The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship: A Toltec Wisdom Book

The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship: A Toltec Wisdom Book

by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship: A Toltec Wisdom Book focuses on the importance of truth, self-acceptance, and unconditional love in relationships. It stresses the negative effect of fear in any relationship, primarily as a source of control and power-play between partners. The book provides a step-by-step method for healing the emotional body, which relies on truth, forgiveness, and self-love.   

Summary Notes

The Wounded Mind

“We are masters because we have the power to create and to rule our own lives.”

The Toltec were an eclectic group of scientists and artists. They played a major role in preserving spiritual knowledge and practices. According to their teachings, everything we know and believe about ourselves and the world is a dream. This dream prevents us from seeing and understanding who we really are.

People create the Dream because creation is at the core of every human being. We create our own personalities and realities based on our system of beliefs. By constantly creating our lives, we become masters of our personalities and of every action we take in life. To become masters, we practice dealing with emotions, behavior, relationships, etc. 

Being in a relationship can also be considered a mastery. Unfortunately, the human mind has been infected with fear, which manifests itself through sadness, jealousy, and outbursts of anger. Afraid of being hurt and experiencing an intense pain from our emotional wounds, we create a denial system. Thus, we start weaving a web of lies, so our real selves remain hidden under an image we project for the outside world.  

In relationships, partners may create images for the other partner and try to make them fit in a preassigned role. In the process, they are continuously lying to themselves and to each other. They both do not reveal their real selves, they do not accept the other one for the person that they are. Such relationships are doomed to fail - they are not based on truth, that is, pure love.

Actions to take

The Man Who Didn’t Believe in Love

“Happiness never comes from outside of us.”

Many existing relationships are based on power-plays. When one person is more invested than the other, the person who cares less has more control in the relationship. The notion of love is mistaken for the fear of losing power in the relationship. 

True love is unburdened by false promises, unreasonable expectations, and fear. True love is unconditional, whereas fear requires conditions. People often believe that they can love somebody only if they fulfill certain conditions and expectations. If we perceive love as conditional, then it isn’t true love, and it won’t bring us happiness. Happiness comes from the inside, not from the outside.  

People often feel unhappy, sad, annoyed, or angry when their partners do not behave according to the image they have developed for them. This image is rarely a faithful depiction of their partners’ true selves, meaning, the relationship will never be filled with true love. Therefore, before entering into a relationship, it is of utmost importance to know ourselves and our potential partner - we don’t have the right to ask anybody to change for us. We should love them just the way they are. This is the only way to master your half of the relationship.

Actions to take

The Perfect Relationship

“You cannot change other people.”

The perfect relationship starts with complete honesty. Both partners have to be honest with themselves about their own expectations from the relationship. The right partner does not wish to change the other one and accepts them for what they truly are. 

Both partners in the perfect relationship are compatible in terms of their views and values. This is the only way for them to move in the same direction throughout life.  

Before we are able to love a partner and accept them for their true self, we need to love and accept ourselves. By doing so, we will be able to express our true personalities and open ourselves to be loved. When you enter a relationship, bear in mind that you’ve made a conscious decision to never try and change anything about your partner.

Actions to take

The Dream Master

“Every relationship in your life can be healed.”

Every perfect relationship starts with you. You need to be honest with yourself before you can be honest with everybody else. Seeking and using the truth will make you a Dream master. You will be able to transcend the limitations of your practiced reactions and fear, and you will be able to awake from the Dream and experience your true self. 

Fighting your learned and practiced reactions can be a difficult task, however, it is the only way to change into a better and more aware self. Having awareness for ourselves can help us develop different routines and change our reactions so that we will be able to get the outcome we want and, perhaps, change our lives.

Awareness makes us responsible for our lives. Since we cannot control the outside world, we should focus on what we can, which is the world inside us. It is the only way to experience true happiness.

Actions to take

Seeing With Eyes of Love

“If you accept your own body, you can accept almost everyone, almost everything.”

The relationship between your body and your mind can be toxic at times. If we presume that the body takes care of half of the relationship wonderfully, we’ll notice that the mind is the toxic partner in this intrapersonal relationship. 

Our mind is responsible for rejecting any body parts, considering them ugly, deformed, and unattractive. Even though your body is perfect as it is, your mind asserts certain concepts or beauty standards to which our body should adhere to. 

Hurt by your mind’s abuse, you start feeling repulsed by your own body. You no longer feel comfortable or confident in your physical beauty. The major problem with this self-perception is that you expect others to reject you. Moreover, when you cannot accept yourself for who you are, you stop accepting anything and anyone.  

In a superficial world in which only certain beauty standards are appreciated, even aging, a completely natural process, is perceived as ugly. Aging is beautiful, just like any stage in our lives. 

To be able to perceive yourself as someone beautiful, you need to allow for a beautiful relationship between your body and your mind to be created. This will pave the way to establishing beautiful relationships with friends, family, and partners.

Actions to take

Healing the Emotional Body

“Love is the medicine that accelerates the process of healing.”

The emotional body, like the physical body, needs to heal when it has been wounded. The healing process can start only after we’ve opened the emotional wounds, cleaned them, used medicine, and kept them clean. 

Our denial system inflicts emotional wounds. It is a system of lies that needs to be cleaned and treated. The best way to start cleaning the lies from our emotional body is to start practicing the truth. However, we need to keep in mind that what was once true, might no longer be. Also, the truth might be relative, depending on the person who tells it. Sometimes things which are true for us, are not true for somebody else. Thus, the perspective matters. 

Since most of us have been trained to believe in many different lies about ourselves, about others, and about the world, we shouldn’t even believe ourselves. 

By not believing yourself and others, whatever was untrue will vanish, because the truth does not require support: only lies do. 

Cleaning our emotional wounds can be done through practicing forgiveness. Only forgiveness can clean all the poison from our emotional bodies. Ask for forgiveness in person or in your prayers. Begin with your immediate family, and then widen the circle. The next step is to forgive everyone who has hurt you. Finally, you must ask for forgiveness from yourself, and you must grant it. 

Love is the most powerful medicine for healing your emotional wounds. You should begin by practicing self-love. By following the three most important steps to healing your emotional body, the truth, forgiveness, and love, you will be able to enjoy your life to the fullest.

Actions to take

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