It could easily be argued that the greatest power we human beings possess is the power of love.
This is not about defining love romantically, platonically, or the idea of love and being “in love” — no, it’s the notion and the power it has in-and-of-itself.
Love is not some ultimate hard to attain concept. It’s much, much simpler than that.
Love is life.
Simply existing, here and now, is a state of love. It’s the sun on your face, the purr of a cat, the taste of honey, a hug, a nod of acknowledgment. It is our ability to comprehend complex matters beyond the basic and instinctual.
That’s the core of love. At its root that is all it is. The labels that get applied to it turn it into this monster, this overbearing, overarching ideal often far-removed from reality. But that’s not what it is at all. Love is love in whatever form it takes.
Love cannot hurt you
Despite songs and stories to the contrary, love cannot be used to cause harm. It is in-and-of-itself the most positive thing in the Universe. It cannot cause you nor anyone else harm.
But it gets twisted and altered, and people begin to believe this lie.
When a relationship ends, a friend turns on you, or someone you care deeply for dies it is not love that caused the hurt. It’s absence, perhaps — but not love itself. It cannot hurt you. That’s not how it works at all.
Things often associated with love — possession, lust, connection, jealousy, passion, enthusiasm — all of these and the like can be weaponized. Gaslighting, false equivalencies, narcissism, and other matters which can be cloaked as love get wrongly associated as a part of it.
Love is not a weapon. It cannot be employed to cause you nor anyone else harm. However, things that are associated with love — like those above — can be. And because of the often overly-romanticized notions of love — other emotions get mistaken for it.
In its true form, it just cannot hurt you. It is an empowerer, a mode of positivity, the ultimate expression of life itself. No bad can come of it — save in its absence.
Recognizing this opens us all to so much possibility, potential, and a world far less mad than where we are living today.
Hate is not the opposite of love
Hate is an entity in-and-of-itself. It is more than a singular emotion, as hate can be comprised of anger, fear, resentment, jealousy, loss, and tons of other thoughts and emotions.
Hate is not a natural state. It is caused by riling up other emotions, combining them, and creating a visceral reaction. For example, Trump thoroughly enjoys using hate as a weapon to empower himself. The “us versus them” narrative he constantly plays up, as well as his soft and not so subtle support of known hate groups, are evidence of this.
Hate overrides reason because it gets infused with passion and fire — often to the detriment of logic and rationale.
Yet it is not the opposite of love. Then what is? Is it animosity, sorrow, apathy, or indifference? No. There is no true opposite. There is love or it is absent.
How does this work? I don’t know if I can explain this. There are no words that can quantify the root of all life with an explanation. It is beyond reason, logic, belief, and faith. It simply is. Science, religion, nor philosophy can explain it.
But that’s why it is the basis for all of them.
The coexistence of science, religion, and philosophy
There is a place for all these tenets. No one is more powerful than the others, per se. Each has its place because all of them tie into the human life experience.
Science is logic. It is empirical evidence, proof, finding what makes us tick. With science, we gain an understanding of the natural forces of the Universe, what everyone and everything is made of, and how to manipulate this to our advantage.
You most likely live in some form of a house constructed of drywall, sheetrock, plaster, cement, brick, plywood, wiring, and other bits and pieces. Poor or grand, modern homes could not exist had science not been applied to create these materials. Without the logic of science, we’d still live in caves, under fallen trees, or other natural spaces.
Religion is faith. It is seeing powers beyond reason, logic and science, and greater connectivity beyond explanation. It is the expression of the spiritual being in a free and open place to share the experience.
Unfortunately, this has gotten the most twisted. Some religions have developed intolerance, indifference, and veered away from the shared spirituality of faith they started from. Rather than welcome and comfort they shun and injure. Religion and faith should be love — but all you need to do is look at the Westboro Baptist “Church” to see it at its worst.
