More than at any other time in our recent past, we need to remember what love is – and how it behaves. And I am not referring to infatuation or sexual attraction – I am talking about love. It is so easy to throw the word around with abandon, incorrectly attaching it to situations that have nothing to do with it… or to use it as a tool of manipulation. You could argue that love is subjective and we each have our own interpretation; I would argue that it isn’t and that our personal interpretations are not always valid.
So, what is love? First and foremost, it is the ocean in which we human souls swim; it is the fabric into which we are woven; it is the background onto which we have been painted. Our very existence relies upon it; however, it isn’t an automatic connection. We have to recognise it, explore it, and then merge with it… which is easier said than done, at times. It is my observation that love, at its most powerful, is brave, courageous, self-sacrificing, and capable of moving mountains. Of course, this kind of love is not your average, ‘every day’ variety – but it does form the foundation upon which our society has been built. It is the kind of love that doesn’t shy away from confrontation, can’t be bought or paid off, and doesn’t give up when the going gets tough. And it is the kind of love that attracts followers – but also, as has always been the way, enemies. The covid-19 pandemic has exposed the existence of the deepest, darkest, depths of corruption and censorship that could ever be imagined or believed – but that isn’t the end of the story… because it also brought to the fore the truly heroic, ready and willing to do battle on behalf of all of us… even those who don’t recognise or value their true worth. Luckily, the ‘dark side’ isn’t as smart as it believes itself to be and in its desperation to shut down those who refuse to be silenced and immobilised, it has turned them into martyrs. And martyrs are highly dangerous for the corrupt because they are operating from a place of love – honest, righteous, angry love – and they will not be swayed. And that’s the powerful thing about this kind of love – it isn’t all sweetness and light, moonlight and roses, conciliatory and appeasing: it is forceful and relentless. It isn’t political, either, much to the disgust of those who view life through an us-and-them filter, choosing one side in order to oppose another – to be right to their wrong. And it is straight-speaking, much to the disapproval of the overly self-protective and the fearful. Those who bravely stand up, speak out, and act from a genuinely loving mindset are going to be gratefully followed by those who have been praying for balance, common sense, and common decency to emerge… and they will also be discredited, torn down – attacked even – by many others. It has always been that way and probably always will be.
As I have defined what I believe real love to be, I should also define what I believe it isn’t. It isn’t deliberate, conscious ignorance. When education is available, when we have access to the widest range of views, facts, and figures, and we choose not to make use of it – instead, limiting ourselves to a narrow source of information whilst forcefully presenting our opinions to the world, our intention is not loving. Love also isn’t the automatic silencing of others because we don’t want to even consider hearing what they have to say. Ignorance and censoring form the foundation of every repressed, authoritarian society – past, present, and future.
Love doesn’t withhold truth, or seriously manipulate and edit it. Obviously, depending upon the situation, brutal honesty is not always a good idea and can cause excessive hurt; however, to deliberately present ‘facts’ in such a way that our own agenda is being served is coldly calculating. Especially when we hold a position of trust over those we are fooling. We are failing to provide them with the opportunity to make their own, considered decisions.
Love doesn’t stand in the shadows, editing its own truth in order to avoid ridicule, conflict, and loss of status. And love doesn’t put others in that position in the first place, knowing full well that fear will force them to comply.
Love isn’t afraid to be open about the truth when it is finally uncovered, or to apologise for actions taken when the bigger picture was unclear. Love isn’t too proud to create a new plan of action, based on a new understanding of a situation. Love doesn’t perpetuate wrong-doing because it doesn’t want to appear to be backing down, and love doesn’t fear losing control.
Of course, all of the above relates to the world at large and the way in which we are currently living. But, even on a smaller scale and in our private lives, the way in which love operates is exactly the same. To commit to creating a mutually supportive life with someone demands bravery… because the process requires us to be mature, compromising, patient, kind – and in possession of a sense of humour! We also need staying power, and a willingness to change, naturally and gradually, so that we grow together. Imagine if we approached our relationship by investing major time and energy into studying the art of psychologically manipulating our partner into behaving exactly as we want them to? Imagine if we attempted to cause them to be so afraid that they’d do everything we told them to, without question? And if we carefully groomed them to become entirely dependent upon us to protect them? We’d be deemed guilty of serious abuse and our partner would be strongly advised to leave us. You might say, “oh, come on! A personal relationship is different from the one that we have with our government or other official organisations! We certainly don’t love them and don’t expect them to love us.” And I’d say “well, it isn’t about the romantic and sexual kind of love we have for our partner – but it should be about the kind of love we hold for those we have chosen to serve, guide, provide for, and protect (and are paid to do so). It’s about commitment, service, and respect. And for all, not just the ones who easily comply and side with us.” Idealistic, I admit – but aren’t things now so bad that the only answer is to go all the way back to the drawing board and start afresh? And I was going to say that things can’t possibly become any worse – but that’s ridiculous because of course they can… and appear to be doing so. I’m not being negative – well, actually, I am… but for perfectly valid reasons. Love is dying a slow, agonising, global death – and if the perpetrators get their way all of those who have lost their lives in the name of freedom will have done so in vain.
