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Book details
  • SubGenre:New Thought
  • Language:English
  • Pages:164
  • eBook ISBN:9781098385583
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098385576

Learning to Love Later in Life

A Teaching Memoir

by James Richard Krum

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Gaining freedom from conditioned behaviors and mastering new ways of behaving is the storyline of the book. As a "teaching memoir," periodically readers are prompted to " pause, and ponder" how what they are reading relates to their lives. And, at the end, readers are encouraged to create a roadmap to change their own lives. Telling the author's life story, the book is broken into several parts including "Living Among the Dead," "Reflections on My Forty-three Year Marriage" which includes a section on "What It Was Like Being married to Me," and "Finding Love in my Eighties." The roadmap includes sections on understanding what it is to be human and becoming aware of barriers to love. It ends with sections on "The Practice of Love" and putting together the pieces of a puzzle to change one's life.
If you are attracted to the title, you may be divorced as I am and looking for love later in life. In this book I share what I have learned about love which is working in a relationship that began when I was eighty and a beautiful woman, also divorced, walked into my life and stayed. The followed points summarize what Mary Anne and I have learned about love and are practicing in our life together. Rumi: "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find the barriers within yourself that you have built up against it." Love is found at our deepest level of being and flourishes in the present moment. The human egoic mind represents the greatest barrier to love.  Experiencing love ascends beyond the cognitive mind state through a mystical process. Awakening is the Buddhist term for accessing the mystical mind state. Awakening our Buddha nature --pristine multisensory awareness--leads to practicing loving kindness and generosity.   Who we are results from interactions between our DNA and our life experiences, our nature and our nurture.   As humans, we experience a dark side which is the antithesis of love. Simply recognize your demons for what they are, fleeting images from your dark side, and let them fade away.  Don't identify with these negative thoughts and feelings because they are not who you are. Loving relationships have the capacity to heal our wounds. We are all addicted to some substance or belief. Co-dependence is a common addiction in relationships.  Meaningful change results from owning the addiction and making a commitment to overcome it with  the guidance of one's higher power. Our values determine how we use our time and resources with generosity and greed being polar opposites.  The latter is a major barrier to love. Before we can change our values, we must recognize and question them.  Are they ego-centric or benevolent and loving? Because feelings and emotions tend to cause our reactions to events unconsciously, we must become conscious of our unique repressed emotions that create barriers to love. The ability to accept life's many contradictions with serenity is critical to learning to love. The ego-centric mind and the loving heart represent opposites. As it requires a conscious effort and time to understand yourself, a similar conscious effort must be made to know your partner's potential and his/her wounds that your love has the capacity to heal.  A relationship is an organic entity with a life of its own.  If not nurtured, it will die. "Stop.  Look.  Listen," the caution often seen at a railroad crossing, is a good metaphor for loving communication which is critical to creating a loving relationship. Don't criticize, compliment. We live moment to moment. Accepting the reality of each moment and loving it works better than denying it. This does not mean it can't be changed in a future moment. In short, be here now. Creating a sense of oneness, an I-Thou relationship, shrinks the tension of the opposites and evolves over time as trust builds. If you have a desire to change and create a loving relationship, this "teaching memoir" will show you a roadmap which begins by recognizing your true nature and your unique barriers to love. Overcoming these barriers allows you to uncover the loving nature your were born with.
About the author
The second son of an undertaker grew up in an apartment over his parent's business where he had to be quiet. Rather than going into the family business, he became a college professor. However, at eighty-seven the self-control that was part of his programming and resulted in lack of spontaneity remain in his psyche. His childhood wounds became blocks to love that played out in his forty-three year that ended in divorce. Later in life, he learned that he can change. He left his Lutheran heritage behind and became a Buddhist. In his eighties, having a new partner, who is also divorced, they are learning to love together.