The easy part for some of us was falling in love. We met someone who stirred a deep inner emotion in us, then gravity took over and we went head over heals down the path of love. Our friends and family watched helplessly as we went tumbling by. Their words of caution went unheeded as we were confident that this path of love was leading us somewhere special. However, similar to hiking on a trail, the path of love has many ups and downs and twists and turns. When the going gets difficult, we have to work harder to stay on the path of love. We also have to encourage each other to keep moving forward, especially when one partner starts lagging behind.
The path of love is a self-guided trail and our purpose is to learn about love along the way. Our partner can help, however they are also learning their own lessons about love. Although we might be walking together, we must learn our own lessons in our own time. We also have to take turns leading the way. When it is our turn to lead, we must gently guide our partner forward. If we try pulling them along the path of love, they might get scared and dig in their heels. This will only lead to more frustration and the harder we pull, the more they will resist. The partner in the lead must remember that all behavior makes sense. Perhaps our struggling partner is afraid of getting lost or is frightened of ferocious bears (in-laws), or they might be worried about getting emotionally hurt along the way.
Falling in love might be easy, but staying in love requires patience, honesty, nurturing and commitment. There can be a lot of obstacles along our path, like busy careers, family demands, or even other seemingly attractive hikers going the other way. Sometimes the journey with our partner may come to an end. However if we haven’t learned the lessons about love the first time (or 2nd, 3rd or 4th), then we might find ourselves walking a similar path with another partner. The Path of Love principle states that when we focus on love, we will be rewarded with more love.
There are some basic survival skills for making the walk easier. First we must learn to love ourselves unconditionally, so that we can then share our love more freely with others. If you are walking alone right now, then recognize this as an opportunity to practice self-love; and don’t worry, you are in the woods, nobody will see. If you are in a relationship now, then make the commitment to take a real hike in nature with your partner. The beauty and peacefulness of nature will help promote more harmony and love for those that are willing to accept it. Watch out for the "love bugs", their bite promotes more intimacy and passion. There is an exception to the environmental law of "If you pack it in you must pack it out". While hiking the path of love, we must leave behind the negative emotions like fear, anger and jealousy because these emotions are biodegradable and they will break down. The positive emotions like love, caring, and compassion are recyclable and they should be used over and over again. Enjoy the path of love, for it is your destiny to learn about love and to teach others what you have learned. Are you a teacher or a student of love today?
Bobby O’Neal is the creator of the relationship game Syncrohearts. He works in community forestry, meditates and has been nicknamed Dr. Love. Visit www.Syncrohearts.com