Kakuzo Okakura wrote:
“We have an old saying in Japan that a woman cannot love a man who is truly vain, for there is no crevice in his heart for love to enter and fill up.” *
Often it is said that we must love this or love that, and that giving love is the answer.
That may very well be true; however, what is rarely pointed out is that it is just as important to allow others to love us. Without our acceptance of it, love will fall on hard ground, where it will wither, and die.
Perhaps, it is not so surprising that the root origin of the word, vanity, is from the Latin, vanitas, from vanus, meaning empty, without substance.
Too much attention and too much emphasis on the self is debilitating in unexpected ways. It allows no ground for love to thrive in the world.
*From The Book of Tea, A Japanese Harmony of Art, Culture, and the Simple Life (1906)