To Improve Your Relationship: Understand this Gender Difference

There are several differences between men and women, some are obvious, some are subtle. Realizing, accepting and working with this particular gender difference can make a positive difference in the way you relate to each other.

Conflict and frustration in relationships often occurs simply because, we don’t understand why our partner thinks and acts a certain way. When it comes to thoughts, feelings and emotions there will typically be a difference in the way  men or women go about relating with you.

This gender difference impacts our ways of communicating, problem-solving and over-all interactions with each other. It stems from the way we perceive and relate to our thoughts, feelings and emotions; and the need we have with our partner in relation to our thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Men and women have thoughts, feelings and emotions; and these are important and not to be denied or discounted. Having acknowledged this, due to biological factors and social conditioning, one gender is typically more connected and concerned with thoughts, while the other gender is more connected and concerned with feelings and emotions.  Here’s the basic difference:

In general, the feminine aspect, typically (women) is more likely concerned with having their Feelings and Emotions respected.  The masculine aspect, (men) is likely more interested in having their Thoughts respected.

It should be noted, that some women may have more of the masculine aspect; and have a stronger desire for their thoughts to be respect. Some men might have more of the feminine aspect; and have a stronger need for their feelings and emotions to be respected. 

Women in general, come from their right brain, the intuitive and emotional side. They also come more from their heart center. So they are more concerned and value their relationships. Because of this, women in life and in their relationships will more naturally relate to and from their feelings and emotions.

On the other hand, most men are in their logic and thinking state, come from their left brain. So they relate to thoughts, in logic oriented ways of being in life and in their relationships. As a way of connecting, men relate more to their occupation and status (position).

For example: In social settings, women will typically, talk more about family and friends, social concerns (relationships/heart). Men generally, will converse more about their occupation, sports, objects i.e. cars, boats, women, money (logic/head).   

It’s not about who is right or wrong, with this way of being and relating. It is the way the genders are wired and conditioned to be in the world, and relate to each other.

It’s not about needing the other person to think, feel and be how I am. This is control and creates a love relationship that is conditional.

It’s about seeking to understand the other person as best I can, learning to accept this difference. Being willing to learn how best to relate and interact with this difference. This is unconditional love. 

A part of you, wants your partner or friend to be like you are. However, life is about contrast, in order to know one, we need to experience its opposite. That’s why we have male and female, light and dark, sorrow and joy.  Neither is really right or wrong it just is “the nature of things.”

It’s about accepting and honoring our differences, and working with them.

Gentlemen, out of love seek to understand, step out of your comfort zone. Take time and effort to connect more with your partner’s feelings and her deeper emotions, even if it doesn’t seem natural or logical to you. Connect your heart to her heart.

Ladies, out of love, get into your man’s world, honor his thoughts and work at seeing his logic as best you can, even if it doesn’t make sense or seem natural to you.       Don’t wait for your partner to make the first move. Authentic love, asks us to take the initiative, to seek to understand the other. If you both work at seeking to understand the other, you find the common ground within the differences.

Unconditional Love seeks the common ground, to accept, honor, and learn to interact within the differences, and enhance the similarities.  

What are your thoughts or feelings on these gender differences?  Feel free to comment below.

 

Are you struggling with understanding and working gender differences? David Schroeder, can help you reclaim the love and goodness you are. If you would like assistance with reclaiming this love and goodness David is here to assist you with his life transition coaching and counseling sessions. He offers in-person, by phone or Skype sessions. Visit his website at transitionpathways.com.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength, a healthy and assertive way to help yourself and love yourself again.

David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed social worker, certified life coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. David’s book, Just Be Love is available through my websites: transitionpathways.com or JustBeLove  Also available through online bookstores: amazon.com , barnesandnoble.com

A Valentine’s Day Message

So another Valentine’s Day is upon us. Like Christmas, many scramble to find the perfect gift for their beloved, to show their love and how much they care. Love is a beautiful thing. The expression of unconditional love and acceptance is a gift beyond measure. As I express in my book Just Be Love, I define divine love as the unconditional love and acceptance of the spirit of all that exist. In the spirit of us, the soul essence of us is expressing itself in human form. The divine loves and accepts this spirit/soul in whatever form or formless state it may express itself. The ultimate of love, I’ve come to appreciate is freedom. The divine’s love is freedom, that’s why as human’s we have this gift called, free will. Whatever name you give the divine, call it God, Buddha Allah, Kristina, Jesus, Mohammad, etc. the name is not the point. The point and the message is clear, no matter the religion, culture, gender, belief or language of each of us. This power greater than ourselves freely loves to love. Divine love is always present and present in all ways.  

