I was motivated to this post by someone else, in this case my mate Mike Lowery wanting to talk about the importance of diversity in friendships.
As usual my first reaction was a question, what is the definition of Love as if it is “all we need” then there should be a simple definition, right?
Oh dear, from family to food to personal relationships ( add in your personal favourites here) it would seem that Love covers all things to all people. And of course things you love can be things others hate, parents and music springs to mind. So how can we love each other when we don’t share the same, beliefs, cultures, music, religions etc.
My take on Love is that it is simply the absence of fear, after all we attack the things we fear so shouldn’t the opposite hold true. So armed with this belief I would like (with your permission) to take you on a wee journey.
I WAS ALWAYS AN ANGRY PERSON
I was driven to extreme behaviour because of a number of character flaws, I had a huge ego, I was reasonably smart, I was quick with an answer and on occasions I exhibited some psychopathic traits. Altogether quite a useful package when navigating the uncharted waters of growing up. Over a period of time (my life) I began to see that some of theses behaviours were not serving me well, so armed with some new ideas I attempted to change a few, not you realise because they were flaws rather I had begun to dislike the repeated negative outcomes.
Self appointed Guru’s and life coaches would like you to believe that personal change is some sort of spiritual journey to enlightenment (and for some of you it maybe) but for many of us it is as simple as no longer wanting to stick our hands in the fire as we are sick of getting burnt. Sometimes it is because our life literally depends on it and on the rarest of occasions it is because of Love.
And here the waters start to muddy as to do it for the Love of someone else is noble but to do it for the love of yourself is, well kind of self centred, and thats not noble right? So maybe the first step to finding the meaning and therefore the use for Love is to check the behaviours you have that repeatedly return an undesired outcome. There is a great saying in Zen that “what you know to be true the opposite is truer” and so if you tried to do completely the opposite of what you normally do what might be the outcome, this is not in any way as simple as it sounds but from experience it has proven to be wisdom beyond its worth.
My default setting while growing up was to say YES, this was drilled into me by my mother with such logic as “it’s rude to say No” and from a personal perspective in order to get my mothers approval. Armed with this horrific mindset I went forth saying yes to everybody about everything, because I wanted peoples approval and it was polite, right? But really it was just fear and when I learn’t to say No I was freed from that yoke and my whole being was lightened.
LOVE IS SELF CONTROL
And I had taken back a bit of control, the beauty of this was I was now free to spend this as I had lost my fear so I could be generous with my time knowing if I didn’t want to help you I would just say no.
The effect it had on my relationships was interesting as the people who felt free to use me in the past lost their power and drifted out of my life as I had starved them of the bludgers oxygen. In their place came people who valued my new honesty and brought their own values that aligned with mine.
Being allowed to be yourself is being Loved even if at times you piss the people off around you they still trust where you are coming from.
This then allows you to interact with completely different thinkers and people who hold ideas that are sometimes at odds with yours, because nobody feels threatened by your belief as it is about the values you all believe in not the ideas. Values are our real traits these are the things we truly hold dear and most of us get sick and stressed when we are forced to do things that run contrary to them.
These are often hidden really deep in our psych and sometimes at an intellectual level we don’t even know they are there, but no matter the emotional effect on us is still the same. Once you acknowledge them and realign then another great weight gets lifted, and bang you are free to spend that. Once again your empowerment enables you to move in circles that previously you shunned and the moment you do this, enlightenment follows.
And this is where I started with Mike Lowery and his “importance of diversity in friendships” , friends shouldn’t just be people you have a shared history with, but rather people who share similar values. Love is just embracing without fear, judgement is fear and should be avoided.
The world is being driven by increasing fanatical behaviours, we are being forced to take sides in everything from religion to politics to which village we are from to whom we align with in music, sport……well everything in fact. And it takes a brave voice to stand up and speak truth to power, and what holds us back?
FEAR and the moment we can overcome that fear we learn and when we learn we accept and when we accept we trust and when we trust we can Love, and if each and everyone of us loved who we are and encouraged others to do the same that would be a value that would change the world. And if we starved the Egotists, and Fanatics and Misogynists and hate mongers of their oxygen, then indeed.
ALL WE NEED IS LOVE