Let´s dive into this and look at the most evident of facts: you are here with us, reading this blogpost on a love-match site. You are probably wanting a meaningful relationship- that is what we do best here at Lioness Lion- so I have to help you ask yourself some questions that need honest answers from within. This is a conversation between your head and your heart dear, so all answers will only help you understand how you get in the way of having loving bonds with the ones that matter the most.
”Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness….” Kahlil Gibran
Very many people have grown up hearing that there are two opposite forces that contradict or replace each other in our hearts: love and hate.
We have had an image painted that our feelings hold games of ”tug of war” and move in the bandwidth of absolutely wanting someone or hating everything about them, having no tolerance for what they do and many times that feeling determines the time to part ways. I have some interesting news for you: the other side of the loving rainbow is actually FEAR. This brings us to the very thing that we want to talk about and shed some light on: why being afraid of our own heart and emotions is the main reason why we have created this massive book of excuses to procrastinate love or in some cases, give up on our sentimental life, altogether.
This is the one phrase that defines the message in this conversation as they are both the strongest motivators of human behavior.
When we feel fear we try to separate, create as much distance as possible from that feeling, when we love we try to connect and be as close as possible to the sentiment. The sources of our fear or our love are transformed through our engagement with them, and so are we, as they both take honesty to admit and deal with.
You usually can’t go wrong when you’re drawn forward by what you love, when you feel that strong pull to reach beyond yourself in order to realize a dream or desire. But if you often feel driven by what you fear, then your behavior is not necessarily motivated by what you want in life but instead by avoiding consequences that you don’t want, a setup that might get you good results but will probably keep you miserable along the way.
Love could seem pretty flimsy next to fear since love is gentle and diametrically opposed to force and destructiveness. On the surface fear is much more potent. Its consequences are visible and dramatic. Yet love is not passive, IT IS AN ACTIVE STATE and while it lacks the visible firepower produced from violence and panic, love has its own omni-potent firepower. Love does conquer all, because when we feel it, especially in the face of hatred and violence we compel those trapped in their own cycles of fear to access the best in themselves; to make the happier choice; to begin to transform their fear into something more productive; to discover their own latent potential be being loving, empathic, open people.
Let’s elaborate a little on the subject of empathy:
This is very simple: put yourself in the other person´s shoes. Yeap, that´s it!
For a more serious and expansive insight here is what Psychology Today has to say about it:
Empathy is the ability to recognize, understand, and share the thoughts and feelings of another person, animal, or fictional character.
Developing empathy is crucial for establishing relationships and behaving compassionately. It involves experiencing another person’s point of view, rather than just one’s own, and enables prosocial or helping behaviors that come from within, rather than being forced.
Some surveys indicate that empathy is on the decline in the United States and elsewhere, findings that motivate parents, schools, and communities to support programs that help people of all ages enhance and maintain their ability to walk in each other’s shoes. (See? we told you)
Empathy helps us cooperate with others, build friendships, make moral decisions, and intervene when we see others being bullied. Humans begin to show signs of empathy in infancy and the trait develops steadily through childhood and adolescence Still, most people are likely to feel greater empathy for people like themselves and may feel less empathy for those outside their family, community, ethnicity, or race.
Empathy helps us connect, understand and help others, but like other traits, it may have evolved with a selfish motive: using others as a” social antenna” to help detect danger. From an evolutionary perspective, creating a mental model of another person’s intent is critical: the arrival of an interloper, for example, could be deadly, so developing sensitivity to the signals of others could be life-saving. Sounds like the very beginning of fear, doesn´t it?
The power of both love and fear has even been proven by science, in the form of hormone release of oxytocin and glutamate. These are the chemicals present in the body at very specific moments of our human experience.
A: Oxytocin, when we are totally in love with another human being. Present when we make out with our lover and when women have babies, as a very powerful emotional adhesive.
B: Glutamate, when we feal fearful and retrieved
Dr. Jelena Radulovic, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, believed this, too, when she set up an experiment on mice to test how the body reacted to different hormones during social interactions. She hypothesized that mice that produced more oxytocin would feel more positive effects from social interaction while those that produced more glutamate would have more negative feelings. It turned out that that oxytocin caused the mice to act more fearful.
We are super excited to share this heart-opening information that Sarah Nean Bruce wrote on the Little Buddha website, as we encourage you to read it one by one and exercise the meaning of the message so your minds will open a new path for joy and beautiful human connections. All you Lionesses and Lions out there, we are wanting for you to have the best life possible and are here to help you do it through love.
LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL (fear is conditional)
LOVE IS STRONG (fear is weak)
LOVE RELEASES (fear obligates)
LOVE SURRENDERS (fear binds)
LOVE IS HONEST (fear is deceitful)
LOVE TRUSTS (fear suspects)
LOVE ALLOWS (fear dictates)
LOVE GIVES (fear resists)
LOVE FORGIVES (fear blames)
LOVE IS COMPASSIONATE (fear pities)
LOVE CHOOSES (fear avoids)
LOVE IS KIND (fear is angry)
LOVE IGNITES (fear incites)
LOVE EMBRACES (fear repudiates)
LOVE CREATES (fear negates)
LOVE HEALS (fear hurts)
LOVE IS MAGIC (fear is superstitious)
LOVE ENERGIZES (fear saps)
LOVE IS AN ELIXIR (fear is a poison)
LOVE INSPIRES (fear worries)
LOVE DESIRES (fear Joneses)
LOVE IS PATIENT (fear is nervous)
LOVE IS BRAVE (fear is afraid)
LOVE IS RELAXED (fear is pressured)
LOVE IS BLIND (fear is judgmental)
LOVE RESPECTS (fear disregards)
LOVE ACCEPTS (fear rejects)
LOVE DREAMS (fear schemes)
LOVE WANTS TO PLAY (fear needs to control)
LOVE ENJOYS (fear suffers)
LOVE FREES (fear imprisons)
LOVE BELIEVES (fear deceives)
LOVE “WANTS” (fear “needs”)
This past year and a half, among many other challenges, has created a rather inescapable one-on-one rapport with our minds and bodies that we may very well never have experienced before. The ongoing changes are happening in so many levels that we, as a society cannot yet begin to understand the long-term results, yet there are visible things that range from a year-long break from the hair salon, our new choice of work clothes (can someone say sweatpants?) to how we see ourselves when we take them off.
As we look at others from our screens, scroll through work goals, picture-perfect figures, unbreakable habits, dream homes, magic products, and mood settings, this year like no other, has presented the opportunity for millions of people to learn new skills, acquire better habits, virtually participate and completely change our perspective on many important collective issues and embark on an array of personal journeys.
This is the optimistic side of it, but there are what we consider the not-so-positive results of spending so much time in our own company. Looking at that very well-groomed ”reality” in other people’s lives has mostly created comparison while experiencing uncertainty, boredom, missing physical contact with loved ones, and among other things facing how we really feel about who we are. All of these are connected to how we think the world sees us.
Don’t get me wrong, all the above situations can actually be very positive and inspiring, what seems to be inescapable is there is absolutely no place to hide, for better or for worse it is all about the most important relationship you will ever have: the one with yourself.
According to the American Psychology Association this is the definition of self image:
n. one’s view or concept of oneself. Self-image is a crucial aspect of an individual’s personality that can determine the success of relationships and a sense of general well-being. A negative self-image is often a cause of dysfunctions and of self-abusive, self-defeating, or self-destructive behavior.
Body image: is how you view your physical self — including whether you feel you are attractive and whether others like your looks. For many people, no matter the gender, body image can be closely linked to self-esteem
Many people have concerns about their body image. These concerns often focus on height, weight, skin, any obvious condition, hair, or the shape or size of any given body part.
However, body image does not only stem from what we see in the mirror. According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), a range of beliefs, experiences, and generalizations also contribute to the emotional attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of our own body, so it turns out that we may radically differ from how attractive others think we are, usually, it being a surprise how many people think we are hot while we believe we are not!
The body-positive movement aims to help people manage the pressure that media messages impose on their body image. According to The Body Positive organization, “Beauty is not a single image, but the active embodiment and celebration of the self.”
There is an open argument on whether accepting a larger body may deter people from taking action to be healthier and more conscious of their habits. However, body positivity is not just about the size or appearance of the body, confidence and control are also key factors and it is a well-known fact, that the way we perceive our figures or attractiveness has a direct impact on our worth and attitude with which we navigate life.
Intellect has nothing to do with this. A body image, negative or positive does not develop in isolation with a self-generated mental conversation. Culture, family, social and general media, comparison, expectations, and friends’ pressure all convey positive and negative messages about our body.
The general idea of beauty -for men and women, peers, and family members can all influence a person’s body image. They can encourage us, from a young age, to believe that there is an ideal body and that the goal is to achieve it in order to be attractive to others and more successful.
This proposed image is often an unnatural one, far from healthy and totally focused on the comparison, a false sense of achievement, and a dangerous strive for ”perfection” instead of being grateful, real, and in fact learning to be the best versions of ourselves, not someone else.
As adults we have learned to develop concepts for almost everything and the physique does not escape our habit of defining what everything ”should” look and be like, our image and body being the ones with the hardest criticism on our behalf.
Our goal is for you to embrace all that you have, be realistic about yourself, sensibly change what you want, and live with the infinite gratitude of having a home for your soul, a physical temple that sustains your life, and a presence that allows you to walk this earth as the unique being that you are!
People with high self-esteem know themselves well. They’re realistic, find friends that like and appreciate them for who they are and have tools to build meaningful relationships based on human connection.
When our self-esteem is strong, we usually feel more in control of our lives and know our own strengths and weaknesses. This reality allows that we do things to look better, enhance or improve our appearance without conditioning our happiness when we reach a certain weight or drive a new car that for all to see.
Focusing on building self-confidence and a positive body image may help reduce obesity and achieve wider health goals.
Not motivated yet? How about if we tell you that you are more likely to attract a truly compatible partner with solid chances of developing a happy long-lasting relationship?
See you in love soon lioness, lion or any other cat you may want to be!