What About Love? Reminders for Being Loving is a free ebook containing of 23 essays and 58 short quotes about love and relationship taken from Gina Lake's many books, which are meant to expand your understanding of love, drop you into a more loving space, and inspire you daily to be more loving.
Love is so important to our well-being; and yet, contacting that which is within us that is naturally and spontaneously loving is often difficult. This book is intended to help you do that. It is made up of essays and short quotes taken from my other books, particularly Loving in the Moment, Living in the Now, Embracing the Now, Trusting Life, and Anatomy of Desire. To better understand what is presented here, it seems important to define some of the terms used, although those who are familiar with Eckhart Tolle’s writings will already be familiar with these terms.
It is obvious that human beings have a dual nature, that is, they have the potential for both good acts and harmful acts. We can be loving, compassionate, and altruistic or the opposite. Most of us would like to be more loving because it feels good to be loving and because it is actually our true nature to be loving. But something exists within us that makes it difficult to be loving consistently, and that something is the ego.
The ego is the false self (as opposed to the true self, or Essence, as I like to call it). The ego is made up of conditioning—beliefs, opinions, judgments, “shoulds,” and any number of ideas that are part of our programming and psychological makeup. This conditioning affects how we see and react to the world, and we often respond unconsciously to this conditioning without realizing that we have a choice. Although some of our conditioning is necessary and useful, much of it is false, negative, and limiting. This is the conditioning that causes us suffering and results in our causing suffering to others. These false, negative, and limiting beliefs and perspectives are what interfere most with loving.
The ego is reflected in the voice in our head, the ongoing inner commentary we all are so familiar with. The ego admonishes and pushes us, chats with us, judges, fantasizes, and tells us what to do and how to do it. The ego is also behind most sentences that begin with “I.”
This aspect of the mind is often referred to as the egoic mind because it is the aspect of the mind that is driven by the ego. The egoic mind is different from the more functional mind that we use to read, learn, calculate, design, analyze, and so forth. The functional mind doesn't speak to us but is a tool we use when engaged in tasks that require us to think.
The ego tells us how to run our life, but it doesn’t have the wisdom to guide us. Instead, the ego is the cause of suffering because its voice is so often negative and leads to negative feelings. The ego’s perceptions and values are too limiting and narrow to encompass the truth about life. The egoic mind is an archaic aspect of ourselves that we are evolving beyond.
The ego—who we think we are, with all the judgments, conditioning, and projections—is an imposter, and this imposter is the saboteur of all relationships and of happiness in general. Essence is who we really are, the divine Self that is living this life through us. It is our essential goodness. We are actually spiritual beings playing at being human beings.
Because we are programmed to pay attention to the voice in our head, we often fail to notice what is actually going on in the present moment—in the Now; we often aren’t present to reality. Most people live in a mental world, a virtual world of sorts. When we drop out of this mental world into the Now and are fully present to whatever experience we are having, we experience a depth, a richness, and a joy and peace that feel sacred. When we are in the Now, we experience love! Love easily flows outward toward others and all life. This is the experience of our true self, or Essence. So, when we talk about being in the Now or being present to life, we are also talking about this experience of Essence—the experience of our divine Self.
The experience of being identified with the ego, on the other hand, is an experience generally of contraction, fear, judgment, unhappiness, and discontentment. Love doesn’t flow from the ego. The ego’s relationship to relationship is: “What can you do for me?” Love is only experienced when we are aligned with Essence. So we can become more loving by learning to become more aligned with Essence and less identified with the negative, judgmental voice in our head. This is accomplished by simply becoming more aware of our dual nature and consciously choosing to align with love rather than identify with the egoic mind’s judgment and other thoughts that cause negative feelings and contraction. What chooses love? That is the great Mystery, isn’t it? That is Essence—who you really are!