1. Speak to the Light within Your Mate
Life has a way of getting in the way. Susan saw it like this, "Sometimes circumstances in life dim the light within and make us act in very hurtful ways. And sometimes circumstances in life dim the light in those we love." There is good in all of us. By focusing more on what's good in our mate or loved one, we will see that light. Can we see through the hurt and pain to the real human being inside? Searching for the light allows, little by little, more understanding of what the other person is feeling, and out of this springs compassion.
2. Create a Richly Balanced Life for Yourself
Susan advised us, "Don't lose yourself in a relationship; and if you are already lost, find yourself once again." The process of building a richly balanced life helps you find yourself. Susan suggested that your life include friends, family, career, personal growth, and contributions to the world, alongside your loving relationship. As you define for yourself what could fill any empty spaces, you learn more about who you can be. This is in keeping with the goal to rise to the most powerful and loving parts of ourselves through love.
A life that's rich makes you feel more generous and able to love more fully. Susan told us that real love is destroyed by neediness. She went on to say, "In real love, we are not 'attached' to our mate. Yes, we are a team, but we are, at the same time, two whole people capable of standing on our own." With a richly balanced life in place, if one piece should slip - if the relationship should disappear tomorrow - you can let go of neediness, knowing you will still have a full and rich life you can count on.
3. Let your Partner Know What you Need
Our partners are not mind readers! It's hard enough for us to discover just what we need so how can we expect our partners to know? If we ask, we have a real chance of getting what we're after. It is not being fair to either our partner or ourselves if we don't let our partner know what we need.
4. Teach Each Other
Susan made this suggestion, "Let's begin a new kind of education, in which, in our effort to become whole and to be equal partners, we can learn from one another." We are a mystery to each other, in many ways. We can teach the other not only what we need, but also how we see the world. We all have special gifts and abilities so sharing what we know with our mate is a truly loving thing to do. It empowers each person.
5. Expand Words of Love
Words are powerful. Speaking with words of love can heal wounds and strengthen bonds so Susan thought it best to make a habit of it. Start daily to say things like "Thank you for being in my life." You might then add, "I love you" and other phrases of appreciation. This way of talking can multiply. Susan explained, "Not only will this make your mate feel more loving towards you, but it will also remind you of the blessing that your mate brings into your life."
Another way to expand loving words is by noticing how you talk about your partner when you're with others. It can be disturbing when people say derogatory things about their mate in front of others. Have you ever noticed how when you're introduced to someone, who is declared "a really great person," it tends to color your initial judgment of him or her? Speaking kindly about others paves the way for better relationships all the way around.
6. Make Time
A garden will not grow well if it is left unattended. Relationships need time to grow and prosper just like a garden. Time is a precious gift we can and must give to our loved ones who, like children, sometimes need a little attention. It can be difficult in a busy world fitting everything in so, by keeping your relationship as your highest priority, you will find ways of spending more and more time together. Spending time together helps us understand our partner better, which will be time well spent.
7. Appreciate the Little Things
If we can learn to notice and appreciate the little things in our mate, we will create long-lasting love. This practice keeps our attention focused on what matters - the present moment. Small things add up. It's an easy thing to do that can carry us through the tough times and bring us back to center. It's the private jokes, the simple acts of kindness, the feel of your partner's touch, and so on. These are what sustain love. Susan said it best, "The big splashes of brilliance are grand, but they don't define the essence of a loving relationship. It's the everyday that counts."
There are many ways to achieve lasting love. The Feel the Fear Guide to Lasting Love takes you deeper into these tools with Susan by your side. She believed that having lasting love is truly worth the effort.
A Final Word from Susan
"We can all make the decision to live our lives with dignity, love and caring, and to push through the inner barrier that keeps us from being a loving person. We all have the choice. It's about putting Soul into everything you do. Trust me when I tell you that it feels good to align with our Higher Self. Why would anyone resist? It is here that we finally understand that we have so much to give to our mate ... and to this world."
Copyright © 2012 Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
Inspired by The Feel the Fear Guide to Lasting Love by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
A Practical Handbook