The Natural Cycles of Mindful Loving
Diana Baysinger, MC
The current pandemic and social unrest provide us with time to pause and align our lives and relationships in more mindful ways. It calls us to examine ourselves and our values. True change and transition start with us and then spreads to our relationships and community. Mindful loving is a practice we develop as we align ourselves with our values. Mindful loving is a conscious decision to love and be loved. There are natural cycles in all mindful loving relationships. We move through cycles of harmony and stability, as well as cycles of disharmony and instability. When we understand these cycles of mindful loving, we learn to develop and sustain healthy emotional connections.
The First Cycle of Mindful Loving
The first cycle of mindful loving is characterized by love and attraction. We enter new or renewing love. New love occurs when we experience a sense of passion and the feeling of “falling in love.” We feel a sense of excitement and anticipation.
Renewing love occurs at any time during the lifetime of a mindful loving relationship. It is the experience of love and attraction that comes from a deeper connection with each other. As a result of sharing our lives, we look at each other with greater understanding and acceptance. Renewing love rekindles engagement and attraction.
As you and your partner have grown and changed, how have you continued to express love and attraction for each other?
The Second Cycle of Mindful Loving
The second cycle of mindful loving is characterized by love and acceptance. It is a time of discovery where partners move from falling in love to being in love. This is a cycle of growth with the addition of children, changes in careers, relocation, blending families, health challenges and increases in financial responsibilities. We can experience emotional changes ranging from feeling connected to feeling disconnected, feeling comfort to feeling discomfort and feeling loved to feeling neglected. Growth puts us in a temporary and natural state of imbalance, so we need to give extra attention to ourselves and each other to regain balance.
In what ways do you prioritize time for yourself and each other?
The Third Cycle of Mindful Loving
The third cycle of mindful loving is characterized by love and transition. In this cycle, we experience both celebrations and losses. We celebrate graduations, marriages, grandchildren, career recognitions and other changes. We experience losses like the death of friends and family, children leaving home, and downsizing our home or lifestyle. Many of us transition to caretaking roles for our aging parents. We all are affected by the physical and emotional changes in our own lives. All transitions require some degree of adaptation. During this cycle, we are prompted to explore where we are in our lives, in our careers, and in our love relationships. It is a time for redefining our own sense of purpose. It is natural to feel some anxiety and sadness as we go through transitions and make changes from the inside out. When we explore our purpose, we rekindle our passion for re-evaluating our careers, enhancing our relationships, improving our health and fitness and find new ways to support ourselves, our family and our community.
In this cycle, we have a choice. We can look at each other with resentment, sadness and regret or with acceptance, love and appreciation. Mindful loving helps us manage transitions and challenges in our lives and in our relationships.
What transitions have you experienced in your life and how did you manage them? What impact has it had on your relationship?
The Fourth Cycle of Mindful Loving
The fourth cycle of mindful loving is characterized by love and resilience. We experience resilience with that quiet comfort we feel after a delightful shared experience or the calm that follows a challenge that was managed with love and respect. Resilience is the inner strength that helps us bounce back from challenging times and provides us wth a new strength and vitality.
This fourth cycle of mindful loving often involves the restructuring of roles and responsibilities in our relationship. The changes we experience in retirement are good examples of changing roles and routines. When we meet a challenge in our lives with love and respect, we experience resilience, resolution and move on to a deeper connection.
How have you restructured your roles and responsibilities to align with the changes in your life and your relationship?
Understanding the Four Cycles of Mindful Loving
Understanding the four cycles of mindful loving, helps us recognize the characteristics of mindful loving: attraction, acceptance, transitions and resilience.
There are unique celebrations and opportunities for growth in each cycle of mindful loving. Our desire for connection, acceptance, and love is fulfilled when we move through the cycles of mindful loving and do the work that each cycle offers.
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