Loving as an Art
I’ve been reading the book, The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm. In it, he rightly calls loving an art form: one that must be cultivated, practiced and one that can heal. What does it heal? It heals our experience of separateness. The human being has developed reason and therefore is faced with the paradox of feeling separate from the world he experiences through his onlooker consciousness. Fromm explains that, “The awareness of human separation, without reunion by love- is the source of shame. It is at the same time the source of guilt and anxiety”(p.9).
Researches in psychology and especially attachment theorists have confirmed the same conclusion: love heals and the lack of love can cause great instability. Healthy, loving attachment with parents, friends, classmates and our community all foster optimal growth and adjustment to life’s adventures and travails. The lack of loving support in our lives can lead us to feel more and more alienated and hence more and more defended or stuck in unproductive patterns of behavior.
The old adage what you give away multiplies is doubly true of love. The more we can open our heart to ourselves and others, the more love can flow into our life through blessings, synchronicity, and reunion- with ourselves and the world. While this sentiment has become cliche, the true path toward healing and greater love demands courage and steadfastness. Transforming our pain into strength requires the loving support of those around us healers along the way who have ‘gone before us’. The way and attendants will show up for us when we are ready.
Blessings on your journey!