What Is Real Love?


Master wrote, "Real love finds happiness, even at the cost of great personal sacrifice, in the happiness of the loved one." In my conjugal relationship, I have been struggling with the notion of real love, personal sacrifice, and dysfunctional helping. What are the earmarks of real love’s personal sacrifice? How does it contrast with the sacrifice caused by helping those who can help themselves? How do you know that they can help themselves?

In Divine Friendship,


—John Pish, United States


Dear John,

It’s all too easy to tie ourselves in knots with “maybe this” and “maybe that.” These are the uncertainties of the rational mind, which can never bring us true knowing.

Far better to try to feel inwardly, “What wants to happen in this situation? How can I be an instrument for the Divine?” To answer that, I suggest that you reframe the question, “In this situation, what action on my part will make me feel freer, more expansive, less confined to ego-consciousness?” Real love will guide you toward such feelings because real love will cause you to seek those feelings for both you and your partner. And when you act in that way, your soul won’t feel it’s a sacrifice at all (although the ego might scream its protests).