Music is a medium that creates and shifts emotions like quicksilver- People are moved to laugh, cry, love and feel sad through the power of music, perhaps within the space of one minute! Love is something we all feel; it transcends time, place, culture, political or religious bias. It is an amazing, wonderful and rich quality and resource that we all have. We need to use it more and then our world would hopefully change for the better. Love is part of each of us and life itself. In a song I have written (What is Love?) I refer to it as ; “Love is the spirit of life, a ribbon of light from each being, shining into infinity”.
Love comes in many forms and can be mixed with other emotions and qualities. But, if I want to distill love into a definition it would be ” an affectionate and caring wish for the other to be happy and to never have suffering without wanting anything in return”. This is different from sexual love which requires another to make you happy in that context. We do however mix these two in our lives and it is probably fair to say that it is our close personal relationships where we feel the more unadulterated form of love too.
I once wrote a humble self published book ( written for myself as much as anyone else) in which, at one point, I look at “Love. “In it I say how love makes us feel.
“It is a free and expansive and generous mind, as vast and as golden as a sky full of sunshine…..To be human is to love, and to be an evolving human is someone who deliberately deepens and expands their love to as many beings as possible.”
Imagine a world where we tried to do this regardless of others opinions, views, and cultural and political standpoints? The way we interact, talk to each other, do business, create political treaties etc, etc would be so vastly different. There would be an ability to feel and see another’s position, care for their journey and their place in the world. People would no longer seem like card board cuts from a play/movie that play a bit part in our own mega drama. They would become ” a real person”, a cherished person just as the dear ones ( usually ones family and friends) are to you now. We would be able to acknowledge each person for the “unique jewel” ( song, When a child stands alone) that they are or could be.
Maybe I am idealistic, but I think the world would look quite different. I think we would have calmer minds, happier minds, connected happy people and peace would proliferate rather than war and the news would be full of how we create joined up thinking with outcomes and trade agreements where there is balance, diversity and benefit to all. The macro and the micro would be entwined or Self and Other, as our caring would rub out the boundaries and create more of a sense of unity.
Through love we would see our innate human- ness, our similarities rather our differences. We would see each other as precious, with no one being more important than another. If we could not manage this level of balanced equanimity( and let’s face it, this is quite ultimate) then we could at least cherish them as another being sharing our journey here on earth.
Love is such an amazing emotion because we all can- to some degree or another- feel it and have experienced it. It also transcends our human constructs of religion and politics. Religion and politics are both important but sometimes we need to look beyond those structures, particularly if they start to limit support rather than augment it. We can keep it simple. We can grow our love in whatever we do and however we go about our daily lives and work. We can be that sunshine. and make small humble differences in the lives of people we interact with, even briefly. All it needs is a little regular acquaintance with the quality of Love, where we can bring it to mind, nurture it, feel it and then commit to “being it” in our lives.
To Love like this does not mean loving ourselves less nor does it mean turning a blind eye to the faults or problems that people exhibit. To love like this requires a deepening understanding and love for our own foibles and weaknesses as well as others. It’s loving what is( Katie Byron) and working with it with grace and honesty. We are all “just a bag of monkeys”…..going through our life’s journey as best we can. We can love each other on our journey because it makes it so much more beautiful and joyful and wonderful and our amazing world will benefit too.
So, how do we encourage ourselves to deeepen this amazing, expansive, caring and life affirming quality? Different things work for different people. I choose to write songs as part of my exploration. We could meditate, read poetry, listen to music, do charity work, read mind widening books or articles, listen to or watch media that promotes it. Love can be felt and found in so many places it is easy to grow it- it just requires a conscious ongoing commitment to ourself to do so. Enjoy and watch the sunshine grow!