones happy. However, at times we do it at the cost of ourselves; we have several commitments that demand our time and attention such as meeting deadlines, paying bills, taking care of chores and such like that might impinge on the needs of our dear ones.
Then, how does one strike a balance? Cancelling the just-can’t-miss yoga class, calling off a social do, putting off our favorite hobby for a later date; the list is interminable. We put personal care to the back burner and tend to forget our responsibility towards and the relationship with our own selves, which is of primary importance.
As the maxim goes, “We cannot pour from an empty jar”; unless we love ourselves, accept and have an intimate relationship with ourselves; unless we are committed to take care of ourselves at all levels, be it physical, mental, social or spiritual; unless we follow our passion, it may take a toll on us, perhaps with serious repercussions.
As role models, it is imperative that we teach our children to lead well-balanced and holistic lives. And it’s only possible when we have a strong bond with ourselves; we can strengthen this bond by simple steps;
- Reconnect with yourself by establishing an Intimate relationship withyourself and stay committed to loving yourself. Don’t compromise on your passion; indulge in your hobbies, walk down memory lane and relive what brought smile to your lips which did reflect in your eyes. Do those things often.
- Accept yourself for who you are. You are beautiful for who you are.
- Spend at least half an hour with yourself; let it be your exclusive ‘me time’. Reflect either through meditation or journal writing;or you could maintain a ‘happiness jar’ filling it with tiny notes on what made you happy.
- Make time for exercise. Choose what suits you best- walking, gym, cycling or yoga. Emotions are nothing energy. Our body has a threshold, which, when the emotion surpasses, erupts as rage, or tears, or hysteria and in extreme cases, it manifests as a psychosomatic illness.
- Partake of at least one meal with your family. Avoid watching T.V. Instead, share the day’s experience and learning. This will strengthen the bond and also help to establish your roots. Reserve a few hours every week for quality time with the family; play board games, go on a picnic or camping, go through the old photo albums and videos; if you are watching movies together make sure you have open & nonjudgmental discussiontime after the movie.
- DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT SPARING TIME FOR YOURSELF. IT’S AN INVESTMENT. ONLY WHEN YOU ARE HAPPY CAN MAKE OTHERS HAPPY.
Shraddha Sata PSYCHOLOGIST & HYPNOTHERAPIST