What is love? Though love exists to some degree in everything, how many of us can say we know what love really is, let alone claim that we have truly loving people in our lives?
In many ways attempting to know what love is, is like understanding what makes up really nutritious food. There can be some debate, but in general a consensus is getting clearer. In regards to food it is best if it is fresh, organically grown, free of toxins, carefully raised, given plenty of light and nutrients, and appreciated every step of the way. In short it is full of love. And, should the way we enter into and sustain relationships with each other be any different? Is it possible to learn to absorb into our bodies and radiate from them only love?
I’m an idealist who believes it is possible. Yet, as a realist I see all around me what I have previously called ” junk food sex, junk food love, junk food relationships.” What do these look like? They are rapidly formed, quickly consumed, easily disposed of, thoughtlessly digested, and overall increase the likelihood of us becoming “fat” or “insensitive” to our own hearts and the hearts of others. Ultimately, they numb us out, slow us down, and make us sick. Yet, they give us a quick high and a belief for a few minutes (or if we are lucky a few hours), that love might exist as we attempt to ward off the increasing anxiety, depression, sadness, anger, and regret that we have not been loved, or fully loved.
What then is love? Ultimately, I have come to the conclusion that love is sacrfice. Not “spiritual love” is sacrifice. LOVE IS sacrifice. Yet, the notion of sacrifice is something people are increasingly adverse to, which means they are also increasingly adverse to love. Maybe that is why the culture of “having it all” has become so popular, even if it means in the greedy quest to do so we destroy the lives of others, who we care-less-ly run over, take advantage of, pretend we are superior to, or consume.
Which brings me to these words I heard yesterday from the philosopher Krishnamurti. Though the meaning is not new to me, the powerful way they were put together really hit me. He says,”A word like love has become sexual, sensory, sensuous. With it goes pleasure, fear, anxiety, dependence. But love is in no way related to jealousy, pleasure, fear or sorrow. It is total responsibility not only to yourself but to the whole of life.”
Let me say it again.
It is total responsibility not only to yourself but to the whole of life.
Wow! If that is what love may be, then what does this mean? What does it mean to create a world where we are not simply responsible for ourselves, but to the whole of life? Why? Because as loving human beings WE ARE THE WHOLE OF LIFE! Only as that realization enters into every pore of our being, can compassion arise. That compassion, Krishnamurti says, “has the quality of love and great intelligence and that is the only solutuon that will solve all of life’s problems.”
Not self-improvement, not more money, not greater fame, more sex, a greater variety of entertainments. In fact, Krishnamurti states that the more we choose to distract ourselves in these ways the more we are demonstrating to ourselves and others, how little love we experience in our lives. In essence he shares how all conflict arises from our attempts to isolate and separate from each other. The more conflict we have, the more we attempt to compensate for it through the exploitation of one another (sexually, monetarily, for security, status, and so forth).
In fact, he asserts that almost all relationships are based on exploitation. And, he talks about how that exploitation is geared towards using others in the very misguided search to increase our personal happiness. Yet, there is no happiness devoid of the happiness of those around us, because in truth we are interdependent, we are ONE. To want happiness as a separate part from others, is like my little finger wanting all the blood in my body to flow to it alone. The rest of my body doesn’t fare too well if it does that. In fact, the little finger doesn’t do too well either as it kills the rest of the body it depends upon off.
So, ironically, our individualized happiness quest is only creating more and more suffering on the Earth. But, instead of learning to love one another, we increase our exploitation of each other. And, when we don’t get what we want from each other we divert ourselves (through sex, work, drugs, affairs, tv, video games, etc). Yet, all these distractions really don’t solve anything except to briefly numb out the fact that we have become too isolated and disconnected.
So conflicts continue. Why? Because we are void of the presence of love.
How do we know we are in the presence of love with each other, or with ourselves? Krishnamurti says, “Love is only present in relationships when there is deep caring, affection, responsibility for one another.” And, he also says, “As love expands so does our drive to know how to intelligently & compassionately care for and be responsible to the whole of life we are.”
Now, I don’t know how you react when you read this and really let it seep into the depths of your soul, but I will share how I reacted all day long – I wept. Yes, for hours I’ve been crying my eyes out. Or at least I’ve had numerous episodes of mascara running down my face as I kept crying in the car while attempting to do my shopping, run my errands, and while doing my best to hold myself together while talking to my clients.
In many ways weeping is what I am doing now. Why? Because when I really consider how little time we spend to genuinely connect with one another, care deeply for each other, make sacrifices for each other, feel and act responsibly for each other, look into each other’s eyes and validate each other, and take the time to really know, deeply know one another, everywhere I went today it was painfully obvious how little of that human beings are doing.
Think about it. How much of your day is all about you? Your need to make money, run errands, look good, entertain and distract yourself, make yourself “happy” all day long?
Now, how much of it is about others? Go one step further. How much are others making their lives about you? Not in a codependent way, but in a truly loving, caring, and genuine way?
Truly, how many people did you make sacrifices for (and joyfully so) today, this month, this year? How many people make those same joyful sacrifices (of time, attention, caring, affection, real seeing and validation of your inner being) for you?
Thinking about the world we have created, versus the one we could be creating caused me to weep. At a very deep level I felt the grief of how we have built a culture (lives) that only increases seperation and isolation, at the expense of love. Yet, in weeping I also felt hope, a deep hope that we can re-create a culture where happiness is based upon love! To be truly rich, to be truly happy is to have plenty of relationships where you are known and cherished at a deep level, and where you know and cherish others at a deep level as well. When we will on mass wake up to this? In my heart of hearts I hope very soon.
So, for now, I will dry my eyes once more and be grateful that at some level I know as we understand what love really is, we will be able to attract that real love to us more than ever before. Then together we can weep, dry our tears, and stand hand to hand, heart to heart in this realization of Oneness, where we joyfully take responsibility for one another. We joyfully love.
Love and blessings,
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Copyright 2010 by Dr. Lisa Love. All Rights Reserved.
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