This theme of keeps occurring in my life: “Why can’t we all just love one another?” With violence on our streets, rape at our universities, politicians blaming each other, war-torn refugees seeking asylum, children dying and mothers crying, the question is poignant. Why can’t we just love one another?
I, however, have another question: What is a love? The word is thrown around casually by some, violently by others. When the word is used to describe beating a child as “tough love” or a reason for an angry outrage: “I just love you so much I couldn’t stand seeing you with him,” or as a reason for war: “If you love your country you will fight,” it can get confusing.
When in the morning the words are: “I love you,” and in the evening they are: “Shut up” or “You disgust me,” love become a fleeting sentiment. When loving your brother means hating “the man”, then love takes sides. When guilt is used to manipulate as in: “If you loved me you would do this for me,” then love become a weapon. When god loves only those that practice the faith then love become a rulebook. When love turns hateful because you hurt me, then love becomes a landmine.
In order for love to change the world, the word must be bigger than what we have defined it as. For true love has no boundaries, no cage, no box. Love does not take sides or see color. Love does not degrade or evade. Love accepts. Love sees. Love does. Love is.
Love is not an emotion. Love is a state of being. Love is an open door to the truth of life. Love is an oak tree in the wind providing shelter for the weary, holding fast beneath the soil to his brothers and sisters of the forest, calling out cries of distress to warn of attacks, and not running.
Love is bigger than this life so that my body is a small price to pay in the face of a loving existence. Love is the powerful force flowing within me and within you, if we choose to embrace it. Love sees the love within the other, within all life, past the superficial shells that we are encapsulated within. Love comforts and does not wound. Love challenges untruth with compassion. Love is peaceful even in the face of violence.
Love is not blind. Love sees. Love is loyal only to love. Love is not loyal to a flag, or a person or a creed or a faith. Love is bigger than all. Love is patient. Love is kind. Not when it is convenient, when it is the right time or place or person. No, love is patient, love is kind, love does not brag, does not take into account wrongs suffered, but rejoices in the truth, ALWAYS. Love never fails.
Love can truly save us. Love can heal the wounds that we have inflicted, but only if we understand what love truly is. Only if we love with love and not a conditional, cheap version of love that is convenient and fits into a box that is easy to carry around can love change the world.
Love can only save the world if we understand the true nature of love. When we choose love, we choose a force bigger than ourselves. A truth older than time and deeper than the ocean, for love is the all encompassing power of existence. Love will change you, me, us. It will heal our wounds, carry our burdens and change the course of history, if we embrace it.
Today, I choose love.