We live in a culture of violence. There is no quick and easy way out. And yet there is a path for walking away from it, one step at a time.
Most of us are helplessly entangled in one form of violence or another, as witness, victim, or perpetrator. It could be systemic, inter-personal or internal violence, spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical violence. Because I have become violent, I understand violence from the inside, and now my personal recovery from violence is strengthened by sharing it with others. If I do not work it, if I do not live it and give it away, I lose it. There is no going back. This my challenge to you: if I can be on the path of recovery, you can be also. If we can do it, our entire culture can do it. In fact, we are doing it, a culture of nonviolence and peace is within our reach.
A culture of peace is a culture of collaboration. I know from my own experience that I cannot be self-centered and participate in a collaboration. I must surrender my ego, my vanity and most of all, my distrust. I must acknowledge and release my self-centeredness. This is the key to not only personal recovery but also the cultural recovery from a dependency on control, domination and violence.
The recovery process described in this book didn’t teach me to love directly, it guided me to places of safety where I could let go and get out of my own way. I compare it to a process so soft and gentle it is like the un-balling of a fist or evaporation of water from a dish. That metaphor has become an acronym for me where the letters of L.O.V.E. represent Letting Old Vanity Evaporate. I am talking here about slowly learning to surrender to the present moment, trusting oneself and others. The act of surrender opens the doorway to affection, empathy, compassion and gratitude. This is what I mean by “win.” When I win, when I let go of my own inner limitations, all my relationships win, everybody wins, including my so-called “enemies.”
The title of this book, “Love Always Wins,” is then not a description of how to defeat an enemy or compete for getting what I want out of my relationships -- how to extract the goodies. Nor is it limited to a description of how relationships work at their best when the goodies are shared. It is to me a description of how I evolve, change and grow. As far as I know, there is no other way -- there is no shortcut -- to learning how to love than surrendering to the process, letting go of old self-serving fears, defenses and rigid beliefs, letting go of narcissism. --- David Hazen