Whether you are in relationship with another person or not this Valentines’s Day, it need not matter. However, societies and ourselves in it, can make it matter, to the point of much unhappiness, even despair. This is a great error, similar to the error of attachment to our self-created story, as if it were life itself. What does matter is the relationship you have with yourself, and with the universal source of love and goodness. This love is always present, even when we don’t feel its presence and/or we deny its existence. This love is not defined by human struggle nor by our beliefs about life.  For the energy of divine love is existence. Without it, nothing else would exist, including you and I. 

So Just Be Love this Valentine’s Day. Give yourself permission and the opportunity to freely love to love. I ask: Can you be your own valentine today and to all you meet this day and everyday? For love is all we are, and what we truly seek to return to.

What is Eros and Agape Love?

The Ancient Greeks had two main words to describe love, Eros and Agape.
Eros Love, is the most common way human’s love. Eros love is physical, passionate, sensual; a desire, a longing for another, but in an egotistic and objectified way. In Eros love, we struggle with freely loving just to love. With Eros love, I make the other my love object; and responsible for my happiness. Eros love is conditional, and is the love of need and feels it lacks. One has a desire to be loved, but with expectations to the one they say they “love.”  This type of love, loves to get something a payback, they form relationships based on “you owe me.” This love is always comparing and seeking what it appears to be more satisfying outside of itself. So we are rarely satisfied in relationship with another, because I may struggle with insecurities and self-love, I make people and things outside of me, responsible my happiness and contentment. 

Agape Love is spiritual divine-centered love. With Agape love, one has the awareness that it was created in the image of God, and this knowing dissolves any concept of separation into oneness. Agape love has no needs and makes no demands; its intent is offering understanding, and unconditional love, acceptance and good will. This love is the truest form of intimacy, a love without measure.  With Agape love the perception and belief of a threat or an enemy dissolves. For you see others as a reflection of yourself, so you see love as the teacher and opportunity to higher awareness and soul growth. The search for love ends, when I have the awareness that I am love,       I remember who I am. This is the desired freedom we seek. It’s the journey of the soul in human form.  Agape love is not about falling in love, this is Eros love. Agape love, is rising as love, to ascend in the energy and awareness of love, because love is who we are.

Signs Eros Love:
If you are with someone, who appears judgmental, controlling, demanding; presenting conditions to loving i.e. I’ll do this if you do that.” This is the withholding of love to get my own needs met, with little concern for the other person. If you need someone, to the point of losing yourself because you need them, you are being conditional or maybe in your neediness and dependency you can more easily be controlled and taken advantage of in relationship.  With others, if you need to be right more often than not, you are offering Eros love.  If you believe being with someone will make you happy, your love is Eros, because in time, you will make the other person responsible for your happiness, causing you to be more unhappy and unfulfilled. If you bounce from relationship to relationship, have had affairs; use food, alcohol, or porn, etc. to cope with and find satisfaction within a relationship; you are consumed in the unsatisfying love called Eros. 

Signs of Agape Love: 
Pure love, divine love is freedom. Agape love, offers a sense of freedom to the other person. You have a good awareness of self and a confidence, which allows you to be strong, yet flexible in the relationship; without losing yourself or pushing the other away. Your love is more unconditional and you value accepting people with where they are at; without judging or needing to change them.  One can easily compromise without a sense of feeling slighted or that you’ve gained the upper hand. Agape love is not a power over the other person; you embrace a relationship that is more inclusive and work toward having power-with the other person. You view your relationships as learning and growing experiences, especially during difficult/challenging times with this person. You often say to yourself within relationship experiences: “What is this person teaching me?”  “What am I to learn from this experience?”

Agape love is heart-centered. This type of love, offers awareness, acceptance and compassion to acknowledge that sometimes for the highest and greatest good, a relationship is no longer healthy and constructive. So out of love I set myself and you free, in forgiving and appreciative ways. Love is freedom and freedom is love.

The way to Agape Love: Is to first and foremost understand, accept and have the awareness that you are love. Reconciling our wounded past gets us on the pathway to this higher understanding and acceptance of the love that we are. This allows us to be more accepting and offer loving kindness to others.

Free your ego of selfish needs and wants. This minimizes the degree of conditions and expectations of how love should be. Divine love is the unconditional love and acceptance of the spirit of all that is. Pure and Agape love is free of conditions and expectations. This is the way to rise as love, happiness and freedom.

Which type of love do you think you express most often, Eros or Agape?  What makes this so? Which type of love would offer you more happiness and peaceful relations with others? Why?   Your answers are appreciated to these questions. Leave a comment about this blog.

 

David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed social worker, certified life coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential.  My book Just Be Love is available through my websites:transitionpathways.com  or  justbelove1.com Also available through online bookstores: amazon.com , barnesandnoble.com

 

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you and yours! Let us make Love and Kindness the reality in 2017. Its time!  Are you with me?

