Perspectives on the Power of Love focuses on the most powerful force in the universe—love. Love makes us whole. Love connects us with each other. Love brings peace in our hearts and in our world. Love brings joy. Love brings meaning to our lives. And, love can overcome fear.
What's the Problem?
Love can be in short supply when hate, meanness, fear, judgment, and bigotry take over our lives. This kind of power creates division rather than wholeness. This is true when children grow up in loveless families. It’s true when societies divide by race, religion, status, money, and gender. It’s also true within nations and between nations when the quest for power means division rather than wholeness.
The topic of love can also be treated with the same old platitudes, expressed with the same old trite clichés, such as:
- all you need is love
- love is blind
- love conquers all
- love is the answer
- love heals all wounds
Such statements are easy enough to say, but they really don't mean much. When the Beatles sang that “all you need is love,” they weren’t trying to address all of the problems of human life. Love isn't enough to put a roof over your head and food on the table. After all, a song really is just a song.
Clichéd statements without regard for contexts and lived realities are not at all helpful for vulnerable children and adults who feel unsafe, unwanted, unloved, and helpless. Vulnerable people need to be allowed to tell the truth about their lives without hearing stale platitudes such as, “All parents love their children and want the best for them.” If you felt—or feel—unsafe, unwanted, unloved, and helpless as a child or adult, how much of that legacy still rules your life?
The Life-Changing Question
How could your life change if you choose to live your life from the perspective of extending your love rather than from the perspective of being unsafe, unwanted, unloved, and helpless?
The words of Marianne Williamson in the quotation at the top of the post go beyond what happened to you in the past to focus on the present.
These words by Stephen King get to the essence of what it means to express truth rather than platitudes.
The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.
Taken together, these two statements get to the essence of my own intention for posts about the power of love. My purpose is to go beyond the assumptions and platitudes about love that silenced you in the past and continue to silence you in the present.
The life-changing question is: How can you can extend your love in the present?
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