Philosophy is belief. It is how you see the world and its workings. Philosophy — more than religion — is the search for understanding of why we are here, what we are here to do, and how to do it.
Philosophy believes. That applies to life, the Universe, and everything. It is exploring both inwards and outwards the interconnectivity of everything.
Hence why science, religion, and philosophy can and do coexist.
Other false equivalencies tied in
I have said for a long time that there are three separate tenets of being that all get blended together incorrectly. These are morality, religion, and spirituality.
Often, all of these get associated with religion. But it is entirely possible to be religious but amoral, spiritual but not religious, and moral but not spiritual. And any combination therein.
And it’s entirely possible to ascribe to none of these.
Love exists both in and out of morality, spirituality, and religion. All of these can be expressions of love at its deepest core. But they also can be tied into its absence.
Take the stance of certain religions against homosexuality. They preach intolerance, read into passages in the bible about it being wrong, and strive to deny rights and privileges wholly based on a religious belief.
Also, they tend to tie this right into morality — which can and does exist outside of religion.
That is the absence of love. Refusing to recognize another human being based on faith and/or belief is not love.
Nor does it have anything to do with morality. Those who strive to repeal same-sex marriage and equivalent rights try to take a stance for morality. They claim homosexuality, LGBTQ+ people — and in some instances women — are the cause of all that is wrong in society today.
In every way, this is an utter absence of love. Because love is life, creating a moral stance against the rights of certain people — for no logical reason — is denying love and creates an absence of it.
Being mindful of these and other false equivalencies opens you to find more love in the world at large.
Love is love
If you are a man and love a woman, a woman who loves a woman, a man who loves a man, a non-binary in love with someone transgendered, or whatever — more power to you. That shared sense of being in this aspect of love causes no harm to anyone.
Why do different expressions of love scare people so much? We are a planet with almost 8 billion individual, unique people. Each and every one of us is an expression of love in our very being. Thus, when we choose to share it — through friendship, dating, friends with benefits, marriage, no-strings-attached sex, and whatever else — it is all good.
If you identify as straight and cis-gendered, can you explain to me in any way how homosexuality, transgendered people, bisexuality, and all else harms you? It doesn’t. It can’t. You know why? Because love is love. How you express it, how you are wired to be is as vast and variable as the number of people living today.
We need to stop equating love negatively with morality, spirituality, religion, philosophy, and all else. Love is love, stands wholly on its own because it is the root essence of life. Having it, giving it, sharing it — whatever form that takes — is nothing but good.
Love is the literal and figurative wings that let us fly. When you give more, you get more because it is so much simpler than you realize.
Kindness, empathy, compassion
One of the best ways to get in touch with this notion is to practice kindness, empathy, and compassion.
For yourself first, however. It is all too easy to disrespect yourself, be unkind, unempathetic, and uncompassionate to yourself. We tend to be our harshest critics.
Further, the inundation of messages of lack and scarcity tends to disempower. We are constantly being sold this idea that, since there is not enough of “x, y, or z” to go around — material or immaterial — take what you can and screw the rest of them. Look at how little certain individuals and corporations pay in taxes — compared to what would be fair — and tell me this isn’t the case.
Kindness, empathy, and compassion have been turned into a weakness. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. They are among the things that make us strongest.
Despite being nearly 8 billion individuals — we’re all interconnected. We are all expressions of love on the part of the Universe. This is why kindness, empathy, and compassion are matters of both strength and empowerment. When you give them to yourself you can more readily give them to others.
Kindness, empathy, and compassion are simple expressions of love. They are not a weakness — they are strength and empowerment.
Being empowered and using that to be kind, empathetic, and compassionate empowers others.
This is an abundant Universe. There is more than enough of everything to go around — tangible or intangible. And the root of it ALL is love.
Choose to reject the fear, and accept and embrace the power — the real, unimaginable power — of love. Then the fear and uncertainty of today needn’t be with us tomorrow.
Thank you for reading. I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, and similar life lessons.
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