 

A Higher Meaning of the Term Soulmate

soulmate-image

In popular culture, dating sites, and various relationship writings, there is a common phrase used, called: Find your soulmate.  Like many words or phrases there can be a variety meanings or interpretations of what soulmate means. However, in order to truly understand the meaning of soulmate, you must be open and willing to think out of the box. But first let’s look at some definitions of soulmate from the dictionary.  “A person ideally suited to another as a close friend or romantic partner.”  “A person who is perfectly suited to another in temperament.”  “A person who strongly resembles another in attitudes or beliefs.”  “A person/s who is compatible with one other in disposition, point of view or sensitivity.” Each of these definitions speaks to being compatible with another person, but not with the one we live with 24/7, which is our self.

Many of us have the belief we aren’t lovable or enough or that we are incomplete, flawed, not whole. We struggle with finding meaning and inner happiness and peace. Our belief and sense of separation from that power greater than ourselves, along with feeling separate from other souls playing the art of human beings like us, takes us on the search for love and worthiness outside of ourselves. All this creates the illusion that I need someone or something to complete me, than I will be happy and content.  It creates barriers to attracting the partner or friend that can dance with us in life.

Society, through dating sites or pop culture articles, says this is how you find that person who can complete you. Ultimately, they do a dis-service to the readers and customers. They sell you on the idea and illusion that you are incomplete, and so the only way to completeness and happiness is by finding Mr. or Ms. Right, i.e. a person outside of yourself.  This thinking and believing is the main reason we struggle so much in relationship.  Your completeness and happiness will never be found outside of yourself.

c1e26f65a1658df0b4c9f629fff8ee06What would you say, if I told you, you are already complete; you are already whole, good enough, and especially loved. See I told you that you would need to think and believe out of the box. You come from a source that is greater than you and this source is love and complete. Since you are a creation from this source you are already love, goodness and complete. You have likely just forgotten this, because that’s part of what aspects of a soul chooses to do, forget, in order to take on their life experiences. What I call “Spiritual Amnesia.”  Our path back to remembering is an inside job, others assist us along the path, but we alone choose to remember ourselves as love and goodness or not.

Having said this, on the spiritual level, it my understanding the term soulmate means: The reunion with the lower (ego) self to the higher divine self. Than with this inner marriage/union, we unite back to the holy one (God or whatever name fits for you), the creator of all. To find your soulmate, is to connect with and reconcile your ego, wounded, and shadow self. Doing this you will connect more fully with your true and divine self. You unite back with your soul. You become more curious, conscious, and engaging with yourself and life, this creates intimacy within you. You begin to have a deeper more fulfilling connection and relationship with your soulful self, i.e. the essence of you. You mate with your soul; hence you found your soulmate.

By way of this inner union and reunion with the holy one, you can then more fully attract a soul or souls outside of you to dance in healthy and constructive partnership or friendship with you.

How My Book, “Just Be Love” Came to Be

I recently became a self-published author, of an inspiring book, entitled: Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. 

JustBeLove_FrontRevMy book takes you on a journey with a series of vignettes on the human joys and struggles of love, and the divine intent of love. Just Be Love, came to be as I was advised by two different people, that I had never met before, in different encounters, both people stopped in mid conversation with me, to inform me, that I was to write a book.  As my book visioning process progressed I understood, I was to write a book about love.  In the spring of 2010, I had a mystical experience, in which I heard a message from my master teacher, Jesus saying: “Just Be Love.” After this experience, I began to get messages on love that became the content of the book. Just Be Love, expresses through a series of vignettes, examples of how from our human and ego perspective we forget we are love and worthy, due to difficult life experiences. As a clinical and spiritual social worker and life transition coach, I’ve witnessed and worked with many people wounded and defeated by love, through dysfunctional family dynamics, unhealthy relationships, etc. In our woundedness we begin to believe we are not good enough and unworthy of love and goodness. To protect the fragile self, we may create defenses and barriers to love and happiness. 

 This creates the common, yet painful mistake of making others responsible for our feelings and actions about love and happiness. This pattern continues for those who do not look within and do the inner work of what I call the  “4 R’s”:  Recognizing, Reconciling, Releasing and Reframing their core negative beliefs and behaviors resulting from difficult life experiences.

SunsetLife calls us to punch a hole through the self-created clouds of illusion, that says we “aren’t loveable or good enough” to discover the light and love that we are. 

 More importantly Just Be Love offers insights and examples of ways to remember we are love; and I offer unique ways the divine expresses love and goodness to us, through our experiences with people, the natural world and communion with our Creator. The book weaves both the science and spirituality of love, providing you with inspiring messages from spiritual teachers, mystics, and poets, researchers, as well as my own insights and perspectives on ways to love. 

