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  • Thomas Bien

Love Adjusts to the Beloved

In any kind of loving relationship, true love is based on deep attunement with the one you love. Beginning with the relationship between mother and child, a mother whose love is not attuned to the child will not succeed very well. If she is often preoccupied, or if she offers the kind of love that she wants to give rather than what is needed by the baby, this will not register as love with the child.

The same is true with friendships and with romantic relationships. We need to have some space in us to be able to see deeply into the other person, to understand their needs and wants, so that our giving is not solely based on what we want to give. If the one you love doesn’t care about flowers, but you do, giving her flowers is not loving. For true love has attunement in it, meaning a deep understanding of who the other person is.

Of course we can never be attuned all the time, so some of what we offer our loves ones will inevitably be at least a bit off target. If we are wise at such times, we note the reaction of our loved one, even sensing the disappointment underlying the polite response, and learn something for the next time.

True love is about understanding. Understanding creates attunement. Attunement creates harmony. And where there is harmony there is peace.

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