If asked to name the opposite of love, I would say isolation.
Isolation goes against the natural order of things. Naturalist John Muir (1838-1914) noted, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”
A force beyond our understanding brings everything into relationship. Love is the human manifestation of that energy.
If we could measure our collective love like economists measure GDP, we would discover we are in a deep recession. The pandemic disrupted our social networks. We are now experiencing the fallout from that.
The other day a driver with a car full of grade school kids flipped me off at a four-way intersection. He evidently thought I was moving forward out of turn. “Wow! Next time try the decaf.” I thought to myself. Our recession in loving kindness plays out in political divisiveness as well.
Presently, me is overpowering we.
Love frees us from the prison of self. Without love, life circumstances are more challenging than anyone can bear. The journey toward love begins with a mutual exchange of self. Something philosopher Ken Wilber describes as the “miracle of we.” We pierces the armor of separation. When allowed to root, we inevitably matures to love.
Love is mysterious. It’s impossible to fully express in words. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us, and in that love, we experience wholeness.
Unconditional love is the gold standard. Most of us fall short of that, but it’s something to strive for. Recently, our son Bryan visited with his two dogs. The dog’s lives revolve around his. When he left the house, they waited by the door. When he returned, they sat by his side. Their life and his are one. A dog’s love is unconditional. Why is it so hard for us?
Christians say God is love. I resonate with that. Spirit is a dynamic in-betweenness, with love being the highest order of that mutuality.
As the year draws to a close, it’s natural to think about what we might aspire to in the new year. Next week I’ll offer thoughts on a new approach I’m working on to increase joy in my life and the lives of those around me.
In the meantime, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend.
To receive my latest posts directly, click subscribe and fill in your email address in the box at the bottom of the page.