love - love 3 - love 4 - love 5 - love 6

One word frees us of all the weight
and pain of life:  That word is love.



Everything we love, no doubt, will pass away, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps thousands of years later.  Neither it nor our love for it is any the less valuable for that reason.

John Passmore


In the course of that night I suddenly realized that there are many tiny windows between the body and the spirit.  If they're open, emotions flow freely back and forth, but if they're partially closed, not much can filter through.  Only love can fling them open all together, all at once, like a gust of wind.

Susanna Tamaro
Just as energy begets energy, so, I have discovered, love begets love.

Tom Sullivan


In wise love each divines the high secret self of the other, and, refusing to believe in the mere daily self, creates a mirror where the lover or beloved sees an image to copy in daily life.

William Butler Yeats

Love, like the opening of the heavens to the saints, shows for a moment, even to the dullest person, the possibilities of the human race.  One has faith, hope, and charity for another being, perhaps but the creation of the imagination; still it is a great advance for a person to be profoundly loving, even in his or her imagination.

Arthur Helps

Where love is concerned, too much is not even enough.

Pierre-Augustin de Beaumarchais


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Love is the only service that power
cannot command and money cannot buy.


Love is one of the great enlargers of the person because it
requires us to "take in" the stranger and to understand him
or her, and to exercise restraint and tolerance as well as
imagination to make the relationship work.

May Sarton
Journal of a Solitude

It is only the souls that do not love that go empty in this world.

Robert Hugh Benson


Hyla Brook

By June our brook's run out of song and speed.
Sought for much after that, it will be found
Either to have gone groping underground
(And taken with it all the Hyla breed
That shouted in the mist a month ago,
Like ghost of sleigh-bells in a ghost of snow)--
Or flourished and come up in jewel-weed,
Weak foliage that is blown upon and bent
Even against the way its waters went.
Its bed is left a faded paper sheet
Of dead leaves stuck together by the heat--
A brook to none but who remember long.
This as it will be seen is other far
Than with brooks taken otherwhere in song.
We love the things we love for what they are.

Robert Frost



Do not be afraid of showing your affection.  Be warm and tender,
thoughtful and affectionate.  People are more helped by sympathy,
than by service; love is more than money, and a kind word
will give more pleasure than a present.

John Lubbock


Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough.
Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower
or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets,
but I have found that when I silently commune with people
they give up their secrets also--if you love them enough.

George Washington Carver


The truth is that there is only one terminal dignity--love.  And the
story of a love is not important--what is important is that one is capable
of love.  It is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity.

Helen Hayes


Love is that condition in which the happiness of another
person is essential to your own.

Robert Heinlein


Love is goodness and honor and peace and pure living. . . . It is
the best thing in the world and the thing that lives the longest.

Henry van Dyke

Don't go changing to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore

I would not leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are

Don't go trying some new fashion
Don't change the color of your hair. . . .
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are

Billy Joel

We came here because the earth is abundant and alive--a rich,
rich field of lessons for us to learn.  The lessons are not comfortable,
because if we weren't challenged, it would mean that we didn't need
to learn these lessons of the soul:  courage, patience, faith, learning
to love, embracing eternal life, and the most magical lesson of all:
It's not what I do, it's knowing I am.  We are here to learn about love,
to let others love us, to discover that love is a living force--real,
broad, encompassing.  I have also learned that universal love is there
for me, and will be there for me, if I'm open to it and believe in it.

Melody Beattie


Love is easily one of Life's greatest gifts to us--as Diane Warren says in her song "You Were Loved":  "You'll hold this world's most priceless thing / The greatest gift this life can bring / If you can look back and know / You were loved."  But we tend to forget that in order to be loved, we must love.  We must learn to love unconditionally, and the gift of love includes so many other elements that it's impossible to list them all:  tolerance, forgiveness, gratitude, acceptance, giving, taking.

