Love requires the community of lovers. Alone it shrivels and dies. Perhaps some rare saints and perfect beings can love in the absence of love. But I am not a perfect being. Alone, my heart grows heavy then numb. In the community of lovelessness, I become loveless.
Love requires the community of lovers to stay alive in my heart. It needs gurus of love, who exemplify vulnerability, giving without expectation of return, and abundance. I can rely neither on god nor my own efforts to learn the lessons of love.
Much has been given to me by grace and self-discipline, but my heart requires the community of lovers. Truly, love cannot be learned from god nor the inward directed gaze alone. It must be received from your fellow beings, then freely given, without expectation of return.