âExcept that we liked,â writes Mary Oliver, âall the news comes as from a distant land.
We can only know what we liked, in other words. The meaning of this – that without the act of opening we know nothing – is transcendent and true.
Love is then seen as a path to the sacred, the one true thing that we can all come to terms with, when we can’t agree on much else.
Since ancient times, philosophers have suggested that love is an elemental force of nature, like gravity or electromagnetism. The power that animates the stars, they say, is the same force that compels the human heart. John Dewey, inventor of the Dewey decimal system, said it in the 1880s:
Spiritual life [gets] its surest and most sufficient guarantees when one learns that the laws and conditions of righteousness are involved in the working processes of the universe; when we see that man in his conscious struggles, in his doubts, his temptations and his defeats, in his aspirations and his successes, is pushed and supported by the forces which have developed nature.
When we see ourselves through this cosmic lens, like relics of nature obeying harmonious laws, something radiates inside the brain. The eye of the heart is illuminated.
As Saint ExupÃ©ry reminds us: âIt is with the heart that we see well. What is essential is invisible to the eyes. “
Knowing that love is a force of nature, infinitely greater than the little self, we see that heart-to-heart electrical resonance is the very pulse of what makes us human.
We are humbled before this higher power, capable of channeling love but not of creating it, of cultivating love without being able to kill it. If you block the growth of love in your life, it just finds another way to get where it’s going. Love is never hurt, but we are. We constantly suffer from his absence. âThe love you hold is the pain you carry,â as Emerson knew. We lose everything when we close our hearts
Love is a verb not a noun, after all. It is recognized through its evidence, its empirical impacts on our life and the way it changes us. These impacts include:
Tenderness, which softens the heart and makes us permeable, connectable, available, empathetic, intimate
Transparency, because love needs truth to be real. “The truth is more beautiful than the affectation of love,” Emerson reminds us. Love has nothing to hide and there is no point in pretending.
The desire for love is to share; its nature is to bind, to join, to unify. The root of the word yoga is harness together. The action of love is attraction.
Love does not to blame or victimize. It makes us vulnerable without making us victims. It’s not tit for tat or transactional; love is not withheld when it is not reciprocal. It just changes shape, changes channels, finds a more suitable vehicle.
Love wears no expectations. Expectations are always related to the future and love is only and always in the present. Of course, relationships cannot survive without plans, but these have more to do with administration, logistics, practicality, than with love itself. Think of relationship as a mode of transportation and love as the essence. Both are necessary but they are not the same.
To like don’t try to own. It is a complex area because possessiveness has its roots in biology. We are programmed to hold on to things (including people) for our survival, but love has little to do with it. You don’t like food that keeps you alive no matter how much you need it. You cannot love with your survival instinct.
Love provides a lot of space, which only happens when we stop trying to own others. The nature of love is expansion, not contraction. As Rilke said, “Love consists of this: two solitudes that meet, protect and greet each other.”
To like frees, he does not bind. She leans towards freedom and renounces confinement, allowing the other to be herself, to grow, to change, to change direction; follow what is true in its nature. The love that seems to bind is not love. They are the shadows of love: jealousy, fear, insecurity, control, aggressiveness, narcissism. Confusing the shadows of love with love itself is a path to destruction.
Love is beyond reason. Even though we must apply rational thinking to the choices we make in love, love itself transcends rationalization. Reason applies to what we can analyze with the mind, including our own behavior; it does not apply to the sanctity of affections of the heart, which arise and disappear of themselves. “The heart has its reasons which reason ignores,” said Pascal. Just try to talk to yourself about love, or because of it, if you don’t believe it.
To like transcends form. The battery is not electricity. The form of the relationship is not love. They are related but not equivalent. Love also transcends fear because its nature is to be uncontrollable.
To like understands and accepts differences. He knows that relationships are deepened and enriched by diversity. There’s a reason opposites attract. Love wants balance, not cloning, and leads to feelings of integrity. Our crisis of belonging, in which many feel fragmented, disconnected, cut off, is nothing less than a crisis of love.
Love makes you feel good, not bad. He uplifts and blesses what he touches. It heals divisions, gives meaning, reminds us that we are already whole.
Finally love finds meaning in action. If we are not changed by love, it is not real. If loving does not alter the way we treat others, ourselves and the planet, if it does not reveal the web between us, the electric charge at the heart of things, the need to row together, the hard part of heart that resists connection and must be melted by exposure – this is not love.
We need to open up, push our limits and integrate the natural power of love into a new way of living. See love in its elemental greatness. The French paleontologist-priest Teilhard de Chardin beautifully expressed this:
One day, after having mastered the winds, waves, tides and gravity, we will harness the energies of love for God, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire. .
It could be a new start.