Learning to Love


Should we continue our friendship with people who have treated us badly for whatever reasons and betrayed our trust? At times it is said that we should continue to be friends so that we get a chance to show them the right path. If we break off all ties, we lose that chance. How true is it?

—Ajay Diwanji, India


Dear Ajay,

There are thousands of stories told by people who “died,” had a deeply moving experience of an after life, and then returned to tell us about it. In a great number of these stories the people describe having been given a “life review,” during which all of their life’s experiences pass before them. During the life review, all of their life’s experiences were considered in the light of only one, one, all important, question: “Did you learn to love?”

All our relationships, with all of their challenges, are given to us so that we may learn to love. The only question we should ask ourselves now — regarding all our interactions with others — is whether we are focused on our ego’s hurts and slights, or are we rising above our ego, and learning to be more loving. Practicing forgiveness, developing genuine concern for the well-being of others, and acting in a spirit of selfless service are a few of the many ways we can learn to love more deeply.

The answer to your question will be different for different people. There is no set action, only a direction. What, of your several choices, will help you learn to love?

It is profoundly helpful to pray and meditate on these matters, to commune with Love Itself. Inspired by Love, we tend to act rightly in all circumstances, inspired by Love, the answer to a question of what is the right action, often comes with simple clarity.

Warm regards,
Puru (Joseph) Selbie