Because one does not see that love is an activity, a power of the soul, one believes that all that is necessary is to find the right object — and that everything goes by itself afterward. This attitude can be compared to that of a man who wants to paint but who, instead of learning the art, claims that he has just to wait for the right object, and that he will paint beautifully when he finds it.
— Eric Fromm, The Art of Loving
Most of the books, classes, and other guides on love are guides to finding the right object, rather than guides on how to open to love. There are endless instructions on how to attract the right mate or how to manifest the partner of your dreams. Where are the instructions on relaxing enough to be yourself, so that you realize that love is your nature, and that trying too hard only collapses your potential? Where are the instructions on appreciating the profound connections you already have with yourself and others? Where are the instructions on dropping your agenda, so that you can actually engage in intimacy?
Becoming educated in the art of love is profoundly important. Somehow the human species has buried love so deeply in the muck and mire of materialism and aggression that we’ve even forgotten what love is. Now we must do the work of discovering again our natural birthright. We must learn how to overcome the agenda of a success-driven society. We must learn how to love ourselves for who we are instead of trying to be someone else.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
— Oscar Wilde
We must learn anew that to love someone means to relate to them as they are, not as how we want them to be. We must educate our hearts enough to understand that love does not fit into any box, or standard, or should, or must. Loving is not about finding an object. Loving is about opening to who we are as human beings. This allows us to open to others in the space of freedom and true connection.
Investing in our education as human beings, in this way, is the most important work we can do. Our willingness to take this journey into truly understanding ourselves, our habitual patterns, society’s influence on our desires and dreams, and the nature of reality itself can change our lives for the better. So what are you waiting for?
Discover a new book, The Authentic Lover