Look, let’s be honest – we are never going to like every single human being in the world, never mind love them. We don’t even always like the people we do genuinely love. And we aren’t always going to behave in a consistently loving way toward them, either; sometimes we are going to act like utterly unsupportive, selfish a*******s. If we do so all of the time, however, then they are going to stop loving us and leave us – if, that is, they have an ounce of self-respect and self-concern. Love, in the hands of human souls, can become bent and twisted out of shape. And there is much that is passed off as love, but is really something else entirely. Volatile relationships, dogged by tit-for-tat behaviour and power plays; excessive parent-child dynamics; endless cycles of accusation and blame; disloyalty and infidelity; physical, mental, and emotional abuse. All situations in which people often remain and claim to love each other. I have stated that love requires patience and compromise – but first we have to feel reasonably sure that it is love (which requires the presence of genuine concern, caring, and respect), and is therefore worth working on.
Love can be feigned and used as a tool for superiority. I’ve witnessed many ‘spiritual’ individuals doing just that… and was once labelled as ‘pure hatred’ by a man who was part of a group I challenged over their obviously insincere and smug BS. It was amazing how rapidly the veneer cracked when the validity of their collective self-congratulation was questioned. However, I recognised that I had no business being there, in their space – and never attended such a gathering again. My problem was that they had very little actual understanding of real people with real, everyday problems – that their platitudes and smug answers only served to cause those who were struggling to feel even worse… because they hadn’t yet ‘arrived’ and were therefore spiritually inadequate. What’s loving about that?
Having said that, don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that love is always gentle and unchallenging. Sometimes the best kind of love is the tough kind; as long, that is, as the motivation behind it is genuine. Because motivation is everything, where love is concerned (and even then it can be misguided, just to complicate the subject further!). If the motivation behind an apparently loving act is self-serving, manipulative, or controlling, then it isn’t love, no matter how it’s dressed up. If the motivation behind tough-love is sincerely one of concern for that person’s safety, well-being, or growth, and is reasonably delivered, then that is love – even if the recipient initially hates us for it!
We cannot exist in this world without love, whether it is of the variety that comes from a sense of duty and responsibility to those we have committed to serving, or to a family member, friend, or pet. The opposite of love is not hate – it is disconnection, detachment, and disinterest. It is lack of empathy. A person who views others in this way is akin to a scientist dispassionately observing microbes through a microscope. There is a soullessness to that that is terrifying – in my opinion, at least. In less than twenty four months the world has become more fractured and hostile than it has been in my living memory, and even family and friends have been turned against one another. I cannot recover from the grief of knowing that hundreds of human souls left this world without their loved ones by their side – because I wholeheartedly believe that we were unforgivably programmed to accept that it was for our own good. There was nothing loving about that, even though some people probably still hold to the idea that it was, and that it was inevitable. So many individuals and corporations have capitalised on and profited from the pandemic that it makes me feel sick to my stomach. The ‘experts’ who are now being exposed for their questionable roles; the officials who are suddenly and silently jumping ship because they’ve figured that they’re on the ‘wrong’ side after all; the sociopaths, in positions of power, starting to go too far because they believe themselves to be untouchable; the organisations who have reaped in literally billions of dollars pure profit, whilst millions of human souls are struggling to survive mentally, emotionally, and financially; there is no love amongst any of that, only calculating coldness, and gain. But they are wrong, in their dark, icy, elitist hearts, if they think that they’ve won and that the world is theirs to control, plunder, and play with. They almost won, but already the tide is starting to turn… and the world was never theirs for the taking in the first place – because it belongs not to them, or to us, but to something infinitely greater and more powerful than all of us clumped together. Thousands of wanna-be Gods have already tried to crush the human race and bring it under their control… and some human souls have even followed them, like rats after the Pied Piper. But, despite the fact that some of those criminals are still hanging on to their ill-gotten power, they will eventually lose their grasp and their empires will fall. Despite my previous negative pondering, I know that love is, and always will be, the most powerful force in this world of ours – and that it will win out again.