“Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever.”― Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
Hello everyone, and welcome back to the Therapy Spot. Just recently, a student living abroad in Sweden interviewed me in order to learn about psychology as a profession. Her interview gave me an “inner view,” or a chance to reflect on the journey of my working life. I felt grounded as I took stock of where I came from, where I’d been, and where I’m going. The interview forced me to pause and reflect, which better connected me with myself.
This pause reminded me of what I liked about Erich Fromm’s approach to the Art of Loving. When we classify the act of loving as an art, we acknowledge the active aspect of it. I say this partly because of other activities that can be an “art”:
- Kung fu
None of us were born knowing how to paint, carry on a dialogue, or perform a roundhouse kick. Just as with those activities, we choose love, we practice love, and we refine our skill set for love. If you’ve spent most of your life focusing outward, rather than inward, you’re not alone. Luckily, you can pause, reflect, and connect with yourself. Reflection lets us get to know (and love!) ourselves from the inside out.
In this podcast, I use “David” as an example of the benefits of the deep listening that goes hand in hand with Self reflection. Upon getting his dream job, David felt anxious and overwhelmed. What if he wasn’t actually good enough? Did they make a mistake hiring him? How soon would everyone uncover his deception?
Rather than hiding from them, David took the opportunity to listen to these parts. After all, our parts only want to help us — they just don’t always go about it in the most comfortable way!
When you stop and reflect, you can listen more deeply to what is happening inside of you. As a result, you’ll get to know yourself better, and get more comfortable by following your needs. Need some practice? Check out my workbook, Be the One to Heal Yourself, to get started!