The "Heart Magic Skills" To A Lasting Love
There are three basic things we are not taught to do well in life. These three basic things are:1. How to get along with the person we hope to live with the rest of our lives. 2. How to raise healthy, creative, children who have self-respect and respect others.3. How to deal with stress and anger.
We know this is true because of the unfortunate divorce rate (one out of two marriages fail in America), the river of children abused in our society and the high degree of addictions and crime, which reflects the stress and rage in our society. Yet, our hunger for information is reflected in the billion dollar industries behind, self-help books and magazines, improvement classes, seminars, media programs and Internet blogs. These all reflects our basic desire to grow and improve the quality of our lives.
To succeed in the three areas previously mentioned, having a harmonious relationship, healthy children, a peaceful mind, is not only a worthy goal but is in fact, the only way to have the civility which reflects a “civilization”. Such individuals would be considered to have reached a high social development. For each individual and family is an important cell in the body of society, a body which expands as we look at the collective world. But how can we expect nations who are different in religions, races and cultures to get along if two people who love each other cannot get along under their own roof?
These were my thoughts when I began my work in the field of Marriage, Family, Child Counseling, 25 years ago. When I started in private practice, I specialized in the work with children but it was evident that the presenting problem was the family with its environment where wellness or illness existed. Therefore, more and more I turned my attention to the family system and very quickly saw how much help was needed in couple or parenting skills regarding communication and conflict resolution. This is why I wrote, Heart Magic, Keeping Love Alive and Well, in order to help individuals and couples achieve success in the greatest of all arts – the art of relating.
What have I found to be a barrier to success in our society? It is a long held fallacy that to “live happily ever after” all we need is love. But don’t most people who marry and later get divorced love each other when they walked down the aisle? Love needs our help! We need to accept the fact that preparation and training, is necessary before we live together as a couple – before we bring children into the world.
Just as we get training to drive a car, learn a trade, or prepare for any important endeavor in our lives, we must learn what are healthy, relationship, habits to succeed as partners. More than two decades of research in the field of relationship studies has shown me that family members build trust, get along better, and experience a loving, harmonious life by following the “Eight Select Principles” and simple, “Dos and Don’t of Relating” found in my book, Heart Magic, Keeping Love Alive & Well.
For example, how many of us know this underlying fact in relating, that everyone has a piece of the truth and each side has a need that must be acknowledged? When there is a conflict between two people, if they do not understand this fact, they may not resolve their differences in a fair and respectful manner. Therefore, acknowledging each person’s truth, exploring each side’s need then finding a solution, which is fair to both sides, builds a truly intimate relationship. The home becomes a place where there is harmony because conflicts are resolved, trust is built and love endures. What better inheritance can parents give children? If we truly want a peaceful world, it begins with the individual and the family unit is the cell of the collective world family. True peacemakers live that ideal daily in their homes.
The good news is that everyone can learn to improve their relationship skills no matter what age or stage of partnership they are in - if they are motivated to do so! It takes devotion to your dream and a sincere desire to be happy. But it becomes a reality by learning a few simple habits of relating and applying them under your own roof. We see this lived out in the life of partners who are happy together, who may undergo many challenges but who have learned to practice loving habits that make any challenge easier to face. This is how the vision of love is truly made a reality!
Maria J. Andrade, M.F.T., is a licensed therapist author and poet. Her eco-social book for children, Youngen Finds Her Song, was published last year. She is founder of the “Heart Magic” workshops based on her book Heart Magic, Keeping Love Alive & Well. This book focuses on important “Select Principles” and “Do’s and Don’t” of communication for sustaining a loving and lasting partnership. She lives in California and has a private counseling practice with her husband Sy Cohn.