In the book Love for No Reason, author Marci Shimoff describes the following four categories of love on the love continuum.
NO LOVE is one of the three conditional categories on the love continuum. Feelings of fear and anxiety are hallmarks of No Love. Our hearts are shut down; we feel fear, anger, hate, and suffering. We feel empty, bored, disengaged, disconnected, or lonely. We may lash out at people around, especially those we think are causing our pain. People may find themselves in this state when dealing with grief, depression or trauma. Sometimes professional treatment is needed to overcome the state of No Love.
LOVE FOR BAD REASON is the second CONDITIONAL category on the love continuum. Love for Bad Reason is concerned with “being loved” to fill a void inside ourselves. It isn’t about appreciation or true caring; it’s about trying to escape or ease our emptiness. A person may be obsessed on getting a “love fix.” This state is the basis of all addictions and in the long run erodes our health on all levels-body, mind and spirit. Codependency falls into this category. People who are co-dependent get swallowed up in the lives of others in an effort to fill the vacuum inside. They want to please the other person-in order to get love back.
Here are some signs:
Giving love to get love
Pleasing others to be accepted
Feeling addicted to the object of your love
Feeling needy, hungry, or desperate for love
Controlling those you love
LOVE FOR GOOD REASON is the third CONDITIONAL category on the Love Continuum. This is what most people understand as love. It’s when you deeply appreciate or feel connected to certain people, situations, or even material objects. When you love for good reason, you feel inspired to contribute to others and are able to both give and receive. This type of love is healthy and strengthens you. This type of love has some limitations. The main problem is that it’s linked to reasons, and if those reasons change, your love usually changes too. For example, if you love your spouse because he or she is wonderful to be with and then your spouse disappoints or betrays you, where does your love go? Love that depends on any reason can come and go.
LOVE FOR NO REASON is the only UNCONDITIONAL category on the Love Continuum. This is the higher love-an inner state of pure love that doesn’t depend on other people, external conditions, or circumstances. It’s a love we experience from the inside out. You don’t need a reason-you love just because. When you love for no reason, you bring love to your outer experiences, rather than try to extract love from them.
Here are some signs:
Being fully present
Feeling oneness and a sense of connection to all people and nature
Being equally comfortable giving and receiving love
The ultimate test of Love for no Reason is feeling the same love for someone who doesn’t reciprocate as you do for someone who loves you back.
The apostle John says, “There is no fear in love but Perfect love casteth out fear.”
Now that you have considered the four categories of love it’s time to take the love quiz.
1 2 3 4 56 7 8 9 10
Not true at all Moderately True Absolutely True
1. I move through my day feeling grounded—aware, awake, and appreciative of what is happening in the present moment.
2. I feel connected to the natural world, including animals, plants, water, mountains, etc.
3. I feel supported by my friends and family, and by a friendly universe.
4. I have a lot of physical energy and am able to feel my feelings without resisting or suppressing them.
5. I feel deserving of love and am able to be assertive without being aggressive.
6. I feel an abundance of love in my heart—I give and receive from a sense of fullness.
7. I am a good communicator. I express how I really feel and listen without being defensive.
8. I am intuitive and see the beauty all around me.
9. I experience periods of acceptance and/or peace on a daily basis.
10. I feel connected to a power larger than myself and feel higher love flowing through me.
80-100 Congratulations, you Love for No Reason
60-79 You’re well on your way to Love for No Reason
40-59 You’re having glimpses of Love for No Reason
Under 40 Love for No Reason is waiting for you