Ask me a question. Any question. Whatever the question, the answer is Love.
Forgive me if that sounds simplistic, or even downright New Agey. Twenty years ago, if you'd asked me to say the answer to everything is love I'd have smiled semi-politely and rolled my eyes vigorously in both directions. My life's journey had taught me to be cynical about love and I certainly didn't trust it. Well, not the romantic variety at least. But I was young and naive and didn't yet know the truth about love.
Granted, looking at ground zero of the world today, it certainly doesn't look like love is the answer. Love won't make the mortgage payment or keep the bank from foreclosing on your home. Love won't make losing your job any easier and the last time I checked, no matter how much you might love your utility company, it won't keep the lights on and the house warm if you don't pay the bill.
What's love got to do with helping to keep you afloat if your life is crumbling, or find another job if you've lost yours? Is love still relevant in today's troubled world?
We'll get back to this in a moment. But before we travel this road any further, what exactly are we talking about when we talk about love? Or as the song says, "What is this crazy thing called love?"
Having asked this question of myself, I immediately consulted that great oracle of information we wonder how we ever lived without: Google. Not much clarity there; only 1,420,000,000 pages (that's 1 billion 420 million pages) devoted to the subject. No wonder we're all so confused! So many opinions and points of view! So much certainty; so much mystery. It seems none of us knows precisely what love is. That leaves lots of room for us mere mortals to try to define the undefinable.
It's taken me a lifetime to come to my own understanding about this subject. I grew up thinking love was a special feeling that applied only to certain special people and some very special things, like chocolate for example. Or husbands, wives, children, parents, friends and pets. You get the idea.
But love defined as a feeling doesn't quite work for me. Sometimes I don't always feel the love for the things or people I love. And in those times, I don't question its presence, I accept it as a truth that needs no demonstration.
Still other times in my life, whatever I thought was love at the time, no longer felt the same. My feelings changed and the experience of love was gone. That's the nature feelings. They're transient. They come and go. So if love is a feeling, it's way too fickle for me to trust it enough to put a stake in the ground and proclaim it as truth. Feelings can change like the weather. Surely, if love is this great thing, worthy of over 1 billion Google pages, it has to be more substantial than clouds passing through the sky.
Or does it? Maybe that's exactly what love is ... clouds passing through the sky. Or the sky itself. Or the universe that holds the sky. Or what holds the universe in place. Now this is beginning to feel more like it. Love has got to be something pretty damned spectacular to be the inspiration of billions of songs and poems and the primary subject of the world's oldest and greatest teachings.
As I approach another birthday next week, with the numbers mounting up and beginning to look downright scary, I wonder what I've learned about love up until now. Surely someone who's lived as long as I have must have a more mature perspective about love than what we read on a Hallmark card or see on The Bachelor. (May I digress for one sentence and just ask: is this not the lamest Bachelor season ever? Talk about an immature idea of what love is! OK, that was two sentences.)
Here's what I've come with up so far. I'd love to hear your thoughts and insights too.
Love is more than something we feel or something we do. Love is what we are. Love is who we are. Capital "L" Love does not come and go. It is a constant. It is eternal. It is the stuff of what we and the rest of the universe are made.
Love doesn't turn its back on us, it is we who do the turning away. Love never questions us. It is we who doubt love. We think we seek love, but it is Love that is seeking us. Love needs and uses us to be its expression, although sleeping babies, puppies, flowers and waterfalls can get the job done pretty well too.
The opposite of love is not hate; it is fear. So the next time you feel afraid, ask yourself "What would Love do now?" Seriously! Try it and see how your outlook changes. That question alone has gotten me through some pretty challenging moments.
Dr. David Hawkins, MD, Ph.D., researcher and psychiatrist, author of Power Vs. Force: An Anatomy of Consciousness, developed a method to quantify states of consciousness and measure the vibration of each state. Dr. Hawkins defines Love as a state of consciousness that on a calibration scale of 1-1000, vibrates at a 500 level. According to Hawkin's research in this area, the average vibration of the collective at this moment in our history is 207, the level where integrity is just beginning to advance. Only four percent of the world's population vibrates at a 500. Must be those sleeping babies, since the rest of us seem considerably "off" in this regard.
Here's a five minute course on Love based on Hawkins' work:
So what's love got to do with it? Nothing less than everything. If only four percent of the world is vibrating at a 500 level, it seems the greatest gift any of us could give is to elevate ourselves beyond the influence that dominates the lower vibrations of shame, guilt, blame, anger, and fear and to become the purring cat and the dog with the wagging tail.
To all lovers everywhere; lovers of life and all it embodies, celebrate Love this Valentine's day and beyond, and know Love is who you are. Go ahead and wag your tail and purr a bit louder. You might just infect the people around you and we'll all end up looking like the Na'vi people of Pandora. Now wouldn't be so bad, would it? I think they were on to something ...
Does Love need you as much as you might think you need it? Drop by the comment section and let us know what you think about love. We might even add a few more Google pages!
And while you're at it, why not Become A Fan and help spread the love by sharing on your favorite social networking sites. You can also pay a visit to my personal blog and website at Rx For The Soul.
I'm happy to receive your personal messages of love at judith(at)judithrich(dot)com.