“12 Ways of Showing Love” by Carol S Pearson


Humans are story-telling creatures and our species evolves as we think and communicate what we are learning in the stories we tell and live.

Universal story patterns, called archetypes, are available to everyone one of us, and we can utilize their elements in our own unique ways.

The following archetypal characters (italicized) are followed by brief examples of the stories they live that illustrate multiple ways that love can be expressed. Some of these may come more naturally to you than others. These may motivate you to action and then provide fuel to keep your efforts energized.  Take note of your top three and then reflect about when, where, and with whom you live these love stories.

  1. Idealists show love by being upbeat and cheerful, by staying true to their values, and by choosing to see the good in everything and everyone.
  2. Realists show love by being practical, showing attention to the basics of physical and social life, doing regular maintenance, avoiding breakdown, and fixing problems.
  3. Caregivers show love through empathy, compassion, and providing tangible help to those in need, often sacrificing to provide needed nurturance and care.
  4. Warriors show love through developing the strength to do whatever is necessary to success, protecting others and achieving goals out of loyalty to their group/team.
  5. Seekers show love through taking journeys to find themselves and what they truly desire and through being pioneers that help others explore what is possible.
  6. Lovers show love through commitment, fidelity, and offering beauty and intimate experiences that help people bond and know they belong and matter.
  7. Creators show love by envision something new and by honing their skills to create artistic and innovative objects and experiences that are of benefit to others.
  8. Revolutionaries show love for others by recognizing what is in the way of aliveness and effectiveness that needs to be weeded, thrown away, forgiven, or just left behind.
  9. Rulers show love by taking on responsibilities for others and whole enterprises, being stewards who manage events and coordinate efforts for the good of all involved.
  10. Jesters show love by embodying what it is like to enjoy life fully, using humor to help others lighten up, stop taking things so seriously, and laugh at mishaps and mistakes.
  11. Sages show love by being curious, continually learning, and educating others to reflect and make decisions based on verifiable physical facts and spiritual truths.
  12. Magicians show love by revealing wisdom than can transform individual and collective lives and by promoting the understanding that changing thoughts, changes reality.

Understanding your preferred ways of demonstrating love can help you know what you might volunteer to do for a group you care about.  This list can also help you recognize how others show love, in order to be more alert to take in behaviors that reveal love coming your way.

American author and educator Carol S Pearson is a member of Columbia CSL.  We’re proud to offer her upcoming class, facilitated along with Carol Burbank, entitled Myth, Mysticism and Story – sign up here! 

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