Just Be Love is a book to return to again and again. Each time you read a chapter, you will discover deeper insights. The messages are intended to help you come to a higher awareness that our purpose for being, is to Just Be Love.

Book is available through online bookstores and balboapress.com

Just Be Love

In my book: Just be Love, I mention Lise Bourbeau, an expert in human development and decoding illness on the metaphysical level. She says there are five core wounds of the human personality: Rejection, Abandonment, Betrayal, Humiliation or Injustice. Through our human experiences most of us are subject to two of these wounds. One is a dominate wound from the first three listed and the second wound comes from one of the last two listed. These core wounds, shape our beliefs and cause energy blocks, which limits our potential and growth. When we do our inner work, reconcile these wounds, i.e. remove the inner blocks, we discover our perfection, within what our ego self defines as imperfect.In my own journey, and working with others, I’ve realized that: Self-Understanding, Acceptance, Compassion and Forgiveness are also keys to remembering our perfection and the love that we are. I found in my own inner work and working with others. We usually struggle more, with one of the four keys to self love: Understanding, Acceptance, Compassion, or Forgiveness. Whichever is the hardest one for us to embrace is the one that’s most important in our healing journey and we will reap the most benefit from, if we embrace it and live it.

Life isn’t meant to be easy, its meant to be meaningful. Our ego wants us to take the quick and easy way out. No learning and growth happens through quick and easy, this is just spiritual bypass. Our judgement of ourselves is also a block to our growth and potential. I view judgement as simply: the withholding of love; as fear is the absence of love. Our journey is to remember: Love is who we are!! So let’s, Just Be Love.  

Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey.   Available through Balboapress.com and major online bookstores. Check out book reviews through Amazon.com

JustBeLove_FrontRev

Unconditional Love: To Rise as Love

As humans we have a desire to love and be loved. To be accepted and appreciated for who we are. It seems today more than ever, many feel judged and unaccepted for who they are. That people’s version of love and acceptance has many conditions and expectations, perhaps even demands attached to it. Leading those yearning for love, to feel “not being enough” in the presence of these conditions and expectations. One begins to avoid and isolate, fearful of vulnerability and more judgement. As fear is known as the absence of love, judgement can be seen as the withholding of love.

Love is intended to create freedom and offer space to create and grow individually and/or collectively. Thich Nhat Hanh said: “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.” If love is conditional, it’s not pure authentic love. It’s love by possession and the need to control. Pure love is freedom and freedom is love.

A definition of divine love. I’ve come to appreciate divine love is: the unconditional love and acceptance of the spirit in all that exist. The divine loves and accepts the spirit-the energy of all it creates. This love is free of conditions and dogma, for the divine, only knows us as a vibrational aspect of itself.  IMG_2634

The power of unconditional love, opens the heart and expands the mind. It creates a feeling of worthiness and significance to those who are exposed to this type of love. It offers inclusion and is grounded in the knowing of oneness, i.e. you are me and I am you. It seeks power-with, not power over.

As we attach conditions and expectations to those we say we love. It is important to realize the conditions and expectations we attach to ourselves. Self-love is critical in order to freely love others. What we do or don’t do to ourselves we will consciously or unconsciously do to others. If we struggle offering loving kindness to ourselves we will struggle offering this to others. I’ve come to understand, we hurt others, because we are hurting in the depths of ourselves.

As a soul in human form, we are here to experience the many aspects of life. We are here to remember our divinity and that we are love. We are here to expand our minds by opening our hearts through gratitude and compassion. We are here to create a higher and richer meaning to our lives and our being. We are here to not just fall in love, but more importantly to, rise as love. Because love is who we are. Love is our essence. To rise as love, is to aspire in ascending to a higher, more profound awareness and experience of unconditional love.

Love is the pathway to understanding, acceptance, compassion and forgiveness. Love will push every button, test your values, try every ounce of patience, challenge every strength, and trigger every wound and weakness. Above all this, love is an invitation to freedom and inner peace. Freedom and inner peace come through an open heart and a mind that is quiet; a mind free of unhealthy attachments and misidentifications.

Choosing unconditional love, especially in intimate relationships, offers a pathway to develop a high level of understanding, the willingness to accept each other where you are at, to have compassion towards yourself, and others, and the willingness to forgive or reconcile mistakes and differences.

Honest and open communication, mutual respect and commitment to each other, working toward common goals; and the ability to develop consensus between each other, are also pathways to a loving and fulfilling relationship.

David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC is author of new book, Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. Can be purchased online at balboapress.com, Amazon or Barnes & Noble