Only Love

November 13, 2012 § 46 Comments

I used to believe that love was a form of relationship.  I love you; you love me.  That’s our deal.

I would diligently monitor my love relationships.  Feeling hurt or wronged, I would ask- was that an act of someone who loves me?  If she loves me, how can she not see my needs?

Or I would turn this judgment on myself.   Why have I been filled with anger towards her?  Why have I been so cold and distant?

When the ledger got out of balance- and it always did- I called the deal into question.  Does she really love me? Enough?  Or, looking inward, I’d ask whether my conduct suggested the absence of love?  And in either case, I doubted my commitment.  Perhaps time to back out of the deal, I’d think.

All, all, wrong.

Love, as I now seek to live it, is not a relationship or a deal.  There is no ledger.  Love is not earned or maintained.  Love exists in my simple, full, and caring acceptance of the other person.  It resides within me.  It doesn’t depend on what you do, or fail to do.

If she is angry, I love her in her anger.  If she is depressed, I love her in her depression.  If she hurts me, I love her in her very assault.

This is the love that I seek to embody.  I often, maybe most always, fall short.  Sometimes hideously short.  But now I know.

Seeking to love others in this way, I also know that I must begin with myself.  Suspend self-judgment.  Never wish to have done this or that.  Cherish who I am.  Only from that foundation can this sacred and abiding love for others come.

Just love.  Only love.


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§ 46 Responses to Only Love

  • That is beautiful and a lesson all should learn as well as a practice all should have in regards to love. Thank you.

  • What a beautiful message! For indeed, self-love is always the hardest. Why is that? It is not a selfish act, self love. For as many of your readers have commented, our inner joy will radiate out to others effortlessly. All a part of the lesson of re-connecting to our higher selves. Nice to know there are so many good and caring people out there who stumble along the way as I do. But I do believe we are moving forward and for that I’m very grateful!

  • I can’t thank you enough, for writing this, sharing this. You have captured the essence of something that has been known to me, somewhere, somehow, but elusive in terms of finding the words, the sense, the feel of it. Thank you for expressing this so gracefully, honestly and openly.

  • russtowne says:

    Reblogged this on A Grateful Man and commented:
    Thanks to Sharon at A Leaf In Springtime, iwas guided to Thomas Ross and his wonderful blog. After enjoying each of the first 3 posts I read, I came upon this one and liked it so much that I wanted to share it with you. Russ

  • Because there ARE no others. Only the same awareness that you are, in many flavors and forms.

  • This is so beautifully written, and I agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts. I think, as some others have already said, that love has to begin with the self. From there it can spill out in ever increasing abundance into the lives of those around us. Love isn’t something we chose to give or withold, it’s a state of being, and when we allow it to flow within our lives it nourishes our core. When we slip away from practicing loving kindness towards ourself, we slip into self-judgement and all it’s spikey edges!

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Thank you so much.

      I truly believe this and seek to be love in this way.

      Your kind and thoughtful message, especially the reference to “our core,” sent me to the Tao passage, “[The master] does not think about his actions, they flow from the core of his being.” Love flowing from our core, as you put it.

      I’m happy to be connected.


  • yogaleigh says:

    Reblogged this on Notes from the Bluegrass and commented:
    I actually picked this up because it was reblogged by Mindmindful ( I try not to reblog too often and really try not to do two in one day but I love this. And it actually feels like a perfect fit with the one I reblogged from

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I left a message for you on your blog trying to express how much I appreciated this generous act. So here, I’ll just say thanks so much.

      I am very happy to be connected now with you and your work. Your message of “participatory” healing is so important.


  • smithdavid says:

    good to see you back tom. and in top form too! i can’t tell you how many times i’ve thought these things. great post. dave

  • Sean J says:

    Well put, Tom. This is a lesson we all need to learn about ourselves, when we’re ready for it. The reminder is welcome, thank you for sharing

    • Thomas Ross says:


      This reminder is so important for me as well. Writing these posts is an important part of my own therapy- helping me walk the path that feels true and right.

      I appreciate very much the generosity you show in taking the time to read and reply to my work.

      Thank you.


  • Yes!!!! If we are always seeking it from someone else we will never feel whole and nothing will ever be enough. Great post!!!

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Starting within first. Before I understood this, so much energy and time spent thinking that others would make me feel happy and whole. But now I know. And the wonderful and amazing thing is the way I can be so much more for others when I am sure and accepting of myself.

      Feeling much gratitude for this connection.


  • Anne says:

    Perfect. We need to learn to love ourselves before we can possibly extend that love to another. ‘I love me’ should be our daily affirmation.



    • Thomas Ross says:


      That’s the most important thing- that first move- only from that foundation can we go forward and be for others what we would hope to be.

      So, how lucky we are in finding the supportive and kind presence of each other.


  • MindMindful says:

    Well said — taking ‘love’ from commerce, ie ‘a deal’ —>> to simple acceptance & being. Now we know….

