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I've been thinking about love.

When I worked as a Customer Services Coach on a Call Centre many years ago, I started to notice something. I became increasingly fond of the people I coached.

I became fond of them, whether I liked them or not. This fondness seemed to grow as I got to know them better. The more I saw of their struggles, the more I could understand that their less attractive traits were a way of protecting themselves from pain, or an attempt to be in relationship that went awry.

As they felt my fondness, they felt safer about revealing themselves to me. As I saw more, I felt more fond.

Is it that simple? To be good therapists, friends, family members, do we just need to accept all the darker parts of other people, to shine a fond light on them, to love unconditionally?

This variety of love, a love which asks nothing and accepts everything, is HARD. It's hard enough with my clients, so imagine how difficult it is with the people close to me. Imagine how many buttons they press, how many of my own defense mechanisms kick in and stop me from seeing behind the 'bad behaviour'. Imagine how terrified we all are underneath.

If I'm going to choose a practice, then maybe this is a good one. To open up instead of close down. To be patient. To seek the truth. To try and love the owrld, and everyone in it (including me) more completely.

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To seek truth is to be open to finding what IS irrespective of what it might turn out to be. The contention here is that this is the duty of the therapist and that it is a form of love: that love and truth are two aspects of the same thing and both are unconditional. Love is the unconditional nature of the person and truth is the unconditional nature of the world and we are looking here at the point where they meet. The invitation of the therapist to the client, or, indeed, of the sage to the disciple, is, 'stop and look' - meaning, let us dare to see what is actually the case. [...] The therapist is able to continue to be so because she understands that even the peverse symptoms in the client are the working out, albeit at a remove, of the love drive.

From Love and Its Disappointments by David Brazier

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Late autumn sun. I've been sitting outside whenever I can and absorbing those last glorious rays... I hope the sun shines on you wherever you are this weekend x

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Lovely

Well said, Fiona. And I just love the little clay people in your photo.

Kate
www.marshallbooks.net