It is said that all we need is love for humanity to be happy and for our lives to have meaning, yet this seems to be one goal we all strive for and hardly ever reach. In this time of division I have been reflecting on this. Why do we humans seem so incapable of love?
All Teachers of Light throughout the ages have spoken of Love being the most important thing in this life and that through love we are able to transcend our egos’ because when we love we are thinking of someone else rather than ourselves. It is also one of the reasons that sacrifice is rewarded in literature, music and history. Selflessness is seen as a virtue.
So why is it so hard for us to love one another? Interesting that Jesus said that the commandment second only to loving God is to, “Love thy neighbour as thyself” and it is in this statement that I think the flaw lies. Most of us don’t love ourselves at all.
We all live with this dilemma. Depending on how we were raised we may think that loving ourselves is selfish because we might have been told as kids how selfish and spoiled we were. Alternatively we might have grown up believing that we are worthless and being told that in many ways, at school and at home. Most of us are used to conditional love, if you do this for me I will reward you; if you don’t then you will be punished. Perhaps this is why we love dogs so much. They don’t want anything from you and they give you all their love unconditionally, even if you don’t feel you deserve it.
This brings me to an experiment that was done by performance artist Marina Abramovic. She stood still for six hours and allowed people to do anything to her body without any repercussions. She removed all responsibilities for their actions. What's frightening is that it very soon devolved into a sadistic, violent tableau. Why I wonder, why did people not shower her with affection? Why all the hate, fear and violence?
So how do we fix this as a society? Buddha said it clearly, “If you see yourself in others, then who can you hurt?” Yet that won’t help us either if we don’t love ourselves. We need compassion and empathy for all people not only the ones who are in agreement with us. It all comes down to healing ourselves so that we can truly love ourselves. How do we do that?
Forgiveness – we all make mistakes but we have to forgive ourselves for the mistakes of the past. Mistakes are there to teach and they are part of the journey of life. Remember that we are only human.
Releasing anger and hurt – if we can bring ourselves to let go of all the hurt and anger that we hold onto we are able to open our hearts. While we are living with hurt it is impossible for us to allow anyone in. We always keep them at arm’s length and this leads to separation.
Fear – when people aren’t the same as us we tend to keep them at a distance. They don’t look, speak or act like us so they must be too different for us to love. If we can’t heal the fear and distrust of people within ourselves, how are we ever going to change our perspective?
Love & Light