How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving

As long as you hold onto wanting something from the outside, you will be dissatisfied because there is a part of you that you are still not totally owning. . . . How can you be complete and fulfilled if you believe that you cannot own this part [of yourself ] until somebody else does something? . . . If it is conditional, it is not totally yours. —A. H. ALMAAS

At every stage of life, our inner self requires the nurturance of loving people attuned to our feelings and responsive to our needs who can foster our inner resources of personal power, lovability, and serenity. Those who love us understand us and are available to us with an attention, appreciation, acceptance, and affection we can feel. They make room for us to be who we are.

Bread takes the effort of kneading but also requires sitting quietly while the dough rises with a power all its own.

In pain with you, and yet I could not go. I stayed since nothing better came along. I loved you by default or just for show, My life a whistled flat unechoed song. I groped for notches in our dun abyss, And looked for more in lonely only less. I shunned the path adorned with signs to bliss, And stood the loyal ground of wait or guess. It took the tender you to shift the scene, Bold arsonist beneath our tinder stage! I then in friendly fire to earth careen And from our props and ashes disengage. I begged you long with such a silent ache In fear of, wish for mercy for my sake. What Love Feels Like

It is not that practice makes perfect but that practice is perfect, combining effort with an openness to grace.

Most people think of love as a feeling but love is not so much a feeling as a way of being present.

Our identity is like a kaleidoscope. With each turn we reset it not to a former or final state but to a new one that reflects the here-and-now positions of the pieces we have to work with. The design is always new because the shifts are continual. That is what makes kaleidoscopes, and us, so appealing and beautiful.

Real love does not come off the rack; it is uniquely tailored by the lover to the beloved. Part of the pain of letting go of someone who really loved you is letting go of being loved in that special way.

Self-actualization is not a sudden happening or even the permanent result of long effort. The eleventh-century Tibetan Buddhist poet-saint Milarupa suggested: "Do not expect full realization; simply practice every day of your life." A healthy person is not perfect but perfectible, not a done deal but a work in progress. Staying healthy takes discipline, work, and patience, which is why our life is a journey and perforce a heroic one.

spirituality. In healthy intimate relationships we do not seek more than 25 percent of our nurturance from a partner; we learn to find the rest within ourselves.

there is nothing to take over if you are not putting up any resistance.

Thus, we strive for intimacy with the whole universe, not just with one person.

We don’t fear physical closeness because we fear proximity itself. Most of us earnestly want physical contact with those who love us. Rather we fear what we will feel when we get too close. The real fear, then, is of ourselves. This fear is not something to rebuke ourselves for. It is our deepest vulnerability, the very quality that makes us most lovable.

We feel loved when we receive attention, acceptance, appreciation, and affection, and when we are allowed the freedom to live in accord with our own deepest needs and wishes. These

When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. My life is a movement between these two. —NISARGADATTA MAHARAJ