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A few years ago, I spoke to a group of high-schoolers about the Jewish idea of love. By focusing on the good, you can love almost anyone. " "We're choosing to love him," her mother explained, "because love is a choice." There's no better wisdom Susan's mother could have imparted to her before marriage. Love is that feeling you get when you meet the right person." Every hand went up. Judaism actually idealizes this universal, unconditional love. Consciously or unconsciously, they believe love is a sensation (based on physical and emotional attraction) that magically, spontaneously generates when Mr. If love comes from appreciating goodness, it needn't just happen ― you can make it happen. This man naturally saw the good in others, and our being there said enough about us that he could love us.slang), observe, recognize, distinguish, glimpse, check out (informal), make out, heed, discern, behold, eyeball (slang), catch a glimpse of, catch sight of, espy, get a load of (slang), descry, take a dekko at (Brit.slang), lay or clap eyes on (informal) the last of them, over the black marshes, with the torchlight shining on their faces - I am particular about that; with the torchlight shining on their faces, when there was an outer ring of dark night all about us?You can care for, respond to, and respect another only as deeply as you know him or her.
"; "I don't understand the idea"experience, know, live - have firsthand knowledge of states, situations, emotions, or sensations; "I know the feeling! "; "I have lived a kind of hell when I was a drug addict"; "The holocaust survivors have lived a nightmare"; "I lived through two divorces"witness, see, find - perceive or be contemporaneous with; "We found Republicans winning the offices"; "You'll see a lot of cheating in this school"; "The 1960's saw the rebellion of the younger generation against established traditions"; "I want to see results"perceive, note, spot, notice, mark, view, eye, check, regard, identify, sight, witness, clock (Brit.
" she cooed.) But in her study of real-life successful marriages Judith Wallerstein reports that "the value these couples placed on the partner's moral qualities was an unexpected finding." To the Jewish mind, it isn't unexpected at all.
Now that you're feeling so warmly toward the entire human race, how can you deepen your love for someone?
And just as easily, it can spontaneously degenerate when the magic "just isn't there" anymore. Love is the attachment that results from deeply appreciating another's goodness. After all, most love stories don't feature a couple enraptured with each other's ethics. God created us to see ourselves as good (hence our need to either rationalize or regret our wrongdoings). Nice looks, an engaging personality, intelligence, and talent (all of which count for something) may attract you, but goodness is what moves you to love. Just focus on the good in another person (and everyone has some). I was once at an intimate concert in which the performer, a deeply spiritual person, gazed warmly at his audience and said, "I want you to know, I love you all." I smiled tolerantly and thought, "Sure." Looking back, though, I realize my cynicism was misplaced.
Erich Fromm, in his famous treatise "The Art of Loving," noted the sad consequence of this misconception: "There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love." (That was back in 1956 ― chances are he'd be even more pessimistic today.) So what is love ― real, lasting love? What we value most in ourselves, we value most in others.
Likewise, the best way to feel loving is to be loving ― and that means giving.