“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word “love” here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace – not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.”
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
I agree love involves being authentic and vulnerable as only then will people love and accept themselves for who they really are, and others will also have the opportunity to love and appreciate them for their honesty and authenticity. This form of self love and acceptance takes courage, because it seeks to continue learning new things and discovering new ways of looking at self and the universe. As Aristotle’s quote goes, knowing ourselves is the beginning of wisdom. I think we are wise when we know and embrace both the light and dark sides of ourselves, which are seen from a dualistic perspective.
In this sense, love can be said to be a state of being or a state of grace. We cannot but be love because love is our true essence and we do not need to do anything to become or to have acceptance. We can rest in our state of being love. In love, there is no darkness. Light and dark only exists in the dualistic mind. In the mind of oneness, everything in and around us is agape love.
As the quote put it, this continual act of discovering and knowing our true essence of love involves quest and daring and growth. I dare say we grow best and bear fruit when we rest or abide in the Vine, knowing we are already beloved, complete and blameless. We will relish and revel in the knowledge that we are magnificent and within us are infinite possibilities to shine and bless the world with our innate goodness and love.