Without this, we can’t experience the deeper connections.
By Dr T J Jordan
Many of us have never experienced real love. That is, love without judgment or hidden agendas, love without a demand that we become something more than we are. Love that is unconditional.
Many of us have missed out on kindness, respect, and full connection because we have mistaken something less for love. We have missed out on intimacy.
We might have fallen into obligation or familiarity, expectation or conformity. We might even have become contractually bound to situations dominated by judgment, punishment, or other forms of emotional abuse.
In our dysfunctional relationships, we don’t get to fully disclose our true identities. We keep an emotional distance because we’re afraid of being hurt or because we don’t know what is possible. In dysfunctional relationships, we don’t learn the meaning of unconditional acceptance — and we certainly don’t receive unconditional love.
Then our attempts to love with our bodies — to have sex — leave us in pain and loneliness. We learn the “wrong” lessons — that love hurts and that sex isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
We need to return to nurturing agape in order to experience more.
We need a bouquet of different kinds of love — and we give different kinds of love in different proportions to the important people in our lives.
Agape is a concept of love that comes to us from Ancient Greece. It is the highest level of love because it is given without demands or expectations — it is the opposite of a give-to-get cycle. Agape can be seen in random acts of kindness. It is empathic, unconditional, and transcendent.
Agape is founded on kindness — and kindness is a decision that directs our behavior. It is not a…