“The Mastery of Love” by Don Miguel Ruiz is a beautiful book that shares Toltec wisdom on the art of building relationships. There are innumerable points to share, but three major “aha” moments for me were:
Happiness comes from inside
The author shares a story about a man and a woman who both agreed that they did not believe in love. They built a beautiful friendship and undeniable respect for one another – and then realized that is love. But along the way, they had a major slip-up which was that the man tried to give the woman his happiness in the form of a star that came down from the sky. He handed the star to the woman and she accidentally dropped it. His happiness broke into a million pieces. This little nugget of wisdom hit me like a ton of bricks. There is no possible way to give another person our happiness as an attempt to make them happy. Happiness is only possible when it comes from inside ourselves. Our expectations, feelings, and ideas are only known to ourselves – the experience we have inside. The joy of our partner can be experienced together but only when we bring joy to it ourselves. Boom!
Love and Fear
There is acknowledgement in “The Mastery of Love” of the two emotions that are the basis of all emotions: Love and Fear. Humans are inclined to fear which the author points out is full of expectation, full of obligation. Love on the other hand has no obligation, no fear. He says, “Love is ruthless; it doesn’t feel sorry for anyone, but it does have compassion. Fear is full of pity; it feels sorry for everyone. You feel sorry for me when you don’t respect me, when you don’t think I am strong enough to make it.” I love that. Love is ruthless – loving ruthlessly is my new goal. It is the basis of fear that leads to the next point…
Respect is a major foundation of true love. In a relationship, respect means that each person is responsible for themselves, their actions, and their feelings. If I have fear in my relationship, I do not respect my partner (or most likely myself) and will try to take care of their half of the relationship. But if I have love and respect for my partner (and myself), I will take diligent care of my half of the relationship to put my best foot forward and allow my partner to do the same.
This read was awesome – check it out here.