Love is a wondrous miracle. It has power to heal and to overcome pain; to transform our struggles into opportunities for joy and a deeper appreciation of life. The first step we take on our miraculous journey toward greater love is to open the wellspring of love within ourselves. Living in love is an attitude and a way. It requires living up to our fullest possibilities and giving birth to our higher power. Over the years I've found certain truths that have been helpful to me and may be helpful to you. I offer them to you, with loveAlexandra Stoddard
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About the Author
Author of twenty-four books, Alexandra Stoddard is a sought-after speaker on the art of living. Through her lectures, articles, and books such as Living a Beautiful Life, Things I Want My Daughters to Know, Time Alive, Grace Notes, Open Your Eyes, and Feeling at Home, she has inspired millions to pursue more fulfilling lives. She lives with her husband in New York City and Stonington Village, Connecticut.
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Training to Live in Love
Love requires embracing the world with a fresh consciousness every moment. Each experience, no matter how minor, can be a building block of our whole self, an opportunity to grow, to feel life more completely. Self-realization dignity and integrity are innate privileges of human beings. All of us know pain and troubles and have to learn to be courageous so that we can transcend our past and reach a deeper, higher awareness. Over these years I've had increasing faith that we are generously endowed with the potential for growth of our positive productive powers, and can find great happiness in our ability to live in love and in turn produce loving energy in others.
We all have hidden potentialities. To live in love is to realize our possibilities, using our potency to go forth and ascend to a more sensitive, kinder, more tender consciousness as a result of the expression of our own productive loving powers. Each of us is capable of growing in and renewing our ability to give love if we care enough about our own life to use our talents well. Loving energy requires a conscious purpose, practice, and maturity. Being loving also requires preparation, skill, training, standing. Peter and I knew this well For my engage t ring he changed the words on his family crest from "learn to die" to "learn to love."
When we were children, we were totally dependent on the conditional love of our mother. We were cared for by others. As mature adults, we have to make a commitment to our self to learn, stand on our own two feet, develop our total personality, and move toward achievement of a positive, productive life. By our attitude and will, we can rise to all occasionsadjusting to situations so we're capable of being noble and whole.
There is a conflicting expectation among immature lovers who haven't experienced enough of life's realities. They believe life should be all smooth sailing. It never is. We understand love within the ourselves, that from organization of living. Knowledge is freedom liberating us from negative fears. The nothing was ever so synthesis of our total being is what we're summoned to seek. Our quest for fresh union is our capacity to release love from within, connecting, being attached to life's begun so late positive forces. We are no longer alone or lonely because we are united in this mystical, mysterious way.
Love needs attention and thoughtful nurturing. I can't a child and love that child. I can't neglect my self and love myself. I can't neglect my writing and love to write. I can't neglect my home and still love our house. With a loving attitude and outlook, all we ever loved and love now is fused in all reality--in people, places, and things.
There is a direct correlation between. The pleasure of love universal love and individuality. I am one and you are one but together we are also one. In order to love on a higher spiritual beam, we have to love how our souls are connected in this broad perspective. We learn to be more loving in every aspect of our lives, to become more sensitive, caring people, capable of reaching higher powers of mind and spirit. When we come to know that another person is us, we are intuitively more sympathetic to their feelings because we know our own.
To live in this attitude and energy of love we should continue to "be there" for each other, always in spirit if we cannot be together physically. If we each have faith in the mystery of love, no matter what happens in our earthly life together, we'll be strong because we've made a leap of faith--in life and love. Our highest devotion is to each other. We live with this inner knowledge and experience it each day and this eternal love is our way to transcend death.
Peter and I never fell in love, we grew in love gradually, as friends, and we are still growing. When you fall, you hurt yourself, and too many people start off well together, only to have the relationship fall apart over time. After an initial physical, chemical combustion over time the attraction may fizzle, and the relationship may deteriorate into division of domestic labor.
Friendship someone once wrote, is the marriage of the soul. Peter and I have become soul mates. In the process of caring for ourselves, our children, and each other, we grow more affectionate and deeper in love. I never knew I was capable of loving one man this deeply. I wasn't fully prepared to live in love to this degree of intensity over so many years. But because each of us is able to continue evolve individually while our relationship expands, we are continuously learning what it takes to help love grow. My greatest surprise in life is how empowered by love Peter and I continue to be. To our amazement, Peter and I have found more enlightenment, more happiness together, than either of us ever thought possible.
It is safe to say, looking back, I had a love of life that was my essential nature when Peter and I decided to marry. In his quintessential book on love, The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm put in words what I instinctively knew and has been confirmed over and over in my life with Peter:
Love is not a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an ordination of character which determines the relatedness of the person to the world as a whole, not toward one object of love If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to the rest of his fellow men, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment or an enlarged egotism
Every loving experience I've had throughout my life brings more loving energy, a more loving attitude to my relationship to other people. If you have genuine self-respect, chances are in favor of you respecting me and treating me with dignity. If your life is well integrated, chances are you will treat me in a balanced, appropriate manner. We are not born with all the expertise we need in the art of loving because we need a whole lot of living in love to hone our skills. The Israeli philosopher Martin Buber speaks not of you and me but the space between us. I consider the space between another human soul and mesacred, because the love that fills this space is genuine, beautiful, truthful, kind, and graceful.
Peter and I continue to enjoy hours of tenderness, both in our conversations as well as in our loving. When we begin to understand love as an attitude, we realize we are not two spirit becoming one spirit, but we become one with the universal loving energy.
Copyright ) 1997 by Alexandra Stoddard
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