"Introduction" (excerpt) from "True Love" — Daphne Rose Kingma

True Love
"True Love" by Crystal Webb

In each of us there is a tremendous longing for love. The love we desire is not only the euphoric butter-flies-in-the-stomach feeling of new romance, but also the ineffable consolation of being deeply known, received, and cared for, the profound sense of peace and security of spirit that come from being deeply connected to another human being.

Achieving the first is often easy. Romantic love rides in on a wave of impulse or attraction, kindled by moonlight, the magic of music, the spell-binding fragrance of soft summer evenings. The second—true love— is much more difficult. All too often the loves we fall into disappoint us. We want to sustain the delectable feelings but we can't. We want to enhance and deepen the bonds between us but we don't know how...

Real love is more than a feeling, more than a magical interlude of emotional exhilaration that passes when the full moon fades to a sliver. Love is an array of behaviors, attitudes, and knowings, the practice of which creates and sustains the state of what we call love. Love, in the form of a relationship that satisfies, supports, and heals, is the product of intricate effort. In a very real sense, true love is a labor of love and it comes into being only when we realize that love, as well as being a gift, is also an undertaking.

For true love asks of us, as well as delivers to us. It asks that we alter our perspective about ourselves, the people we love, the world, and the human condition; that we learn things we are perhaps reluctant to know, or didn't imagine we needed to know. It requires us to change our behaviors, public and private, emotional and spiritual. It invites us to stretch as well as to reach, to nurture as well as to receive. It asks us to be kind, to be real, to be imaginative, thoughtful, attentive, intuitive, disciplined, daring. It instructs us in the art of being human...

We are not here simply to be given love; we must also become loving. True love is conscious love, and conscious loving—the knowing and doing of a wide range of seemingly impossible tasks on behalf of one another—is the spiritual art form of the twentieth century.

The love in whose presence we stand must also inhabit us. For it is in loving, as well as in being loved, that we become most truly ourselves. No matter what we do, say, accomplish, or become, it is our capacity to love that ultimately defines us. In the end, nothing we do or say in this lifetime will matter as much as the way we have loved one another.

BUY: True Love" — Daphne Rose Kingma

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