P 1 People are yearning for love and are even willing to give love, yet only on condition that they are loved first. Such a “safe bargain” not only locks the door, but causes a distortion in the soul which then can elicit the feeling of world weariness, since the person will remain lonely. The fear within the person says: “If I give first, without being sure, my pride might get hurt, I might be injured, the other could cause me pain.”
Fear of disappointment is a sign of over-sensitivity, and the over-sensitivity is a sign of a false sense of self-importance. When you do not take your fear of what could happen to your own self so seriously, you can give your love freely.
P2 How can genuine, healthy love be attained? Not by trying to force your self to love; this does not work. It can be reached only indirectly, by starting with yourself, that is, by thorough self-examination, without self-deceit. Find the extent of your ego, your over-sensitivity, your vanity, your pride, and how they play their part.
P3 They may be so afraid to lose the love of the other that they cannot be true to their own self, and thus they will indeed humiliate themselves and be humiliated by the other. It will happen in an unhealthy way, out of weakness and fear, not out of strength. Others are so afraid of exactly that—being humiliated—that they cut themselves completely off from too strong feelings.
When you love in a healthy and genuine way, you never compromise your dignity. You may well have to give up insisting that you must preserve your dignity at all cost, but exactly because you give up the insistence on your dignity can you win what you were ready to give up.
You will differentiate clearly in your soul that you have to give up your pride, the importance of your ego, but you do not have to give up being true to yourself.
Fear—more or less hidden in the human soul—is a major obstacle to attaining real love; and fear can be present only when you love yourself too much in some respect, when you take yourself too seriously, when you are too concerned about your own well-being, when you hold on to yourself instead of letting yourself flow and surrender in a healthy way.
Another source of world weariness can be found in an attitude of withdrawal, in which a person retires into a lonely, self-created world. Again, they do this out of fear of giving up their little selves, or of taking risks, or out of a crass ego-centeredness.
P4 One part of the soul wants to give love—and therefore also to receive love. Whatever you give comes back to you as a wave in an eternally pulsating cycle. Of course, you have to start the cycle by giving first and not waiting for the other to start by giving to you. The other part of the personality wants comfort, convenience, and will give up nothing. From time to time it sees the light of happiness, but prefers to exist in a grey, solitary world that seems risk-free to the blind part of the soul. In this case you have at least the intellectual knowledge to say to yourself: “If I go in this direction, I cannot at the same time go the other way; therefore I must make a choice.” For instance, when you decide to withdraw and live a solitary life because you do not want to give love, out of anxiety and over-sensitivity, then you must also inwardly reckon with the fact that you will stay solitary and will lack love.
P6 Most damages are caused by not making any choice and allowing all emotional currents to mingle in the unconscious, without the effort to really getting to know oneself. Such state of indecision will wear out the soul, lead to unavoidable conflicts, so that no energy will be left to fulfill life as best as possible in other areas either—whether spiritual or material.
You should attribute enough importance to your soul and to your entire personality to really uncover what is hidden within your self, alone if possible and if not, with help. Yet you cannot really uncover what is in you if you still insist on attributing so much importance to your pain, to your vanity, and to your fears. Only by minimizing the importance of these can you find the courage to discover what is hidden, to let go of pretences, and to change your inner reality.
You can heal your soul and bring your feelings—not only your thoughts and actions—into harmony with spiritual law. As a result your life will be emotionally rich, harmonious and happy, completely fulfilling you wherever you are in your development
P7 By rebelling against something you cannot change, you throw your life into disharmony. On the contrary, it will never harm a soul to accept an unalterable stroke of fate. Naturally, one will not, need not, and certainly should not be glad to accept such a burden; that would be impossible. Yet one can resign oneself to it without rebellion and bitterness.
Whenever you wallow in self-pity, you are unconsciously remembering an earlier reaction, when your pain was commensurate with the gravity of the situation. By wallowing in self-pity you try to reproduce this remembered feeling, but in circumstances which are no longer the same; when the hardship was unavoidable, your surrender was the right response, but now it is different. Now you can change your attitude toward your pain.
—The Pathwork® Guide