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Notes on Love

Written by: Robert Cravens, MSW Intern Co-written and Edited by: Magnolia Heaton, LCSW, SRMT

Hello Everyone,

Two weeks ago, while interviewing my supervisor we touched on how Love is Healing came to be and during that discussion she insightfully said that what we are about is in our name. Love is healing is a simple enough of a concept, and on its surface, it may sound like a simple lighthearted saying, but I think it is much more than that.

In 1969 the Beatles released "All You Need is Love," composed and written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The song is a masterpiece in my opinion and speaks a truth that sometimes we forget (I will include a link to the song at the end of this post if you would like to give it a listen). With love we can stand in the light, find joy, and be healed. However, without it we will become lost, sick, and afraid.

As I contemplate this idea more, I have become aware of the fact that there is more than one type of love and that has made me realize, I need more than one type of love to feel whole or complete.

Some types of love (this list is not exhaustive).

Philla is the love that happens between true friends, this is a non-romantic love and has been called ‘brotherly love’ or ‘sisterly love’. It is a type of love that allows you to exchange your beliefs and imperfections with your best friends. This type of love will rest and be felt in your mind.

Pragma is a type of love that develops over time, and it take many years to mature and come to fruition. This love is felt in the subconscious and is that deep connection you develop wit you partner that drives you together, and the feeling comes unknowingly and feels purposefully.

Storge is the love that flows between parents and their children or their childhood friends, it typically rests and is felt in your memories which encourage long-lasting bonds with other individuals, it is an innate love build upon acceptance and deep emotional connection.

Eros is romantic love dealing with personal infatuation and physical pleasure. This type of love is all about passionate displays such as kissing, hugging, and holding hands. It is driven by hormones that fire and awaken desire in the body.

Philautia is self love or having a health level of “self-compassion” towards oneself. With this type of love, you can recognize your self-worth and not ignore your personal needs. This starts by acknowledging your responsibility for your own well-being. This type of love is felt within the soul which allows you to reflect on your need’s physical, emotional, and mental.

What loves are in your life currently? Which ones are missing or need work?

I am working on self love because I have spent what seems like a lifetime ignoring my own needs and tending to others, finding little room for self-compassion and, instead, only being my harshest critic. It was not until later in life that I recognized that this love is essential to my well being. As I work on this, I am learning to set healthy boundaries in all the different aspects of my life. I am learning to take the time that I need to reset my mind, body, and spirit so that I feel in balance with the world around me. I also recognize that this is an ongoing process and that I must continue this work going forward if I want to be successful at loving myself.

Love, truly, is healing and when you work on the types of love that you are needing you can find growth in your life. The hard parts can be understanding exactly what you’re missing so that you can begin to do the work. Some practical ways to do this would be to work on grounding yourself and taking the time to reflect and meditate on your current state of mind, speaking with someone to talk through your emotions, helping you to find where things could be out of balance, listening to the advice of a trusted friend or confidant so that you can get a look at you from an outside point of view, working on mending relationships with those that are open to it (so long as they're not abusive, of course). These are some ways you might discover the love that you are missing.

When we have love flowing in and out of our lives with it comes the healing that we need, and interestingly enough the more we heal then the more room we have for love. In this circular way we can create a renewable source of healing and growth that will help us grow throughout our lives touching us and all those around us.

With wishes of Love,

Robert Cravens

MSW Intern

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