It is sometimes said that there is a thin line between love and hate. Both are powerful, strongly felt emotions – you’d think might not have much else in common. Yet, it is not uncommon for people to come to love who or what they once hated or to hate who or what they once loved.
The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference, apathy, and fear! In most ways, anything that is NOT love is a “call” (and need) for it. Yet, where and when there is fear (or hate), it often seems as if there is no room for love – no matter how much it may be needed (or desired).
Many people say they want more love in their life – and yet seem afraid to either express or experience it with others. Their FEAR makes them Forget Everything And Run! LOVE allows Lots Of Vulnerability Expressed – even in the presence of HATE (where the person still Has Anger To Experience).
Anger is emotional pain experienced in the past – held and brought forward into the present. Fear is the anticipation of physical or emotional pain in the future – brought into and experienced in the present. Emotional pain in the present is usually felt as sadness. Chronic sadness often results in (and is referred to as) “depression”. Depression can be debilitating; tears usually are not – yet many people are afraid to cry (and release their pain).
Pain is a protective signal from the body (or brain) to pay attention and prevent (further) injury or harm. Somewhere between 80-90% of most physical pain is emotional in nature. Pain is usually the result of resistance – or non-acceptance – of what is (in the present). The present is a gift – in that each moment is an opportunity to begin again (and experience something new and better). The subconscious mind and emotions may often seem to have an agenda of their own (out of our conscious control), but awareness and intentions allow us to choose our experiences, how they are interpreted, and expressed within ourselves and to others.
Those who promote and perpetuate (public) fear are called “terrorists”. Declaring “war” on “terror” will not make anyone feel “safer” or more “secure”. In fact, just the opposite is likely.
Given a choice, choose love!
One of the deepest human desires is to be seen (and appreciated) for who we are – and yet most people seem afraid of just that. They feel “raw and exposed” – and do not realize that they usually are most beautiful and desirable when they are most vulnerable.
Although it does not always seem like it, most human behavior (including traveling the path to “HELL” – where someone Has Even “Lost” Love) originates with positive intentions. People usually do what they feel is safest and most survivable.
What the world needs now is NOT necessarily love, but kindness – not only toward others but also toward ourselves. Most people are familiar with the Biblical “command” to love others as oneself. What people seem to miss is that also means loving themselves as they love others. No more. No less. It is NOT cruel to be kind – especially to oneself.
The ancient Jewish Rabbi Hillel is famous for asking, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I?” An equally, if not more, powerful question than “WHO or WHAT am I” is “WHEN am I?” Are you present – or projecting perceptions of the past or future?
It is in the present that peace (especially of mind) is experienced. Practice does not make perfect – but it can make permanent. Many professions are said to be practices. So are many a ritual – hoping to become habitual. Practice what you preach. Walk your talk. Quality of life is largely a result of what we do (most) on a regular basis.
Happiness, contentment, satisfaction, and fulfillment are not destinations or goals to strive for, but “places” or pre-existing states to tap into and come from – regardless of external circumstances.
Love is sometimes confused with lust, longing, and/or infatuation – but love often actually has less to with what we feel (we want) than simply sensing, caring about, and/or desiring what is best (and in the highest good) for someone – even when we do not seem to be included. Love is not something to fall into or out of, but something develops and grows – with vulnerability, intimacy, and acceptance (of both ourselves and others). Perhaps love is not some thing (that we make – in or out of bed) at all – but just an expression of what we (and others) already are.
The time for (“unconditional”) love (and “acceptance”) – especially of ourselves – is often most needed (and transformative) when it is felt (or thought to be “deserved”) least – and feared most.
Some people are overly sensitive to light, yet few people are adverse to more love in their lives. The best way to increase the amount and/or experience of whatever you desire is probably to offer and express it to others – especially when you are most afraid. The best “antidote”, “remedy”, and “cure” for FEAR is LOVE.
We don’t always get what we (feel we) “deserve”; but we do usually get what we accept. The more we accept ourselves and others, the more love there will be in the world. Rather than “brutally” honest “tough” love, the world needs more loving kindness – starting with how we think of, feel about, and treat ourselves.
That’s my perspective. What’s yours?
© 2010 – 2011, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.