Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Complete Love

Not all romantic relationships can be considered to possess complete love. It was Yale University psychology professor Robert Sternberg whose famous Triangular Theory expounded upon the three integral components of love.

First of all, a couple must exhibit (1) Intimacy, which is described as the closeness and openness between them. This is exemplified in best friends who have no reluctance to share their concerns, weaknesses and dreams. They accept each other without judgment. Communication is the necessary key to intimacy.

The second component is (2) Passion. This is the physical attraction between the couple. It is the desire for physical closeness exhibited through hand-holding, embracing, kissing that should eventually lead to sexual congress. This attraction is necessary because it magnifies the bond between the couple.

The third essential component is (3) Commitment. This is the decision of the couple to stay faithful to each other. It is the continuing choice to remain loyal exclusively with the view of maintaining the relationship.

It is necessary that couples examine their relationships whether or not they possess Intimacy, Passion and Commitment. Absent any of these, the couple cannot claim to have Complete Love. And an incomplete love is almost surely expected to fail. Couples are therefore encouraged to nurture all three components in order that the relationship remain healthy and lasting.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Beyond Winning

In any organization, be it a company or a school, various types of competitions showcasing intellectual, physical or artistic skill are initiated for the benefit of its members.

These events are encouraged because they animate the institution promoting them, and they add to its organizational culture. They become part of the tradition that makes a particular organization unique. Competitions are healthy because they motivate us to do our very best, whatever the prize may be. Even in the absence of material reward, mere recognition of our skills and talents is enough to build up our self esteem. 

Yet joining competitions for the sole purpose of winning can become an unhealthy goal. The desire for success may transform into an obsession that can lead us down an unethical path. And failure to win may inevitably cause  frustration and severe despondence. Winning should not define the struggle. Rather, it is the struggle that tells us whether or not we truly deserve to win.

In any contest, there will be those who win and those who do not. What matters most is how each competitor deals with victory and defeat. Whatever the outcome, competitions should build character. They should instill fairness and honesty in the contestants. At the end of each competition, what will be remembered is not who won, but how the game was played and the manner by which different teams dealt with one another before, during and after the contest. 

Each competition mirrors the contest of life itself. It is the struggle that matters, the happiness achieved and what we did in order to succeed.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Right to be Jealous

Falling in love comes with it certain unexpected outcomes which we sometimes fail to take into account. One of them is jealousy. This feeling hits us suddenly and without warning. It usually happens when the romantic interaction has reached a point where we have become used to the attention and affection of another individual. The constant communication, the concern, the warmth and the sweetness shown to us have somehow made us feel a degree of attachment to the person.

But for as long as there is no real commitment, jealousy has no rightful place. This is true especially during the courtship stage. Let us consider a situation where a girl is unsure whether to enter into a relationship with her suitor. She hesitates to commit yet when she sees her suitor with someone else, it tears her apart. This jealousy is misplaced. 

The experience of jealousy is a definite sign that we have already fallen in love with a person. And if we are not ready for this feeling, jealousy can often be distracting, if not maddening.

Jealousy happens. It exists and is a normal part of the romantic process. But to allow ourselves to be consumed by it often leads to conflict and misery.

The only way to inoculate ourselves from this potentially unpleasant experience is to realize that the only reason we become jealous is because we are afraid that people will leave us. And this fear comes from not being secure in ourselves and in our relationships with others. If we can overcome our insecurities then we will no longer have any reason to feel jealous.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Loving and getting hurt

There are times we no longer wish to love because of unpleasant past experiences. We fear the repetition of betrayal. We do not wish to re-experience mistreatment. We dread being lied to and manipulated again. And we shudder at the prospect of being left behind and abandoned.

These sometimes painful romantic episodes that we had to live through in the past can be traumatizing. Such experiences often lead to certain beliefs about love and people in general. Unfortunately, these beliefs tend to be negative. We come to form our own biased views to the detriment of our ability to seek happiness.

But it is not the act of loving that we fear. Rather, it is the possibility of getting hurt once more that fills us with apprehension. And for as long as we dread the past, we will forever live under its shadow. Therefore, it would be wise to allow ourselves to heal first. We will know we are already healed when we feel we are ready to trust once again.  

To love is natural, which means it is human nature to do so.  And no matter how painful they may be our past experiences should not be allowed to hinder us from fulfilling the need to love and be loved.

Loving is a risk. And in every risk we take, we may experience joy or sadness, bitterness or bliss. If we will get hurt in the process, then so be it, because love, even if it hurts us, is still love.  And having loved makes us much better individuals than if we had never loved at all.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Helplessness Unlearned

Many of us experience a sense of melancholy because we have been conditioned to believe that we are powerless to change our lives. We begin to see the monotonous routine of our existence. What aggravates this is the presence of uncaring and callous individuals who inflict constant and ever-present misery upon us. We suffer daily from being captives unable to alter our circumstances. But what fills us with dismay is the thought that things will be like this forever. And this creates in us the desire to escape. But escape seems impossible. And the trepidation builds up. It reaches a point when all we can feel are dread and despair.

But despite how miserable things appear to be, maybe there is a way to alter our existence. And that is by beginning to see our circumstances differently. This sense of helplessness is of itself merely a belief. Why do we sometimes feel this way? Is it because we consider ourselves to be inadequate or weak? Is it because we think we lack the ability or the skill? Or do we believe we can do nothing to change our lives because we see ourselves as less than the people who succeed? 

These self-defeating thoughts cause us to feel powerless. But the truth of it is, we feel helpless only because we believe we are. Overcoming these thoughts entails a gradual and systematic process of empowering one’s self. To develop the sense of being in control of one’s life involves changing small things first. And this means doing things we normally do not engage in or perhaps we were too shy to do before. Confidence in one’s ability to have novel experiences is slowly built. In time, we start to feel that we are somehow in charge of our lives. Once this sense of control is achieved, we can unlearn the helplessness that once imprisoned us.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Peace of Mind Starts in the Household

When we consider the personality of an individual, too often do we fail to see how that person’s household situation affects him. We routinely assign blame to the person for whatever omissions or mistakes we may have seen him commit. As a consequence, we judge him and label him for what he has done wrong.  This mental bias that we tend to perform constitutes an error in attribution that prevents us from seeing beyond the individual’s nature. But perhaps that individual’s environment also plays a role in his behavior. And frequently, that environment involves the home in which he lives.

What happens when a person lives in a home that is dysfunctional? Strife within one’s family can take many forms. It may involve delinquency of the children, or parental conflict. Occasionally, in order to avoid constant bickering, parents just ignore the existence of a problem and the children simply follow suit. As a result, a degree of peace and quiet is achieved. But is there really peace when family members just pretend that everything is ok?

Consider the widespread problem of marital infidelity. What if the parents just pretended that such a situation did not exist, even though it did? Yes there is quiet. And the family members happily go about their business. But this is merely for appearances’ sake.  What really goes on in the hearts and minds of everyone in the household? This situation wherein a household merely ignores the existence of certain difficulties may also happen in situations involving family members with vices, dysfunctional behavior or even in cases of abuse. Family members turn a blind eye to what is really going on.

Individuals who exist in a situation like that cannot be expected to act normally in the outside world. In some way, somehow they will be affected emotionally, mentally or even behaviorally.

We cannot merely pretend that all is well in the hopes that these troubles will just go away. Simply ignoring the presence of such problems does not ensure peace. Instead it will perpetuate their continued existence and create disturbed minds within members of the family. True peace in the household can only be achieved when problems are recognized and acted upon.