The Beatles really were on to something, love is all you need. But not necessarily romantic love, the cheesy perfect boy-meets-girl scenario we see in the movies, just the very basic benevolence and compassion and connection that is the core of who we are and why we’re here. Love comes in many forms and from many people in our lives, and when we expand our definition of love, we expand our capacity to receive and see the love in our lives.
I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I can say that from my personal experience, the more love I give, the more it grows, the more I get, the more I see it, the more it blossoms… The more love I have within, the more I am capable of receiving. And when you really think about it, aren’t all the problems plaguing the world — war, greed, corruption, hatred, destruction — really just a lack of love and understanding? If we all truly loved ourselves, and truly loved each other as equals, and embodied that love so that our every action, word, and thought came from a place of love … war, inequality, famine, greed — all of it would be unable to exist. It really is that simple. Or it should be, at least.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
When I tell people that love is my religion, it is this sort of love that I am talking about: the love of having compassion for other beings, seeing that all life is connected and that we are all one. This love is the way of the pure heart: it gives effortlessly and continuously and expects nothing in return. This love is unselfish, nonjudgmental, and always kind. A lovely article I read recently called A Freeing Love describes it quite eloquently:
Love at its very purest state, is an energy, a vibration and a way of being. We come from love and it is love to which we will return. Our earliest impulse is to love and our last fleeting moments will be spent in a state of love. Love cannot be bought or sold. You cannot own love, you cannot acquire or lose it. We cannot look for love in the hope that it will complete us, because we are made of love – it is, at our very essence, who we already are.
Since we are all born knowing how to love, it must be that we simply forget over time as life drags us through the muck of the world. So returning to that state of love requires remembering. I think life is all about remembering how to be love, how to live love, and how to align our lives with love so that we can truly be happy and whole. Once we remember this, we will know that we can’t go out looking for love like it’s something that we’re missing, seeking another person’s love to complete us. Remembering and returning to the source means we are already complete, we are love, and there is nothing we lack. The hard part, of course, is this remembering who we are, this returning to source, this forgetting all of the troubles of the world and just BEING LOVE.
Maybe someday we’ll get there, we’ll remember why we’re here and the world, once full of nothing but love, will heal itself. Until then, all we can do is love ourselves, love others, spread love, be love, and change the world by looking within and changing ourselves first. I know it’s ridiculously optimistic, but I believe it. I believe in LOVE! As the most powerful force on the universe, love will prevail, once we learn how to let it.