Return to love: Preview of our upcoming interview with Marianne Williamson, Presidential candidate and esteemed spiritual author, on august 21st, 2019

We are pleased to welcome Marianne Williamson, Presidential Candidate and esteemed spiritual author, to Love University on Wednesday, August 21st at Noon Pacific Standard Time. This week as we await the arrival of Marianne, we explore her best-selling book, A Return to Love (39 weeks on the NY Times bestseller list), and its wonderful message of love and transformation.

In a world filled with stress, anxiety, anger, and sadness, there is a powerful force that can help our society return to a peaceful and joyous place: It is the power of Love—the essence of goodness, caring, and affection that we have for ourselves, others, and a higher nature. Although fear may permeate our lives at times, Love is the only thing that is real; the antidote for defeating fear.

Here are some ways to Return to Love in your life:

*Rediscover your childhood loves. Ask yourself: What did I want to be as a child? Astronaut, actor, writer, teacher, scientist, entertainer, businessperson, parent, President? Consider what it was about those dreams that excited you. Although you may not want to be those things today (or maybe you do), think about what you can do now that aligns with your earlier interests, goals, and passions. Perhaps, you will want to fly a kite, collect dolls or coins, study history, art, or nature, care for pets or children; create, write, or invent; start a business, travel, go back to school; engage in a spiritual, meditative, or exercise practice—these are just some of the things that may reignite your passion for life, for the Real You.

*Get rid of everything that is not Love in your life. In some ways, love is a ridding process. To bring more love in your life, begin to distance yourself from negative and critical people; start eliminating bad habits or addictions that limit and enslave you. Maybe, you will cut down on eating unhealthy food or ingesting substances that harm you. You will work to minimize bad habits like worrying, procrastinating, and trusting in the wrong people. At the same time, you will substitute your old patterns and behaviors with new, uplifting ones: healthy diet and exercise, a spiritual practice, fun activities, time spent with positive and loving people, doing creative or fulfilling work. As you reduce the fear and sadness-producing activities and people from your life, you will fill the gap with joyous and uplifting things, people, and activities.

*Give up your desires to the higher. From the East, we learn the marvelous idea of surrendering our need for results; to trust that God (spirit, essence, universe) will provide everything we need. For example, instead of worrying so much about how much more money or accolades you want to receive from your work, decide that you will surrender the “fruits” (results) of your efforts to a higher, benevolent force. You will work simply because you are exercising your “Don,” (God-given talent) for the good of the world. Instead of worrying about whether you will ever find a loving partner, say to yourself: “I will extend loving energy to others, and I will leave the results of finding a soul mate to the higher (God, essence, nature). In this way, you are no longer frustrated or disappointed by what comes (or doesn’t come) your way. You are content in simply doing what you have been called to do.

*Understanding relationships as levels of learning. Instead of seeing a relationship as something that will give you things—security, affection, sex, companionship—think of a relationship as a school that will teach you important lessons. Each relationship you have in life is based on a stage. Stage 1 consists of casual acquaintances; people you say “hi” to on a regular basis. Stage 2 relationships are those in which you have a lesson to teach each other—maybe the relationship or marriage ended, but you still learned something valuable. A Stage 3 relationship is your Lifelong Learning Partner—here to help you grow (as you help them grow) through your lives together. Lifelong Learning Partners are people who are well-integrated within themselves and have a deep understanding and acceptance of each other despite their flaws. Their purpose is to unite together to create light in the world—this is the most beautiful relationship to have.

*See love as the only thing of value in a situation or encounter. In any interaction, ask yourself: “Where is the love here?” If you’re negotiating with a merchant, you may decide to slightly overpay on occasion because you want to help their business or family. Realizing that money is a form of loving energy, you are confident that you are building bonds of cheery affinity with this person, and the money will flow back to you at some point. When you have empathy for another human being, you see life from their point of view. When this occurs, you realize that you are one with that person. If you do harm to them, you will harm yourself; if you give loving energy to that person, you are giving love to yourself.

Realize that love is strong, not weak. Although love is caring and patient, it is also practical, realistic, and powerful. Sometimes, you need to express tough love and tell someone, “Knock it off: I won’t tolerate that.” If the person is on the wrong track and doing the wrong things, you are being most loving when you help redirect them in the right direction. They may or may not listen to you; but you have done your duty in offering them a respectful love that can help them if they wish to take it.

In the end, Love is the only thing that matters. When you die, it is the only thing you can take with you—the love you have created   on earth, which will keep regenerating in the hearts and mind of the people you touch.