For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Love Is An Attitude To Life

Is there no way out of the mind? SYLVIA PLATH

The way out is never through yourself. MATT HAIG

Another passage from Matt Haig's Reasons to Stay Alive:

Love. Anaïs Nin called anxiety 'love's greatest killer'. But fortunately, the reverse is also true. Love is anxiety's greatest killer. Love is an outward force. It is our road out of our own terrors, because anxiety is an illness that wraps us up in our own nightmares. This is not selfishness, even though people read it as such. If your leg is on fire, it is not selfish to concentrate on the pain, or the fear of the flames. So it is with anxiety. People with mental illnesses aren't wrapped up in themselves because they are are intrinsically any more selfish than other people. Of course not. They are just feeling things that can't be ignored. Things that point the arrows inward. But having people who love you and who you love is such a help. This doesn't have to be romantic, or even familial love. Forcing yourself to see the world through love's gaze can be healthy. Love is an attitude to life. It can save us.

13 comments:

sackerson said...

You've got me reading the book (Christmas present to self). I've peeped ahead, too. I particularly like the Murakami quote from Kafka on the Shore:

"Once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm is all about."

The Solitary Walker said...

It's good, isn't it? Has got me interested in Murakami too, whom I've never read. I've reserved three of his books at the library, including the one about running.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I just might borrow this book from Sackerson when he has read it. Happy Christmas Robert and all the best wishes for 2016

The Solitary Walker said...

Happy Christmas to you too, Pat.

George said...

Yes, love is the road out of our terrors and anxieties — any kind of love, love for another, love of beauty, love of work, even the unabated love of the whole complicated mess of life itself.

All the best to you and Carmen during the holiday season, Robert. May you and your family continue to be blessed in the coming year.

am said...

Reasons to Stay Alive will be be available in the U.S. in February. I'm guessing that our public library will have it then. I relate to Matt Haig. Looking forward to reading his book. Through the son (in his 20s) of an old friend, I learned about Murakami. I've read his memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Here's an excerpt:

"Though I wouldn't call any of this philosophy per se, this book does contain a certain amount of what might be dubbed life lessons. They might not amount to much, but they are personal lessons I've learned through actually putting my own body in motion, and thereby discovering that suffering is optional. They may not be sessions you can generalize, but that's because what's presented here is me>, the kind of person I am."

The Solitary Walker said...

I'm trying to love 2015's 'complicated mess', George — but it's difficult! But, of course, you are right. And Christmas best wishes to you too — and your family.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, I think you would like this book, Amanda. Ah, you know Murakami! I'm really looking forward to reading him.

dritanje said...

Absolutely with him when he writes about forcing oneself to see through the eyes of love. I discovered this myself many years ago when I looked around me at a broken, run-down, mud-covered city in February (Tirana) and realised that instead of bemoaning my surroundings I needed to love them. So I walked around saying I love you to everything I saw. I came to love that place, overwhelmingly. I did this again this year, when things felt bleak and again, all became transformed. At first OK you don't really believe in what you're doing, you don't feel it, you feel slightly fakish and self-conscious but the extraordinary thing is that - it works! Already by the next day, everything was wonderful - the weather, the people I met, everything!!

The Solitary Walker said...

This is so interesting, Morelle. I believe in what you say. One can change one's mood, how one perceives things, through an attitude of mind, an effort of will, through a conscious acceptance and, yes, an awareness of love and grace. Also perhaps akin to a kind of spell or incantation.

The Solitary Walker said...

Love changes everything!

Bella said...

Thank you SW for these posts, as you know, I still visit your blog often. I like George's way of putting it, love the whole complicated mess of life, although its so hard sometimes because there are so many who want to spoil the world and make the world miserable for everyone. Best wishes for the new year! Bella (aka, gleaner).

The Solitary Walker said...

You are so right, Bella. And best wishes to you too. Thanks for continuing to visit!