I like to bring books to my hair appointments. This serves two purposes. It relieves my friend and stylist Carol from having to entertain me for three solid hours, and it also allows me to actually get some reading done.
I particularly like to bring books I have a hard time comprehending, since I can read a few lines, relocate from the styling chair to the dryer, read a few more lines, relocate again from the dryer to the rinse station, etc….this way some of the material has a prayer of actually sinking in.
As Carol (and any frequent reader of this blog) knows, don Miguel Ruiz books are a favorite for my hair appointments. In fact, his latest book (latest for me, not for him) is the best yet in my opinion. To me, “The Mastery of Love” is so simple it is almost complicated. As usual.
At this month’s hair appointment, I was reading more in the chapter called “The Magic Kitchen.” In this chapter, Ruiz writes,
What makes you happy is love coming out of you. And if you are generous with your love, everyone is going to love you. You are never going to be alone if you are generous.
Of course as I’m reading, I thinking, “No way did he just say what I think he just said.”
So I read it again. And again. And again. All of these years I have been so worried about if I am “doing things” right. Am I wearing the right clothes? Do I say the right things? Do I talk about myself too much? How are my listening skills? Do I seem too needy? Too aloof? Will I be lonely later in life? Will anyone notice when I die? Will anyone care?…..and there’s plenty more where those worries came from.
But all that time, all I needed to do was offer my love.
So simple. So very, unbelievably simple. All those fears about being lonely, being forgotten, being unwelcome – solved by a simple switch of perspective from focusing on what I need to focusing on what we all need.
Now, as usual, Ruiz also offers a couple of pointers for how to ensure that what we are offering is love and not neediness, selfishness, codependency, manipulation, desperation, or a whole host of other less-desirable love substitutes.
First, he says that the key to know that what we are offering to others is real love is to heal our self-rejection. When we reject ourselves, we cannot offer genuine love because who we are is not worth offering, so our love isn’t worth offering either. So that is the first simple but not easy issue to take care of.
Next, Ruiz says we must offer love to ourselves. Self-love is very pure and accepting. It is the same gift we want from others, and the same gift others crave from us. Ruiz says that when we love ourselves more and more, our inner reservoir of love grows more and more, and then we have more and more love to offer to others too.
So here the relationship between self-love and loneliness appears to be inverse. The more love we offer ourselves, the more our loneliness begins to recede.
Ruiz states that healing self-rejection and increasing self-love are the two keys because together, they can eradicate selfishness, which is at the root of all of love’s impure substitutes (codependency, greed, desperation, manipulation, etc.) When we love ourselves we do not NEED from others. We welcome and accept the gift of their love, but that acceptance and gratitude comes from a place of inner fullness, not inner emptiness.
We are also continually filled with love to give to others. Not only is there an endless supply of love coming to us from us, but now we have more and more love flowing back to us in gratitude for the continual streams of love flowing from us.
I wish I could expound in greater detail on this subject, but I am just beginning to grasp its significance myself. All I know right now is that giving love is the recipe to end loneliness.
For more information, please consult don Miguel Ruiz.
Today’s Takeaway: Are you – like me – worried about loneliness? Do you – like me – find Ruiz’s words in “The Mastery of Love” resonating within you? I would love to hear your thoughts on what works best for you to ease loneliness for yourself and those you care about!
Little girl with dandelions photo available from Shutterstock
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Last reviewed: 25 Apr 2013