how to love

Love is food but fast food ain't Love (Why making a delicious pizza can teach us one or two things about Love)

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I am a southern Italian girl from a small city who became a linguist and traveled the world. I am also a strict food connoisseur, and a gourmet chef, but when I am really hungry my roots don’t lie and all I want is a delicious, juicy, hot pizza! So I will use pizza to illustrate my point, but you can replace pizza with your favorite dish and apply the same principles.

Before we get started with my Pizza/Love recipe, let me explain why I wrote this recipe in the first place (aside from the fact that it was my answer to a Quora question).

  • I believe that Love is the "Main Dish" and true food for our soul (everything else in life is a side dish).

  • Without feeling love in our hearts our souls starve, leaving us at great risk of hurting ourselves and others with destructive behaviors.

  • Our need for food is undeniably an indispensable necessity, as we die without it. In the same way our unmet emotional needs cause much of our suffering and troubles in life.

Inspired and excited about this concept, I have created my “Recipes for Life, Love & Happiness”. I share these recipes both in speaking and writing. (To book a speaking event with me contact me here).

Here we go:

  • If I were to make pizza to satisfy my hunger and delight my taste buds I would start with some flour, water, yeast, and salt for the crust. I would knead it (or put in my bread maker) and wait for it to rise.

  • While I am waiting, I would prepare a simple uncooked tomato sauce from scratch using crushed or pureed tomatoes, some fresh basil and garlic, a bit of oregano, olive oil, and salt.

  • I would then set aside some yummy mozzarella and all my favorite toppings. (I always make at least two versions, but the no-cheese "napoletana" style is actually my all time favorite).

  • Next, I would stretch the fluffy dough into a perfect crust, top it as I wish and place it in the oven to bake.

  • Once cooked to perfection, I would finally dive into this succulent delicacy and absolutely delight myself in every single morsel until I’m fully satisfied!

At this point you might think “what in the world does pizza have to do with love?”

Well, it randomly dawned on me (not sure why or how) that, as crazy as it sounds — Love isn't far from pizza indeed!

And here is why:

  • Pizza satisfies my physical hunger—Love satisfies my soul’s hunger.

  • I am in charge of how much effort I make and the quality of the ingredients I put in my pizza to make it as delicious as I want it to be.

  • It takes time, quality, patience, and a lot of hard work.

The most important part of making my pizza yummy and satisfying is knowing exactly how I want it to taste before I start making it. 

This applies for anything you cook or prepare — as well as for anything in life.

True Love, like homemade real pizza, doesn’t come out of a box instantly ready.

If you want it to be flavorful and nutritious YOU have to make it that way.

If you want it to taste the way you like it, YOU have to make it that way.

Finally, and most importantly, you have to be patient for your ingredients and your efforts to produce the results you want. Patience is queen of all successful endevours, without trusting that time will produce the results you want you cannot build anything, let alone a successful and happy relationship!)

Recipe for a delicious and fulfilling relationship:

  • Commit to being the initiator of kindness at any opportunity.

  • Start with a smile, add a kind and encouraging word.

  • Serve in some way that doesn’t serve you back, in other words give without the expectation of receiving in return.

  • When you feel sadness, or pain inside, do not hide or pretend you’re ok. Fear of embarassment and rejection isolates us from our loved ones and the world around us. So be authentic and vulnerable. This is not easy, but by sharing how you really feel you open the door for your partner, friend, or family member to share themselves safely with you. Vulnerability requires courage but while it makes you feel temporarily weak, it is powerful to overcomes anything, because it builds trust. It is the lifeblood of all relationships, so don't wait to share your true self.

  • If someone hurts you, acknowledge how it felt, but focus on what could possibly be going on with THEM, rather than how they made you feel. This will help you forgive them and heal quickly. (For more on how to resolve conflict and misunderstanding with your loved ones, I offer private coaching — contact me here.)

Love is not the beginning of our actions, quite on the contrary it is the end result of how we choose to think and act, as if we wait to "feel"  love in order to act lovingly, we might never taste true Love. 

Love, our delicious, precious, nourishing, and satisfying soul food isn’t fast food. It requires time, patience and hard work, but the more we feast on true Love, (not personal agenda, self/reward-seeking type of love) — the more this true Love grows not only inside, but also around us, and the healthier and happier we become.

This is how we stop surviving and start thriving in life.

To close, here is a quote from my mom (who was an incredible cook): "Più ce ne metti più ce ne trovi!"

What she meant is that — the more and the better ingredients you put in the food you make — the better it will taste when you eat it.

I have eventually learned (the hard way) that my mom was right, and that that simple, good-old-kitchen wisdom was a powerful universal truth.

So, just as with pizza, if YOU put good stuff in your relationships, instead of waiting for the good stuff to come to you from the other person, YOU will see your relationships grow and become more and more delightful with time.

P.S. If you enjoyed this recipe please don’t hesitate to try it and share it with a friend!