We all know that love is a word, a sentiment, a feeling that we most closely associate with loved ones, family, friends and so on. We don’t often use it in a wider context within say our work life or our wider connections.
Some of this could be because we have confined our understanding of love to something quite ‘sentimental’ with a specific range of emotions activated by it – some of course very profound. The love felt for a child or a partner can be complex, deep and in the case of a child often unconditional. We often also associate love with pain, vulnerability and risk.
What if we widened our understanding of love and saw it as more universal in nature. Psychologists and philosophers plus many religious teachers have confirmed how hard it is to define love in real terms but have identified various ‘lenses’ or modalities. For example, companionate love where we experience feelings of trust, respect and caring toward another person, or compassionate love with its altruistic and selfless quality.
At the end of the day, if we are to build a world where love is fundamentally at the core then we surely must broaden our understanding of love and seek to see that love being expressed by others in ways that may not always fit our ‘narrower’ and often selfishly motivated view. Love is about what we are able to give not what we can get. Though in the act of giving we will undoubtedly receive more and there the positive upward spiral begins.
The more widely and diversely we show love – in the form of trust, respect, caring, kindness, compassion and selflessness to reiterate but a few of the many expressions of love, to anyone we meet then we are already strengthening the foundation of our world. Love is an impulse of the heart and if we remove the protections that we build around the heart we will surely find we are infinitely more able to extend love in any and all situations.
Courage is also a quality of the heart and the daring that we need to remove the protections, to open ourselves to the full dimensions of love exists within us if we are willing to go in search of it. So let’s dare to show every person we meet our love – at home, as we work, when we travel, in our personal and professional lives….universally.