Excerpts From The Fix Yourself Handbook

In The Name Of Love

"Making personal gains without understanding how to love, amounts to little more than going through the motions. Come to understand what pure love is. Then do everything in your life with love, and watch the gains you are making come alive."
- Faust Ruggiero

Have you ever met someone whom you are so drawn to in your initial meeting that you felt compelled to become closer to that person, and to learn more about them, at least to determine where the attraction came from? People like these present themselves as confident, yet humble. They never seem to be angry, and have an uncanny ability to put everyone whom they touch at ease. They never seem to be overly emotional, are rarely, if ever, rushed, and seem to possess a wisdom which we seldom find in others who enter our lives. They don't react to insignificant ircumstances, and always seemed to comprehend the big picture. They are good listeners, seem unconcerned with keeping up with societal pressures, and for whatever reason, seem to be connected to some source of energy which is beyond the grasp of mere mortals. They smile, are patient, and for whatever reason, don't seem to be encumbered by ostensible worldly pressures. They, for all intents and purposes, appear to be in complete balance, and unfazed by any potential attack or intrusion from outside forces. In short, they always seem to be at peace, both with themselves and with others, and nothing in their world seems to be lacking. When we are in their presence, we too, at least for a brief amount of time, experience a connection to that peace.

We are now beginning our review of what will be one of the most important chapters in our presentation, and what, for most of us, represents the state of mind we are all searching for. As we begin this part of our presentation, let's look at human life as a pyramid. On the bottom, we find the foundation; our physical life. This is the physical life we were born into, and is represented by all the bodily functions, those which allow our lives to remain continuous. One level up from our physical existence is where our emotions reside. This is where all our feelings, both positive, and not so positive, live. Though not as primal as our physicality, emotions are quick, and closely connected to our primal instincts. One level above our emotions, we find our intellects. Human beings have developed a keen power of intellect, which allows us to rationally and reasonably move through our environment, providing us with the capabilities of productive decision-making and deductive reasoning skills. Our intellects allow us to gather facts, and function with a big picture approach to our existence. We have discussed how important it is to increase our intellectual functioning, and not allow our emotions to interfere with solid decision-making processes. We've also talked about how keeping our body healthy is necessary, so we will continue to function efficiently. So, we continue to evolve from the physical, through the emotional, into the intellectual, and beyond. What, then, exactly is beyond the intellect? That would be our spirituality. That is where love, in its purest sense resides. That is also our primary focus in this chapter.

Anyone searching for love can tell you that they love you, but how can you believe them if they don't show you that they have a healthy love for themselves? This is something that we've heard time, and time again. If we can't love ourselves, it's next to impossible to love someone else. The problem is that each time some expert tells us about loving ourselves, they talk about processes like forgiving yourself, accepting who you are, making your own decisions, keeping the toxic people out of your life, and many other strategies that certainly help us feel more comfortable with ourselves. What is typically lacking in most of these approaches is how to develop the ability to understand this elusive concept of love. It's one thing to say love yourself, but one must understand what love is to make this happen. Though parts of love do include treating other people as you would have them treat you, loving yourself, allowing yourself to be loved, and spreading love throughout the world, these, rather than defining love, are actions which we perform because of love. Let's explain this. We need to move ourselves away from the notion that love is something that we do, receive, or even feel. That's not to say that these actions do not occur when love is part of our lives. It simply says that it's missing the biggest part of the picture. Those are actions which we perform because of love. Pure love, that is, love that is spiritual, comes from deep inside us. It is a constant internal state; always operating within us. Pure love is the consequential apotheosis, that is, this highest point of development in a human being living life in in complete balance. This will become clear as we proceed.

Let's define love, for our purposes, as a state when a person's physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual attributes exist in absolute balance, and consequently, when worldly desires are diminished, and peace is realized. This state seems virtually impossible for us to ascend to as we define life today. This does not mean that love in the way we are defining it is unreachable. It simply means that we are so closely tied to our worldly needs and desires that they tend to supersede our focus on internal balance. These needs and desires are constantly fluctuating, both as a function of the state of imbalance that has developed in all of us, and due to the constantly changing environment we live in. Since our physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual states rarely, if ever, operate in equilibrium, one or more of them can dominate the way we are thinking, feeling, and behaving. Thus, the balance needed to attain pure love is routinely challenged.

If this seems to be a bit theoretical, let's refer to an old concept which we have all have heard described, but has remained a bit ambiguous to many of us. Throughout the annals of human experience, the quest for nirvana has captivated our imagination. Nirvana can be described as a transcendent state void of suffering, desire, and sense of self. In Buddhist philosophy, it represents the final goal that all students aspire to reach. Now, for our purposes, let's look at Nirvana as a state when the entire human organism operates in balance, reducing worldly desires, and enhancing peace and tranquility throughout the body, spirit, and mind. Whether we are talking about Nirvana or internal balance, both possess the same common goal, that being internal peace. If we refer to our definition of love, we're talking about an internal balance which diminishes worldly desires, and creates a complete sense of peace. So, are we searching for nirvana? Not exactly; however, the definitions do have some common ground. The formula is simple. Nirvana, or as we are labeling it, pure love, is a state of internal peace, which emanates from internal balance, which is the final byproduct of the process way of living. Internal balance produces a purer form of energy. That pure energy, that is, the internal balance we all strive for, is what we're calling love. To love yourself means to be in a state of internal balance. Here our physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual attributes operate in unison. It is the point where internal conflicts are minimized, and we feel more balanced, and at peace with ourselves. We feel love.