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I left a message on your wonderful blog expressing my thanks for reblogging this post- and for your constant support these past months.

      It means so much to me.

      Thank you.


  • Archana says:

    You and i are not capable to love.
    We, are love.
    Hugs to you Tom!

  • Oh, yes. I like this, very, very much. Sharing on FB. Thanks for these lovely thoughts!

  • So well written Tom. Loving in this way can at times be a challenge but eventually I think our hearts open up to it and find it’s beauty and fulfillment. This is the type of love that feels good in our hearts.

  • Gigi wanders says:

    Excellent, Tom! Nicely written. And now from the knowing to the being.
    BTW, please see for your nomination.

  • dadirri7 says:

    so well said tom, succinct and clear, in your wonderful poetic way, ‘cherish who i am … then love for others will come … just love, only love’ .. living from the heart without fear …. thank you!

    • Thomas Ross says:


      So happy to see you here. And so glad that you’re “still pedaling.” Such a precious community of writers supporting each other.

      You are a blessing in my life.


  • brendamarroy says:

    Here’s another side of the coin on our love relationships. I believe the love that shows up in our life is a reflection of the love we give ourselves. So, the more we embrace everything about Self, the more that type of love shows up. When we stand in judgment of Self, our relationships are about judgment.

    I notice I have to keep coming back to the core of the journey and my own core. Physician, heal thyself is my mantra and my reminder that I must forgive and embrace all of who I am.

    This post is a great teaching on what happens when we embrace our Self. I appreciate the beauty of your soul and your willingness to expose your magnificence to your readers. Namaste. Brenda

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Yes, I do believe that this embrace of self is the beginning- and perhaps the end. When we are existing in that way, the love of others, the way to be, becomes all natural and simple. If we can somehow cease self-judgment, accept all that we are, all that we’ve been, all that we’ve done or failed to do, just embrace who we are- without doubt, regret, or judgment- the way will be clear and natural, I believe.

      Blessings to you, Brenda.


  • SprinklinThoughts says:

    Nice job Tom, you’ve managed to remove the barnacles that have been attached over time, to expose the true concept. It just keeps coming down to Love, doesn’t it… always.

  • Tom, you not only HAVE a gift; you ARE a gift. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Yes, just love. You have found the words to express it all well.

  • Robyn Lee says:

    Oh Tom ~ such a huge topic…
    one I have been contemplating this myself most recently.
    Actually just yesterday came across this poem,
    perhaps you might appreciate….

    “Look into your own eye, and make no mistake,
    So that essence of seer and seen become one.

    On whatever side you gaze, you shall see my form,
    Whether you gaze upon self, or the mass that is visible.

    Shun distorted vision and heal your sight,
    For the evil eye will be distant from my beauty in that moment.

    Beware, lest in error you see me in human form,
    For the spirit is extremely subtle, Love is jealous.

    What room is there for form, if what is felt extends beyond?
    The soul’s mirror reflects light that illuminates the world.”

    (Rumi’s Divan of Shams of Tabriz–A new interpretation by James Cowan. Element Classics of World Spirituality, P.101)

    also the article that discusses the psychology of Love as per Rumi ~

    A wonderful post…Blessings Always dear friend ~ RL

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I am always so happy to see your messages- knowing the thought and care that you take in reading and responding. (Something I am happy to try and do when I read your work as well.) I am especially grateful for this message.

      I of course read and tried to really feel the poem- but also spent some time reading the piece on Rumi and “divine love.” Transcendent thought.

      I do believe that when you are able to “be love”- as Elizabeth put it below- the love you feel for others comes not from some conscious choice or strategy but simply from the core of your being. This is the way of being that calls to me.

      Blessed as always by your words and presence.

      Thank you.


  • A tall order, but a laudable goal, Tom.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Very, very tall order indeed.

      But in those moments when I’m there, the feeling is so strong and so simple. I know this is what I wish to feel, the way I wish to be.

      Thanks for your kindness.


  • This is so well said that it’s hard to add any of my thoughts. Bravo for finding the core of what love really is and expressing it so beautifully. 🙂

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I’m so glad to be back engaged with this community of writers and beautiful people, like you. My life continues to be full and feels at times hectic- but then I come here and see your kindness and presence and it helps me get back to the way I wish to be- peaceful and centered.

      So thank you.


  • I love THIS!!! Beautiful and amazing! Thank you so much, Tom. I had a similar experience with love a little while ago when I stopped trying to get love, but just tried to BE love. Amazing things started to happen. I realized that up until that point I had a very conditional view of love. So like you said, now I know — it’s a process and most days, most moments, I fall very very short, but . . . now I know. And that is more than I knew yesterday! Much love to you!

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Yes,”to be love” captures it, I believe. Seems so challenging, but when I’m there, it feels so right. All sense of difficulty and doubt fall away. Just love.

      Your own beautiful writing has been a constant inspiration to me as well, Elizabeth.



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