To Love Is to Be Happy
by Bruce Di Marsico, 1975
Edited by Debrah Di Marsico
The following lecture was written by Bruce Di Marsico on May 16, 1975. After GROW had closed around 1973, a number of his students asked if they could continue to study with him. He invited them to his home for a study group on Monday nights. It became what we all called “The Monday Night Group.”
This is the group that Mandy Evans refers to in her book Emotional Options where she and Barry Neil Kaufman, and several others joined together to deepen their understand of Bruce’s method and philosophy.
When I met Bruce he invited me into the group and this was my introduction to the Option Method. It was a special, exciting time. The group shared a connection and a kind of synchronicity.
Bruce would contemplate over the weekend what subject he would explore with the group. Sometimes a group member would have had a session with him during the week that would inspire him to create a lecture for the entire group. He often joked that everyone would come to their private sessions with the same issues that week.
This is one of those lectures. He wrote it on a Saturday and shared it with the class on the following Monday. That night we all began to appreciate how strongly our ability to love is connected to our happiness. Once again he tried to help us see that to be ourselves is to be happy and in that joy is love.
To Love Is to Be Happy
To love is to be happy and do what you want.
Be with. Don’t be with.
Smile. Don’t smile.
Be loving. Don’t be loving.
Be affectionate. Don’t be affectionate.
Give or say what you want. Take or ask for what you want.
Do your own thing.
If the one you love gets unhappy, it’s not because you are not loving them enough. Their happiness does not depend on you. If you find you want them to be happy, it is because you want it. It’s not because you are a loving person or feel the need to prove to them that you are loving.
You are loving if you are happy. You will be loving if you are not afraid.
If you are happy with someone in order to be a nice, loving person, then your happiness will depend on them seeing you as loving. Every time you don’t feel particularly loving or giving, you will feel like a failure as a lover. Every time they don’t act loving and they don’t give you what you ask, you will also feel like a failure as a lover.
When you feel like a failure, guilty, ungiving, and unfeeling, you will need to run away. You will be repulsed by your lover and play right into their fear of failure. If you believe you are a failure because you are not able to accept what is offered to you, or because you find that you are not able to get the kind of love you want, you will then be over attracted to your lover, playing right into their fear of failure again.
This kind of view of being a lover is really worth failing at. You only fail to love if you get unhappy. In this kind of relationship you only get unhappy because you believe you failed to love. If you don’t feel or do something that prevents your lover from being unhappy you are not failing to love.
You fail to love if you get unhappy about it.
You fail to love if you are afraid of your lover being unhappy.
If you want evidence that you are a loving person, you will only find it in your happiness. If you are happy, you are loving everyone. When you are happy, you are glad for everyone’s happiness.
A lover is not someone you are more happy with. A lover is someone you are with happily. When you are happy, you will want more things with some people than others. When you are happy, you will want to give to some people more than others. If a lover is different or special, it is because you are both wanting very much together.
With a lover you are glad for everything they do when they are happy. You may find that if you are not so glad, it is because they are not so happy and are not especially doing what they want. You are aware of any fear in them and loss of happiness. You know each other perfectly in the sense that you are as aware of their gladness and happiness as you are of your own. This experience is not because you are afraid of their unhappiness, but because you want them to be happy. You love them and want the gladness you will both have when they are happier. A lover is someone you want to be glad with together.
Lovers are two people who come together to learn how not to be unhappy and who look forward to more gladness together. They come together not to learn how to be loving to someone, but to grow in happiness. You want to see happiness and gladness in them and you want them to see and experience it in you. You want to help each other have more happiness and less fear. The only way to help create this is to be happy yourself and to do what you want. Don’t be unhappy about their unhappiness.
Problems and games set in after one gets unhappy either with themselves or you. They usually experience it as failing to love you and resent your desiring something that they are afraid of failing at. This fear of failing at being loving makes them more concerned with looking loving than being happy. They feel tested by you. They are quick to believe and imagine that they are hurting you by not giving or doing what they believe you want. They don’t realize that no matter what you may have wanted, you certainly didn’t want them to be unhappy.
The games begin if you believe that you have not been loving enough or that you can overcome their unhappiness by being more loving yourself. Then you try to be extra loving, understanding, forgiving, and eager to fix things to show how loving you are. That will turn them off more. You are now both afraid of being unloving. Now you are being loving in order to get them to love you. You feel you simply want them to be happy, but in fact, you are needing them to be happy so that they will show how loving you can be. You even hope to inspire them to be loving. You both want to achieve what is the cause of the problem, lovingness.
Real love is to be happy and to just want them to be happy. You make your choice. Do you want to be happy and love or do you want to be loving instead? The difference is a choice of intention. The behavior may be the same but the motivation is vastly different. Motivated by fear, you will merely be loving your lovingness.
A lover is someone with whom you don’t have to be loving in order to get what you want.
When your lover does not accept what you offer, just let yourself know that you do what you want. Do not be unhappy because it seems that you were wrong. Don’t demand that they take what you offer in order to be nice and loving toward you. Don’t demand acceptance. Don't demand that they be happy. Do not test yourself to see if you are unloving or unhappy.
Unhappy loving is being nice when you don’t really feel like it and doing what you don’t want really want to do. You feel conflicted or split because it is obvious that sometimes unhappy people will want proof of your love. If you are more concerned with appearing loving, you will either do what they want without feeling like it, feeling resentful, or you will be turned off and refuse even if you really want to do it.
Being happy is something you can do for someone, even if they need it as proof of your love, but do it as a conscious choice. If you get unhappy about their unhappiness, your motivations will be unclear. You are always unhappy every time you hold to the belief that you should get love by being loving or that you should return love by feeling loving.
Do not be concerned if your lover is not loving. You can know you are happy and love if you are allowed to say yes or no freely and if your lover is allowed to say yes or no to your offers. You love and are happy if you allow another to say no and realize they do not have to accept your gift.
Our real desire is not to succeed or fail at being lovers or teachers or students or friends, but just to be happy. I do not fail you if you or I fail to be happy. You do not fail me if you or I are unhappy. I can be happy because I can be and want to be. You can be happy because you can be and want to be.
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