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Learning to Walk in Love

Brian Johnson 12-17

Learning to Walk in Love“If one does not know that everything has its time, and wants to force things, then indeed one will never succeed in becoming concentrated--nor in the art of loving. To have an idea of what patience is one need only watch a child learning to walk. It falls, falls again, and yet it goes on trying, improving, until the day it walks without falling. What could the grown-up person achieve if he had the child’s patience and its concentration in the pursuits which are important to him!” ~ Erich Fromm from The Art of Loving

Patience. It’s an essential attribute to developing our mastery of love. (And, of course, to developing mastery in anything in our lives!)

I just love the power of a child learning how to walk. We touch on this a few times throughout these Notes. I love the way Dan Millman puts it in Body Mind Mastery (see Notes), where he tells us: “If babies held the same tendency toward self-criticism as adults, they might never learn to walk or talk. Can you imagine infants stomping, ‘Aarggh! Screwed up again!’ Fortunately, babies are free of self-criticism. They just keep practicing.”

(Hah. Imagine that! :)

As we embrace that image, he encourages us: “So be gentle with yourself; show yourself the same kindness and patience you might show a young child—the child you once were. If you won’t be your own friend, who will be? If, when playing an opponent, you are also opposing yourself, you will be outnumbered... You probably would find it cruel and unnecessary to say to someone, ‘You are really stupid; you keep making the same mistakes; you should give up; you’ll never be any good!’ Yet we think it’s okay to say the same things to ourselves.”

So, back to the Art of Loving.

Imagine how patiently the baby learns to walk. Each time she falls she giggles. She falls down and gets up AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN until she can finally walk without falling.

What would happen if we approached our relationships with the same patience and focused concentration as that child learning to walk? We wouldn’t even contemplate failure. That wouldn’t be an option. We’d just take the next step forward each time we fell--celebrating our tiny improvements and seeing how we can get just a *little* bit better until, eventually and after MANY (!) falls, we would be able to “walk” through our relationships without falling down!!!

Sign me up for that!! You in? :)



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