In Be More, there are three chapters on love. To some, that might seem excessive. But I have a lot to say on love! Love takes a million different forms, and it transforming ability is nearly unsurpassed. It is a universal principal of religions and spiritual traditions. And quite honestly, the world needs more love.
Love is described beautifully in those texts. Love is patience, love is kindness. God is Love. Supreme unification is Love. Some, like Budhism, describe different types of love, from sensuous love to compassionate love, benevolent love, and self-less love. There are also descriptions of Divine love and unification.
We’ll touch on all of that more, but first, in this holiday season, let’s talk about love. It is a supreme gift and blessing – both for the giver and for the receiver. Here is an excerpt from the first chapter on love: The Answer to Love, is to Love More:
“Love is the sweet expression of life; it is the supreme content of life.
Love is the force of life, powerful and sublime.
The flower of life blooms in love and radiates love all around it.”
~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
The flower of life blooms, and when it blooms, it radiates love all around. Love is the force of life. What an incredible power is love! Love is both a path and a goal. Whenever you are loving, you bring justice to life.
Love is not just an emotion. Love is honored when it makes something right. With loving, life is honored; and the lives of those being loved improve.
The single ability I am most grateful for is the ability to love. Love makes hard moments beautiful and tender moments divine. Love bridges gaps and gulfs too wide to span and creates unity. Every expression of love at every moment of life expresses the most significant, valuable essence of the life of a human being.
While it can come naturally, love can also be cultivated and will grow. I’m not talking only about romantic love, although love certainly encompasses romance. This encompasses all types of love: love of friends and family, of the world, of the divine, and of life.
I first noticed the ability to keep loving when I was young. I cared so much about what happened to others in my small town. Of course, small towns are ripe with gossip, and ours was no exception, but I was not just joining the gossip mill. I felt like a silent cheerleader wishing for the success of my classmates, my teachers, my friends, and even other students in school that I didn’t know.
I want them to achieve all they dreamed to be and more. I am so happy when I hear of their successes, their happiness, and their progress. Perhaps some will say this is strange. But I realized long ago that I will always care about the people I hold dear, no matter how our paths diverge.
From a distance, I’m celebrating the middle-school best friend who is now happily married and a well-known sommelier at a Michelin-starred restaurant. I’m rooting for the now tri-lingual, high-powered NYC lawyer who used to be in my gymnastics class and was one of the kindest people I knew. There are many others with so many accolades that it would be difficult to list here. But even as decades pass, the care doesn’t fade. I am wishing and rooting for the success of people whose paths I crossed on the journey of life. But most of all, I am wishing for their happiness and peace.
In the age of social media, we can usually discover what the people who are no longer directly a part of our lives are doing, or at least see a snapshot of their highlight reels. Many see that as a rabbit hole of comparison or jealousy, giving rise to feelings of inadequacy. I choose to love the people I am connected with and wish them well. That simple, daily act of loving frees the soul to love more.
Different Currents of Love
We can talk about different types of love based on connection, from acquaintances to friends, romantic partners, and even to love of the divine directly. The answer to all types of love is the same: love more.
What is described above is the first kind of love: the choice to love everyone in your life, however distantly they are still connected, regardless of their behavior toward you. Just that simple act is liberating. It frees you from the trap of comparison and brings simple joy with each new accomplishment. It might not appear like a life-altering choice, but it starts to change your perspective on others and on life.
There is a second kind of love that is more challenging: it is the choice to love those who have consciously hurt you. It is more difficult to genuinely rise to love after being hurt. This is real power and takes a pure heart. We’ve all been hurt, and unfortunately, in most cases, we’ve all also hurt someone, either intentionally or unintentionally. The act of loving those who’ve hurt you is in this way also an act of love to yourself.
It feels good to be kind to someone, even when it is unfair. This act of love takes constant cultivation. There is an ancient Tibetan saying that to hold onto a grudge is like swallowing poison and expecting it to hurt the other person. The only person who is hurt by being angry, upset, or holding a grudge is you. By choosing to love, you set yourself free.
Let go and love. Live life with love. Stop presuming you are the judge or the jury and just be in love. It costs nothing—and yet it means everything. The door is open; let your heart be open to the gift of life and love.
To finding and living more love each day,