The Power of Love

In Christmas, Compassion, Joy, Love, spirit on December 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Being Christmas and all, feelings of goodwill and cheer tend to multiply at this time of year. As time heads towards the close of another year, more often than not, it tends to lead to a period of reflection on the months passed by and the months up ahead.

Things that would be good to change. Aspirations and actions we hope will nudge us towards a different or even better experience, even if life is pretty good.  Some of those goals will be material – improvements in work, more cash in the bank, that new car or home, a better/fitter body. Some goals might be emotional -better relationships with family and friends, contentment from pursuing dreams,  inner balance and greater peace from being happy with yourself, or reconciliation with the past and practicing optimism for the future.

Goals do matter, because they give a sense of direction. Something that can anchor the cycles of life, when things are up as well as down in the dumps. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the content of a goal is of real value to life or nourishing. One of my favourite Xmas songs is ‘The Power of Love’ by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Aside from the kitsch, low-budget music video, the music is stirring and the lyrics really beautiful.  They hint at the profound nature of Love. And it is Love’s profound nature makes Love powerful. From a religious point of view, the Christmas story of the Nativity and all that follows is meant to be symbolic of a deep Love. But, whether one believes in the veracity of that story or not, doesn’t matter, nor is the point. Love isn’t the preserve of a religion, and there is no better kind of Love or experience of Love available to anyone just because someone belongs to a religion. Love doesn’t understand privilege, isn’t exclusive to some and doesn’t wait on ritual or superstitions.

Daily life offers plenty of opportunities to experience Love.  From the mundane, to unexpected events arriving at your doorstep, people arriving and leaving your life, or from doing something of value for another person – whether  it is or on the other side of the planet. The ‘power of Love’ is an experience there for everybody, as is Love’s ‘reward.’ The power of Love inspires and rouse. It overcomes difficulties and struggles. Love is powerful when it is lived properly, precisely because it draws out something of the true essence of our nature, the very best inside a person. Because Love is closer to the truth and all that is the best of us – “the better angels of our nature” – it has the ability to transform, against the odds, not only yourself, but others, by the beauty of what it reveals.

 “Make Love your goal”

But, Love isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to make as a major goal of Life. It can require a huge mental and emotional effort, more so if you are striving to be kinder and more loving to yourself, let alone anyone else. The notion that Love is blissful is glib. The eventual benefit of demonstrating Love to you and others, is perhaps when the experience of your life is feeling more balanced, less insecure and more accepting of  human nature. More unity inside and less division. But, it can be a hell of an effort to get to that place:

“The power of love, a force from above, cleaning my soul…Flame on burn desire

Love with tongues of fire. Purge the soul. Make love your goal.”

However, since its ‘hell’ being all over the place emotionally, why remain in that space if Love offers a clear way out – eventually.

Not only that, allowing yourself to experience Love, to live and walk with Love, brings other kinds of benefits. Realising how compassionate you can be, when once there was anger. Or, from diving deep inside to practice Love and finding out that you’ve more mental and emotional strength that you thought was the case. A boon to yourself and others. Less stress, more balance and a happier and lighter nature. Love is a great goal and great goals require great commitment if they are to actually happen. Great goals also can bring out the best in yourself. But, how do you make Love your goal? Everyone has their own idea of what Love is, but I think there are simple and easy ways to embed an attitude of Love in life every day, if you bother to look around hard enough. For example:

  • A kind word of genuine praise can go a long way. Make the effort.
  • Refraining from bitching and excessive gossip can put the brakes on encouraging others to have a negative an inaccurate opinion of someone else. Try not to do it.
  • First impressions don’t count. Being judgemental when there is no reason to be so, already limits your ability to get to know someone. Find strength in yourself by demonstrating Love, rather than searching for insecurities and things to knock someone else down with. Remember, you don’t really know anything about a person inner ups and down, how they’ve experienced life so far, so don’t pretend you do.
  • Doing something for others, rather than just yourself reminds you that you are not the only important person in the world. Giving, instead of taking can open up the channels of Love.
  • Compassion is the catalyst for Love. It includes all of the above, as well as recognising that sometimes you might have to go that extra mile or two or three, or four, for another person. You might have to ‘carry’ someone on your back, lift them up and help them out, even when its the last thing you might feel motivated to do yourself, especially when you feel down in the dumps yourself:

“I’ll protect you from the hooded claw. Keep the vampires from your door. When the chips are down I’ll be around. With my undying, death-defying Love for you.”

No one is hopeless. And Love can certainly be found in the most allegedly hopeless of people and places.

“Love is the light, scaring darkness away.”

When you draw out the best in yourself through Love, it uncovers great things about you. Love, and practicing Love, encourages feelings that are healthy and nourishing rather than debilitating and destabilising.

Confidence in yourself. Acceptance of others and their foibles, or worse. Conviction and certainty that a better way is to stand in Love, rather than live in Fear. Joy helps you to stand tall not crouched down low on your knees with the burdens and anxieties of insecurities about yourself and other people, or things that have occurred or things that haven’t even taken place. Less anxiety and more trust in yourself and Life. Love helps you to be firm on your feet, to rise up, stretch up and look over the blindness of the dark into the light of the dawn, into a clearer perspective:

“Envy will hurt itself, let yourself be beautiful…”

Oh, it can be hard, but so worth striving for over the rough hills of doubt, where paths are not clear, the struggle inside can be draining, and the way confusing, because eventually, if you keep practicing and edging forward, you’ll arrive at a better place, because you’ll get used to seeing the loveliness about yourself and other people, as easy as breathing air.

“Love is danger, love is pleasure, Love is pure, the only treasure.”

It is that loveliness and joy that chases away all that is you think is not good about yourself or others, because that isn’t based on truth, but a fantasy. And because Love, like anything else in the world is “an energy” you are able to have a lot of say about whether you envelop yourself in an attitude of Love or not, every single day. You’re not powerless. Love is a state of mind that you can choose to make your own.


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