Divine Love. To some this may seem like a hippie concept, invoking the image of someone flouncing around, arms spread wide, an effortless grin on their shining face. Or the thing that people cling to so that they don’t have to look at the reality of the world around us. With all of its devastation, degradation and legislation. Our world feels fierce right now. On fire. And that is why we should all be seeking out even more of a connection with the love around us and within.
I have been pondering this entity of love a lot lately. And what it means to me. And not just romantic love or love for my people, although that is certainly part of it. I am talking Divine Love. Some days I feel so full of this love that I could burst and on others I feel separated from my source in a painful fit of seeking or longing. What I know for sure, though, is that love is everything.
It is the stuff that our universe is made of. Truly. That is why when we feel pure divine love we also feel a connection to everything. An expansiveness that can’t be bought with medications, false experience or attachments to one particular dogma. But love isn’t just the good stuff.
If love is everything it is also present during difficulty. I have a copy of The Prophet next to my bed at all times. In it, Khalil Gibran writes about love:
“Like leaves of corn, he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire,
that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may
know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge,
become a fragment of Life’s heart.“
It was never meant to be only bliss. Love is so much more than that. It is even more than the feeling we get around those we care about. It is the key to our understanding of ourselves and our journey here on this planet. And we humans find more love by opening ourselves deeply in times of sadness, turmoil, grief or despair.
Right now our world needs each of us to show up in love. Steeped in the beautiful whole love that hopes to heal. That hopes to lift, soften and support one another. Lately I have been asking myself how I am showing up in my love each day. It feels like we are here to receive love and then channel it for the greater good. Myriad of spiritual leaders speak of giving and service as the ultimate practice. The giving of what? The love flowing through you like a river of life.
And the way love feels when it touches each heart is completely unique. So how will you channel it and send it forth? Is it through art, music, caring for a sick friend, writing letters to senators, cleaning up the planet? What about mindfully creating a beautiful meal for those you love, teaching a child the wonders of watching bumblebees or rescuing animals? How will our world benefit from feeling the unique love flowing through your beautiful one-of-a-kind spirit?
We all are here on this blink of a ride together to channel our love. Once you feel it’s flow you could fill an entire world with songs, poetry, art and goodness, and indeed humanity has. How can we show up not in fear of that which is unfolding around us but instead rooted in the belief that our love can heal ourselves, each other and, indeed, our planet?
Big questions for ordinary days I know, but isn’t it the most important time to ask? Our everyday lives speak volumes about who we are and what we believe. In the famous Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita, this is referred to as shraddha. Eknath Easwaran, a famous spiritual and philosophical leader, has a beautiful interpretation of this text, and of shraddha he says:
“Our lives are an elegant expression of our belief: what we deem worth having, being, attaining, doing. What we strive for shows what we value; we back our shraddha with our time, energy, our very lives.”
Showing up in love for every aspect of our lives IS IT. It is what turns our ordinary work into an extraordinary expression of truth and passion. So let’s make a decision to show up steeped in true, pure love, no matter how small the task at hand. And reflect on how our hearts want to care for this battered and sometimes broken world.
I’m not writing this from a place of perfection. Indeed I forget to show up in my love many days. Or even forget what my own love feels like during moments of heightened stress. So I am writing this not just for you to read but also my future self. And I can tell her with authority that love wins. Always, always, always. Because it is what we are all made of and what, someday, we will all return to.