IMGThe Coach’s Alphabet is a tool I designed to encourage reflection on different values from A-Z (Accountability to Zeal). Values are beliefs that carry with them an emotional investment, and if we neglect to take time to identify what those values mean in our lives, we tend to underestimate their significance, lose the opportunity to profit from that investment, and suffer a lack of integrity.

Today’s column is about the value of LOVE. On its surface, the meaning of love might seem self-evident but it might be worth looking a little deeper. Dictionary definitions include;

  • A deep and tender feeling of affection, fondness or devotion.
  • A natural affinity for another, manifesting itself in concern for their welfare and pleasure in their presence.
  • The development of an emotional and benevolent attachment of people or entity.
  • A feeling of brotherhood and good will.

a erosDifferent cultures have different words for various types of love. The last definition above comes from the Greek word, agape, in which love takes the form of being open to receive, welcome, and embrace. It is considered a holy platonic type of love that helps one to see a divine spark in the world and in others. In contrast there is eros, which is related to erotic desire and passion.

What does love mean to you? What in your life do you have an affinity for and appreciation of, that you might experience habitually or take for granted, thus denying yourself a deeper sense of pleasure and connection?

Below are five questions intended to get you to consider love in a unique way. Don’t over think them (thinking and love are rarely compatible), just respond instinctively. If you want to take the exercise to the next level, forward the questions to a friend/spouse/sibling/partner and then share your responses. It can be quite enlightening to see how different people interpret and relate to the same values.

a questionYou don’t have to share your answers with me, but if you are willing, I’d LOVE to know a) if you answered the questions and b) what impact they had. You can reach me at:

1.  Where does love live in your body?

2.  What are your earliest memories of love?  (giving & receiving)

3.  What stands in the way of love?

4.  What would it be like to come from a place of love all (or most) of the time, with all (or most) of your interactions?

5.  Take a day and approach people and situations from love. Write about it.

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