Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Energy of Love

Love. It is something every person has an opinion about. If we don’t think we have it, we want it desperately; if we think we have it, we want to hold onto it just as desperately. The way we think and feel about love is directly connected to how we think about ourselves and about others. Love is an energy, a state of mind; it is a conduit of interaction. The idea of love can also be as a dream, an illusion and a trap.

When we think about love as an energy or state of mind, remember the feeling felt around certain people. This person can be a mother or father, a husband, a wife, a partner, a dear friend, a teacher, a leader of a church. Not all of the people that hold these roles have an atmosphere of love around them. However, if you can remember even one such person, you’ve felt the atmosphere of love. People that embody the energy of love warm and brighten any room. We can actually feel their presence. That presence is full of love and awareness.

Each of us can provide an atmosphere of love, regardless of being in a relationship or not. This is accomplished through deepening and broadening awareness. When a person attempts understanding of everyone they meet, when someone finds compassion for anyone and everyone, when we find patience in every situation, we’re creating an atmosphere of love. Love is tangible, and it really can affect situations, conditions and others.

Love begins with an understanding, compassion and patience for oneself that begins to expand to those closest in our life. Often, we don’t have enough love for our self. We don’t use our minds to understand our condition. If we did, we’d generate compassion and patience immediately upon understanding. Through this process we begin to see our lives as more workable. We see how we can directly impact our lives right here and right now. We’re generating love for ourselves.

Once that becomes comfortable and even commonplace, we begin to expand this feeling of love to those that are in our daily lives. Next, we can explore having that state of mind about people, wherever they are. Finally, we can begin to find understanding, compassion and patience for those we disagree with, even people that have perpetrated the worst acts against us and others. If this seems too much to consider, it is understandable. Start with yourself, and expand when able.  

Creating an atmosphere of love and awareness is critical. It is different from the love found in relationships. That kind of love is a conduit of interaction. Usually, we consider the conduit as a two-way street. However, this limits and undermines actual love. Certainly, within a perfect relationship undergoing perfect circumstances, the conduit of interaction is two-way, but this is very limited in the scope of the human condition. That human condition is one of impermanence, one of suffering, one of imperfection. Therefore, if we want to be realistic about love, we must broaden and deepen our understanding of it.

We can love someone who is undergoing surgery. While that person is under anesthesia, the conduit is absolutely one way. A person could actually be comatose, and you still love this person with all of your heart. The conduit in both of these situations is one way. If a person is undergoing acute pain and suffering, it can affect the ability to love and to have awareness. Pain and suffering can affect every aspect of our life.

When we love anyone, we must keep this in mind. We do this by maintaining active understanding, patience and compassion for those we love. This doesn’t mean we just stand by; it means we become more engaged. We must be deeply engaged in the lives of those we love. Sometimes, that engagement is one of just being there; other times, engagement is much more interactive. The only avenue toward better discernment of what to do is maintaining understanding, patience and compassion.

We must have these for those we love. None of us always do the best thing; none of us know all the effects and results that emanate from what we do and don’t do. All of us deserve compassion; all of us deserve patience and understanding. This is what love is. It isn’t about us, it’s about others. Love is about the well-being of another or all others; it is not just about ourselves.

Love is a genuine, sincere wish for well-being; it is the desire to understand and therefore have patience. The genuine wish that the object of love be free of pain, free of suffering, to experience happiness, to experience joy. Love is the willingness to do anything to achieve those ends. If our supposed love is about only our own well-being, we don’t know love.

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