I received the following letter from a member of the Real Love community, and I offer it to you without comment:
In its simplest form the path to Real Love — and the lasting peace and happiness it produces — can be summarized as follows:
Tell the truth (about yourself).
Start over with telling the truth and repeat for the rest of your life.
When we step into the Real Love process we usually enter it because we are in pain, and because we have been in and out of pain so many times in our lives that we’re confused. We’re looking for solutions, and although we’ve received partial answers from many sources, we still haven’t found what we’re looking for. Real Love provides those answers.
We’re in pain because we are empty, alone, and afraid. In order to eliminate this pain, we then chase the only things that have ever made us feel better, even though the results are temporary: praise, power, pleasure, safety, and the conditional love of others. From birth we have also learned to use the Getting and Protecting Behaviors that help us acquire as much Imitation Love as possible. We become addicted to these behaviors and to Imitation Love, just as surely as a heroin addict is addicted to heroin. Unfortunately, we return to our drugs of choice again and again, because their appeal is all we know. We haven’t even seen Real Love, so how would we ever pursue it?
The initial steps in Real Love can be difficult, because we must have faith in something we’ve never seen. We have to tell the truth about our addictions, and few of us enjoy that experience.
I see Real Love as a path we walk, and in order to walk effectively, we need two legs. Sure, you can bounce around on one leg, like I have for a long time, or you can learn to use both of your legs and begin to walk and maybe even run down the path of Real Love, which will lead you to lasting happiness and peace.
Let me describe the two legs we walk on. The first leg is an understanding of the Real Love principles, as spelled out in numerous books, CDs, and DVDs: the power of telling the truth, the Law of Choice, the Law of Responsibility, the Law of Expectations, Event-Judgment-Feeling-Reaction, and so on. With this first leg I learned to tell the truth about myself to myself. I was able to see my Getting and Protecting Behaviors. I saw my need to control, to be right, to limit other people’s choice, and to expect others to make me happy, and I was able to see how much conditional love there was in the world. I saw that I was addicted to Imitation Love. As I told these truths to myself — and occasionally in emails to others — I began to feel a happiness I had never felt before. It was amazing and so freeing.
So I was hopping on one leg down the path of Real Love, but in time I discovered that without a second leg I couldn’t really go any farther. With only the principles and myself, I ran out of energy. My sight was limited.
I needed a second leg, which I discovered involved the use of the Real Love community. There are very few people out there in the world of Imitation Love that can actually accept us for who we are, because they are users just as we are. But the people in the Real Love community offer love that often we can’t even comprehend initially, much less feel. They have the ability not only to accept us, but to help us tell the truth about ourselves. Without their unconditional love I could not have seen more of my getting and protecting behaviors, which I needed to do in order to feel even more loved and to make different choices.
Loving people throw us a rope or show us the way to the side of the pool, so we can stop drowning in the pool of Imitation Love. They give us choices we’ve never had and actually help us to make them. They can’t make the choices for us. They can’t keep pulling us out of the pool — because then we wouldn’t learn anything — but they can teach us to swim.
What I have come to treasure is that when I do get lose — when I jump back into the pool — I can simply make a call to someone in the Real Love community, who will give me some support and sometimes directions to the side of the pool, so I can pull myself out of the water. I need that help, because my addictions are strong. The lure of Imitation Love is always with us. We are not perfect. Telling the truth about ourselves is a life long continual process. You can always discover more truth.
I’m glad I have two legs — the principles of Real Love and the people who live them — and I encourage all of us to get out there and use both of them.