Love, experienced thus, is a constant challenge; it is not a resting place, but a moving, growing, working together; even whether there is harmony or conflict; joy or sadness, is secondary to the fundamental fact that two people experience themselves from the essence of their existence, that they are only one with each other by being one with themselves, rather than by fleeing from themselves.
Also in contemporary Western society the union with the group is the prevalent way of overcoming separateness. It is a union which the individual self disappears to a large extent, and where the aim is to belong to the heard. If I am like everybody else, if I have no feeling or thoughts which make me different, if I conform in custom, dress, ideas, to the pattern of the group, I am saved: saved from the frightening experience of aloneness.
Infantile love follows the principle: "I love because I am loved." Mature love follows the principle: "I am loved because I love." Immature love says: "I love you because I need you." Mature love says: "I need you because I love you.
Love is an active power in man; a power which breaks through the walls which separate man from his fellow men, which unite him with others; love makes him overcome the sense of isolation and separateness, yet it permits him to be himself, to retain his integrity.
Love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person. Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.
If you love yourself, you love everybody else as you do yourself. As long as you love another person less than yourself, you will not succeed in loving yourself, but if you love all alike, including yourself, you will love them as one person and that person is both God and man. Thus he is the great righteous person who, loving himself, loves all others equally.