In his book The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm calls love an art, and as with any art, he says that it must be cultivated, cared for, learned.  It doesn't come naturally to us--we must develop our capacity to love.  It's not that squishy feeling inside that makes us so nervous when we meet that "special someone"--that feeling wears off eventually, leaving us wondering "what happened?"

How often do we have to hear wise people tell us that love is more than something that we "fall" into?  Can we read Paul's words about love in Corinthians (see first Love page) and actually live out those ideas, making them a part of how we act and how we treat others?  I hope so.  I have to admit, I'm not all that good at it yet, but I'm working at it.  I hope that someday I have some wise words of my own to add to the subject. . .

tom walsh
Deep within us--no matter who we are--there lives a feeling
of wanting to be lovable, of wanting to be the kind of person
that others like to be with.  And the greatest thing we can do
is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving.

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers

My friend George thrived on giving love.  As an elder in an intentional
community, he spent his latter days going from person to person,
telling them how wonderful they were and how grateful he was for the
gifts they brought to his life.  All he did was spread love around.  People
in the community made fun of him, but this man had discovered the key
to the riches that most people seek but do not find because they are
looking in places that fail them.  You can spend lots of money and still
be painfully self-absorbed and feel poor.  You can spend little money,
but spread joy around, and you will walk in heaven
even while you live on earth.

Alan Cohen
The Tao Made Easy


Did I offer peace today?  Did I bring a smile to someone’s face?
Did I say words of healing?  Did I let go of my anger and resentment?
Did I forgive?  Did I love?  These are the real questions.  I must trust
that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in
this world and the life to come.

Henri Nouwen


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love - love 3 - love 4 - love 5 - love 6

You are as prone to love as the sun is to shine;
it being the most delightful and natural employment
of the soul of humans.

Thomas Traherne


Familiar acts are beautiful through love.

Percy Bysshe Shelley


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Things are beautiful if you love them.

Jean Anouilh


Until I truly loved, I was alone.

Caroline Norton


Age does not protect you from love.  But love,
to some extent, protects you from age.

Jeanne Moreau


We must evolve for all human conflict a method
which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation.
The foundation of such a method is love.

Martin Luther King, Jr.



It's not the length but the quality of life that matters to me.
It has always been important to me to write one sentence at a time,
to live every day as if it were my last and judge it in those terms,
often badly, not because it lacked grand gesture or grand passion
but because it failed in the daily virtues of self-discipline,
kindness, and laughter.  It is love, very ordinary, human love,
and not fear, which is the good teacher and the wisest judge.

Jane Rule


We ought always to believe in our best selves, in our right to love and
be loved, to give and receive happiness, and to toil and be rewarded.
And then we should bestow our love, our gifts and our toil with no
anxious thought about the returns. If we chance to love a loveless
individual, to give to one bankrupt in gratitude, to toil for the
unappreciative, it is but a temporary deprivation for us. The love,
the gratitude and the recompense will all come to us in time
from some source, or many sources. It cannot fail.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The Heart of the New Thought


Love is like infinity.  You can't have more or less infinity, and
you can't compare two things to see if they're "equally infinite."
Infinity just is, and  that's the way I think love is, too.

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers


I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can't help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song. . .



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Love is the greatest medicine.  I ask to be healing medicine for others.
I ask my heart to expand its boundaries and to love others as they wish
to be loved.  I ask my heart to expand its boundaries and open to
my being loved as I wish to be loved.

Julia Cameron

A spiritual teacher once asked a class, "What did you come to earth for?"
One student, feeling he had the right answer, rose and said, "Love."
"Oh, really!" responded the teacher in the tone of voice that indicated
that the student was about to be taught a lesson.  "Is there anyone you
love more than anyone else?"
The student thought for a moment and responded, "Yes."
To which the teacher answered, "Then you haven't lived up to your
potential yet, for your work is not complete until you experience
the joy of loving all as you love the one you love most!"

