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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %LOVE HONESTY GENTLE OPEN RESPONSIVE LIBERATE JOY 940424 If the first commandment is that we should love God and each other as our own selves---it follows that we must love our own selves as we love each other. There is confusion, however, as to just what is essential in love. Too rarely have we focused upon honesty as an essential aspect of love in our love relationships with God, with ourselves and with each other. If we are not honest with God, with ourselves and with each other---we are not in love with God, ourselves or each other. People who are in love are honest with God, with themselves and with each other. Love and honesty are inseparable because love has to do with being connected in open and honest communication which is mutual, balanced, respectful, non-manipulative and free of fear. Love casts out fear which motivates dishonesty, so that those who are in Love can be open and honest with each other---in intimate relationships where they are/feel safe and free to be vulnerable without any sense of a need to be defensive. People who are in Love are not defensive because they give and receive free gifts of security which is known as the freedom to be safely vulnerable. In the absence of the giving and accepting of love's gifts of true security---people are defensive. They use secrecy, silence, insensitivity, non-responsiveness, deception, misleading behaviors/appearances, implicit dishonesty and overt dishonesty as tools to be used in manipulative and violent defenses. Defensiveness breeds defensiveness and dishonesty. Love engenders gifts of true security through the giving and accepting of gifts of the freedom to be safely vulnerable. People who are in love feel no need to be in control or to be preoccupied with issues of control; for issues of control breed fear, defensiveness and manipulative dishonesty. People who are in love are not preoccupied with proscriptions, prescriptions, regulations, rules, laws, formalities, conformities, rebellions, punishments, and judgments---because such preoccupations destroy contexts within which people are/feel safe and free to be vulnerable without any sense of a need to be defensive. People who are in love seek to openly and honestly describe to each other their own experiences, perceptions, feelings, fears, joys, hopes, aspirations, etc. They seek to listen sympathetically to each other in their offerings of such honest descriptions; helping each other to be/feel safely vulnerable in offering such descriptions. They are preoccupied with open and honest descriptions---rather than with prescriptions and proscriptions which engender fear which drives out love. People who often engender fear in others---are not in love. People who seek to control, discipline, manipulate, guilt, shame, excommunicate and otherwise be in charge of others---are not in love; for they engender alienative: fear, anxiety, tension, contention, defense, conflict, dishonesty, deception, secrecy and evil relationships in general. They increase evil relationships. They do no overcome evil. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================