So much, perhaps too much, has been said this month about romance or romantic love. Certainly this experience has a wonderful place in the human experience, but I’d like to extend the conversation to a more complete, more healing experience of love.
Carl Rogers was a psychologist who completely revolutionized the world of psychotherapy. One of Roger’s propositions was that certain conditions were needed to activate a person’s innate healing mechanism. He believed there were three core conditions and one of them is our focus for February; unconditional positive regard.
This unconditional positive regard does not mean you have to like the other person. This does not mean that you have to share the same values or worldview. It does not imply that you condone the other person’s behavior.
It does mean that on some level you honor that which we all have in common; something that is at our core. In Buddhism you often hear this referred to as our basic Buddha Nature. It is that most basic human thing that exists underneath our jobs, our socioeconomic status, our religion, gender, race or any of the infinite number of things we use to identify ourselves and others.
The Tibetan word Namaste embodies this way of relating to ourselves and each other. It means that there is that sacred inside of me and the sacred in me recognizes and honors the sacred in you.
When we relate first to ourselves and our basic goodness and then extend that knowledge to those we encounter, we begin to understand love. We begin to heal and we create an environment that invites others to encounter this love and healing in themselves.