“We should have a tremendous desire to become. If all of life is directed toward the process of becoming, of growing, of seeing, of feeling, of touching, of smelling, there won’t be a boring second.” – Love, By Leo Buscaglia.
Today, we are going to take a peek into one of my favorite books. This is my first post 100% focused on a single book – luckily, it’s a damn good one.
Love, by Leo Buscaglia, is all about the topic of, well, love! It was created by Leo after developing a university course on the topic. And it does not disappoint!
Here are the top 5 ideas I got from Leo’s book on Love.
Love Is Learned
“If a person desired to know about automobiles, he would, without question, study diligently about automobiles. If his wife desired to be a gourmet cook, she’d certainly study the art of cooking, perhaps even attend a cooking class. yet, it never seems as obvious to him that if he wants to live in love, he must spend at least as much time as the auto mechanic or the gourmet in studying love.”
Leo starts off his expose on love addressing the painfully obvious – that love is actually a learned phenomenon. He addresses the fact that love is indeed a felt sense, but it is also a response to an emotion and therefore an active expression of what is felt.
This is very pertinent to our society today because it shows that every time we step outside of the house or interact with our loved ones, we are essentially teaching one another how to love.
Leo stresses that it is never too late to learn a new skill. If you currently lack the skill of loving, there is no need to fret. You can learn it!
Love Is A Basic need
“Man is by nature a social being. He finds that he feels more comfortable in his aloneness to the degree to which he can volitionally be involved with others. he discovers that with each deep relationship he’s brought closer to himself, that others help him to gain personal strength and this strength, in turn, makes it more possible for him to face his aloneness.”
In today’s day and age it is a well known fact that love is actually a human need. Not something that is nice to have.
We all know this intuitively, and Leo is no different. He stresses that love is the thing we all need in live, indeed it’s what live is actually all about.
Without love, we essentially starve psychically.
Love Starts With Loving The Self
“To love oneself is to struggle to rediscover and maintain your uniqueness. It is understanding and appreciating the idea that you will be the only you to ever live upon this earth, that when you die so will all of your fantastic possibilities. It is the realization that even you are not totally aware of the wonders which lie dormant within yourself.”
This is one of my favorite aspects of Leo’s Love book – that loving yourself is the beginning of love.
And loving yourself means keeping track of that which makes you, you.
It’s so hard in today’s day and age of extreme communication and thus extreme responsibility to hang onto that which is uniquely you.
Leo wants for us to keep trying to bring forth that unique aspect of our personalities, as that is they key to our love.
Love Is Difficult And Requires Strength
“To live in love is life’s greatest challenge. It requires more subtlety, flexibility, sensitivity, understanding, acceptance, tolerance, knowledge and strength than any other human endeavour or emotion… on the one hand, man may know that only by being vulnerable can he truly offer and accept love. At the same time, he knows that if he reveals his vulnerability in daily life he often runs the risk of being misused, taken advantage of… [yet] the only chance he has for a depth of love is to give all that he has… to be open to love, to trust and believe in love, to be hopeful in love and live in love, you need the greatest strength.”
This is one of the points that I recognize to be true in my own life – that loving requires great strength.
Leo outlines how love is not something for the weak. In fact, it is one of the most difficult things we will engage in throughout our lives.
Why is that? Because love requires that we become vulnerable. In order to love, we must show ourselves to others. We must put down our shields and invite someone else into our home, knowing full well that they may take advantage of our love.
Love Recognizes Needs & Involves Responsibility
“Man’s basic psychological needs are these. He requires to be seen, recognized, appreciated, heard, fondled, sexually satisified. He must be allowed the freedom to choose his own way, to grow at his own rate, and to make his own mistakes, to learn. He needs to accept himself and other human beings and be accepted by them. He desires to be an “I” as well as a “we”… love recognizes all these needs or it isn’t love. If any are unmet, the individual can never be totally realized and will remain hidden, in part, even from himself.”
Leo ends his book urging us all to recognize that when we love, we see the needs of others and ourselves.
Love is a dance of showing people that they are seen and heard. When we love one another, we are showing each other that we are worthy of being listened to.
More importantly, we are showing one another that we are worthy of truly being seen for who we are – not just who we present ourselves to be.
Moreover, Leo states that love is a responsibility of all of us. In fact, just by being a human you have a responsibility to love.
“Before man can love all men or any man, his first responsibility in love is, and always will be, to himself. Each man who comes closer to himself in any way comes closer to others. To be human is to be responsible… As one shows others he loves them, so must he reveal to hem his need for love. You cannot assume that people, even those most close to you, will know and understand your unexpressed needs and feelings. If you want people to know you, you are responsible for communicating yourself to them. Responsible love is accepting and understanding.”
My Take On Love By Leo Buscaglia
I’ll close this post out by saying that if you have any interest in love, then you need to pick up this book and read it cover to cover.
Yes, it is a need.
My personal belief is that love is what we’re all here for. Sure, there are a ton of other fun things to do, but the point of all of our actions on this earth is ultimately Love.
If you’d like to pick up the book on Amazon, you can do so here.