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life


Love isn't a state of perfect caring.  It is an active noun, like struggle.
To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly
the way he or she is, right here and now.

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers

love - love 3 - love 4 - love 5 - love 6   

Love, by its very nature, is unworldly, and it is for this reason rather
than its rarity that it is not only apolitical but anti-political, perhaps
the most powerful of all anti-political human forces.

Hannah Arendt

When love is out of your life, you're through in a way.  Because while
it is there it's like a motor that's going, you have such vitality to do
things, big things, because love is goosing you all the time.

Fanny Brice


When you come right down to it, the secret of having it all is loving it all.

Joyce Brothers

Most people understand love to mean simply love between the sexes.  It does mean this, but also much more.  On the deepest level, love is an instinctive force present in every person from birth to death.  It is a profound urge to preserve and extend life by means of union with another living force, and it expresses itself through an exchange of energy that mutually strengthens and rejuvenates.
   Love is born when the child rests in its mother's arms.  From this beginning, love grows until it includes the love of family and friends, of school and country, and ultimately of all the world.  Love also means love of self.  This is an aspect often ignored, yet it is of basic importance--for without healthy self-love, one cannot love anyone else.  Love also means love of God, a love that sustains us when human relationships crumble.
   Love is all of one piece--from the love of mother and child to the love of sweethearts, husbands and wives, and friends.  It is present, too, in the laborers' devotion to their work, in the teachers' solicitude for their pupils, in the physicians' dedication to their art.  All that heals, cultivates, protects, and inspires--all this is a part of love.
   To say that one will perish without love does not mean that everyone without adequate love dies.  Many do, for without love the will to live is often impaired to such an extent that a person's resistance is critically lowered and death follows.  But most of the time, lack of love makes people depressed, anxious, and without zest for life.  They remain lonely and unhappy, without friends of work they care for, their life is a barren treadmill, stripped of all creative action and joy.

Smiley Blanton
Love or Perish


A soul cannot live without loving.  It must have something
to love, for it was created to love.

Catherine of Siena

The more love we give away, the more we have left.  The laws of love
differ from the laws of arithmetic.  Love hoarded dwindles, but love
given grows.  If we give all our love, we will have more left than they
who save some.  Giving love, not receiving, is important; but when we
give with no thought of receiving, we automatically, and inescapably
receive abundantly.  Heaven is a by-product of love.  When we say,
"I love you," we mean that "a little of God's love flows from me to you."
Thereby, we do not have less, but more.  For in flowing,
the quantity is magnified.

John Marks Templeton
Riches for Mind and Spirit

The power to love truly and devotedly is the noblest gift
with which a human being can be endowed.

Maria Jane Jewsbury

True love's the gift which God has given
To humans alone beneath the heaven:
  It is not fantasy's hot fire,
    Whose wishes, soon as granted fly;
  It liveth not in fierce desire,
    With dead desire it doth not die;
It is the secret sympathy,
The silver link, the silken tie,
Which heart to heart and mind to mind
In body and in soul can bind.

Sir Walter Scott


There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being
loved:  it is God's finger on a human being's shoulder.

Charles Morgan



Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



Articles and book excerpts on love:

A Place of Refuge      Rachel Naomi Remen
A Potent Weapon      Bernie Siegel

You're a Beautiful Person      tom walsh

Born with Love      Marianne Williamson

Is Love an Art?      Erich Fromm

Meditation on Love      Thich Nhat Hanh

The (Ig)Noble Flames of Anger      Lucy Lopez

God Loves You      Joe Mazzella

Love, Wealth and Success      Author Unknown

My Favorite Four-Letter Words      Norman Vincent Peale

Ripples of Love      Joe Mazzella

Shaya's Home Run      Paysach Krohn

Sixty Years, Headed to Forever      Staci Stallings

A Story about Ugly      Author Unknown

The Best Gift      Betty Werth
With Love. . . Leo      Leo Buscaglia