Newsflash: Sex is not love. Sexual acts are physiological functions. Feeling the positive emotion of love may be desired, but not required, to engage in a sexual act. The day you stop confusing sex for love you may have enough energy left to develop the well being and happiness you desire. With that sense of well being and happiness you may then be willing to describe your life as a success!
By now you are probably saying “Oh Bah Humbug”! May I say with love…”Get over it!”
I feel the need to make this statement because I have been reading and writing a lot about the development of the positive emotion, love. I thought I had hit human development pay dirt when researcher Barbara Frederickson identified the ten emotions that contribute to well being. I felt it was pay dirt since nine of the ten emotions were included in the one mega emotion, love.
That told me I should invest all my life energy developing love (interest, awe, humor, hope, contentment, amusement, joy, serenity, gratitude, pride and inspiration).
I would proudly paraphrase Frederickson’s assertion that positive emotions are the fertilizer that feeds inner resilience. If the sum total of all the positive emotions creates love than love is the fertilizer that feeds your ability to be resilient.
If I did that, I reasoned, I would have a life filled with love and I would also have all the resilience I would need to traverse the road of life success no matter how crooked it gets. Then something strange happened. I would tell people of this great news and they wanted me to explain levels of love and where sex came in. I would keep saying there are no levels, and sex is not the love I was speaking about.
The love I am speaking about, and that the research supports, is love built on interest, awe, humor, hope, contentment, amusement, joy, serenity, gratitude, pride and inspiration. That is why you can love a book, or a job, or a person. It is a feeling, a human emotion. And when you build that human emotion with another person or community of people or within a spiritual framework as part of a community, you develop the resilience you need to make it through every adversity you create or stumble upon.
My hope for this season is that Tiger Woods and his family become a living example of how being surrounded by love builds resilience.