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Letter from Deepak on Love

Deepak Chopra, M.D.
©Yoga People, LLC 2017

Deepak Chopra

Can we find another way to approach romance, without fantasy and fear, without listening to the fearful voice inside ourselves that finds a way to keep love at a distance?

To Love, Be Lovable

To begin with, we can’t keep confining romance to an emotional state; we must redefine it as a surrender to the mystery of our own spirit- sat chit ananda- for beneath the turbulence of emotion that is what romance is. It is a state in which your primary relationship is not with your beloved but with your Self. Romance therefore begins when you can show your soul to another person.

The secret to being attractive, if one consults the past record of human experience, is remarkably simple. It is summarized in an aphorism from the Latin poet Ovid, who said, “To love, be lovable.” A lovable person is someone who is natural, easy with himself or herself, radiating the simple, unaffected humanity that makes anyone truly attractive.

Sometimes however, the simplest solutions are the most difficult to achieve. People find themselves caught up in the anxious search for love precisely because they don’t feel lovable. The very condition that would make for romance is absent. It is sad to say, but many of us have never felt lovable, even in childhood, when we had the fewest defenses against love and therefore could approach it with the most spontaneous innocence. A child who does not easily ask for affection and attention, who does not blossom when these are supplied, or who lives with her or his appeals unanswered, has been deprived of the very essence of childhood. Even for those of us who were loved adequately as children and therefore are in touch with our lovableness, bringing it forth is incredibly difficult in the current social climate.

Being lovable isn’t a superficial quality; it is a quality of spirit. Ananda cannot be destroyed, only covered over. In the end, if you can see yourself as spirit, it won’t matter what conditioning has occurred in the past, whether you were fortunate enough to be raised with loving values or so unfortunate that you were discouraged and made to feel ugly and worthless. Remember, in our inner most being, we are all completely lovable because spirit is love. Beyond what anyone can make you think or feel about yourself, your unconditioned spirit stands, shining with a love nothing can tarnish.

If being lovable really is the secret to attraction, then there is no need for anxious searching, because your own being, which can never be lost, doesn’t have to be found. The whole process of making yourself attractive to others, of constantly waiting for someone else’s response, of desperately comparing yourself with an ideal image can come to an end. The only requirement is a shift in perception, for those who cannot find love perceive themselves as not being lovable. This is not true, but they make it seem true by linking their perception to a powerful system of beliefs.

What creates romance is the ability to see yourself as lovable.

This shift in perception happens not by changing who you are but by seeing who you are and then shining it forth. If you were able to exhibit the full grandeur of your being, your whole life would be a romance, one long love story dedicated to ecstasy and joy. Rumi puts it elegantly when he declares,
By God, when you see your beauty
You’ll be the idol of yourself.

Nothing is more beautiful than naturalness. It alone contains the mystery and allure that spark romance. Trying to be cosmetically attractive is beside the point, for we are talking here about authenticity.

To be authentic, you have to be everything that you are, omitting nothing. Within everyone there is a light and shadow, good and evil, love and hate. The play of these opposites is what constantly moves life forward; the river of life expresses itself in all its changes from one opposite to another. If you can truly embrace these opposites within yourself, you will be authentic, and as your self-acceptance expands until there is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to hide, your life will take on the generosity and warmth that marks every great lover.