This brings us to the heart of our discussion. What is love? It's the universal question, and it's the question that everyone believes can never be answered. We have gone as far to say that we will know love when we find it. Think about that statement. This would seem to say that love is something we find outside of ourselves, and somehow, we're supposed to be able to identify it when we feel it. The best terminology to use to describe that statement is insane. We also hear that you can't love anyone else until you love yourself. Now, this seems to be a little closer to the heart of the matter. Unfortunately, though, even this statement is nothing more than an extension of the previous affirmation. In each of those proclamations, love remains an undefined and elusive creature. It peaks out from behind the curtain smiles at us, and when we approach it, it quickly disappears. So, stop looking for love. The real definition of love and the answer to the proverbial question is simple. Again, love is a state of internal balance which produces an energy source which is pure and alive. The statement is short, concise, and complete. We talked about our processes being alive. Staying committed and developing our processes leads to internal balance. Internal balance is alive. So, love is a product of a process induced balanced state that is alive and becomes pure energy. Pure energy, defined, is the optimal level of functioning possessed by any human being, resulting from all internal attributes functioning in unison, and to their maximum potential. This means that our physical, intellectual emotional, and spiritual components are operating in balance, and this creates an energy source that is also balanced, producing internal peace, and fulfillment. It produces an energy force which is alive and vibrant. That energy source is vital, dynamic, and passionate. It wraps itself around everything it touches as its fulfillment permeates all aspects of our lives. Love then, is not a feeling. It is not a function of the heart. We really need to get away from that misleading greeting card way to incorrectly define the most important attribute of the human spirit. Again, love is a state of internal balance which produces an energy source which is pure and alive. It comes from our willingness to adopt and maintain processes that lead to internal growth, and finally, to internal balance. When this occurs, we understand love, we feel love, we know how to love, and we know how to receive love. The reason for this is that everything we do is now a function of an energy source which is alive, balanced, and is now able to embrace life. We have discussed how processes lead to balance, and how balance extends outward. When we are balanced internally, we have an energy source that attaches itself to everything it touches. It does this peacefully and lovingly. It allows us to use that energy to love ourselves, and to love others.

Let's summarize. We start as individuals who are confused, conflicted, angry, and living life in a self-imposed emotional wilderness. We made a conscious decision to abandon that style of life, and embrace processes which helped us change the way we live life, constantly moving us in the direction of internal growth and fulfillment. The processes create an internal state of balance, and that balance eventually becomes pure love which is alive in us, and not only has changed who we are, it has become who we are. We are now balanced internally, and as we continue to function with our focus on that internal balance, each attribute grows in strength simultaneously. The balanced growth continues, and pure love, an energy source that will guide the rest of our lives, develops. Love does not exist outside of us. It lives inside of us. It's common sense. If you are willing to commit yourself to the time and effort it takes the make the process way of life work for you, you will move to a state of internal balance, and you will love yourself. When this happens, you will understand what love is and how to express it. You are now ready to extend it outward to others.

So, let's get functional. First, with a renewed understanding of what love can be, and with the new focus regarding how we want to live life, it's important to renew our commitment to the processes we have defined, and have continued to develop. The understanding of love as a pure energy source emanating from our internal balance provides us with a more comprehensive understanding regarding the directions our lives can take. Enhancing our commitment to our processes has an enhanced motivation now. Second, it's important to abandon the traditional definitions of love. We now understand love as a balanced internal state that influences everything that comes into our lives, and everything that we extend outward. We love the balance, and since the balance has become who we are, we love ourselves. Third, we understand that love, like our processes in our balanced attribute state, is alive in us. Since it is alive, the potential for continued growth, and the ability to continue to stimulate our growth, our peace of mind, and our fulfillment, are enhanced. Thus, it is imperative that we continue to provide our processes with the fuel for the growth we are seeking. Again, our growth, our balance, and finally our love, come from our processes, and we never, ever abandoned them. If we do, love fades. The processes lead to the balance, and the balance leads to the love; pure love. Fourth, remember that the process way of life is just that; a way of life. Pure love is the result of a commitment, over time, to working with our processes. Never stop. The beauty of this process rainbow is worth all the time and work it takes to get there. Fifth, again, enjoy the process and the journey. The processes are a lifetime of work, but as we have all heard: once you love what you are doing, you will never work a day in your life. Love the process way of life, and all the time you are devoting to it.

Almost all of us can find ourselves in love, or at least possessing the ability to love. The capacity to love has been inside of us from the moment we were born. We, however, have mistakenly attempted to find love outside of ourselves. We were born with the capacity for internal balance, which was subjected to worldly pressure, and has resulted in a state of imbalance which has caused us to feel conflicted, confused, angry, and often depressed. Consequently, feeling conflicted and imbalanced internally, we looked to outside sources to comfort us. This, we have defined as the search for love. We began an external search for something that has been inside us all the time. By focusing on our processes of internal growth, we begin to reverse the worldly process, and restore the internal balance which is the pathway to pure love. So, we keep close to our processes, and we focus our attention and our energies on attaining and maintaining internal balance. Then, we will begin to see the development of an energy source that is pure and good. When this happens, we will have a greater understanding of what love is. We will learn to love ourselves, and to extend that love outward to everyone we touch. Once again, do everything in your life with love, and watch the gains you are making come alive.

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