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Learning to Love

by Yanira Araujo

Lately, I’ve been trying to unravel the mysteries of the mind and universe. This desire has led me to delve into psychology and philosophy. I began my research by studying the works of Erich Fromm and Rene Descartes. 

Erich Fromm was a German-born American psychoanalyst and social philosopher who explored the interaction between psychology and society. He is best known for his critique of classical psychoanalysis. Rene Descartes was a French mathematician and philosopher best known for his modern approach of body-mind dualism. 

Erich Fromm described Love to be an “Art” we must master. The mastery of this art begins with self-mastery. He said – 

love is an action, the practice of a human power, which can be practiced only in freedom and never as the result of a compulsion.

Taking a prescription drug to cure an illness can be used as an analogy, while it might palliate the disease it never cures the real issue, instead, it harms other organs. This, in essence, is how we can describe the chase for wealth, positions and human affection. We are never curing that insatiating feeling of needing more. 

After believing I was living the most pragmatic life – graduating from college, marrying the man I’ve been dating for almost 15 years, which at the moment  I believe was the most comfortable and secure life I could imagine. I realized that I was immensely unsatisfied and felt I had settled. 

I question the paradigm of our society. How many of us select a partner based on convenience, or on how they can assist us in the pursuit of material wealth. Do any of us choose a partner to genuinely express love? 

“Love isn’t something natural.Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn’t a feeling, it is a practice.” – Erich Fromm 

In a world where success is measured by material abundance and the degrees framed on the wall. how do we become free from being victims of this repetitive cycle, how do we change the future of our children? 

We teach our children that by working hard, by being disciplined we reach success, but what happens to maintaining healthy relationships with themselves. 

Why is self-care neglected? 

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If You Have Reasons Why You Love Someone, is it Love to Begin With? - Thinking Substance February 13, 2020 - 1:47 PM

[…] this misconception in The Art of Loving. He describes love to be an action we must practice. Learning to Love, induces thought provoking questions about the way we love, and the reasons why we […]

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