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The Essence of Love

It’s become increasingly easy in our modern and fast-paced world to feel ever more cynical about the commercial side of Valentine’s Day.

Red roses and cute teddy bears festoon the shops; greetings cards get bigger every year, boxes of chocolates more luxurious, and the pressure is on to dine out with everybody else and their other halves to prove your unwavering affection to your spouse.

Whilst it’s wonderful to be on the giving and receiving end of romance and its gestures, there are a multitude of ways we can celebrate love on our planet in February – and beyond.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that love is beautiful in ALL its forms, not only in coupledom, sweet as that union can be. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that love doesn’t need to cost a thing. It’s as simple and pure as smiling at a stranger, petting a cat, or singing to a plant. It is ours to give freely and frequently, because love is who we are.

Love is the appreciation of a sunrise and the marvel of a full moon.

Love is picking up somebody else’s litter and recycling it, even though we didn’t drop it on the beach. 

Love is helping a tired bee get its buzz back by making a sugar water solution and leaving it nearby on a spoon… and, equally, love is resisting the temptation to squish that spider in the bath, carrying it carefully to a new home in the garden instead. 

Love is giving some money or food to a homeless person and sparing them a few minutes of your time for a proper chat; a chat full of eye contact.

Love is ensuring the policies in your workplace are LGBTQ-friendly and all-encompassing so that everyone can be their authentic selves, free from persecution or judgment.

Love is tithing and giving money, yes… but love is also volunteering with your spare time to help charitable causes in your local community. Just as love is decluttering that wardrobe or bookshelf and making that long overdue donation to the charity shop. 

Love is taking time out to check that your elderly neighbours are warm, fed, and well – sitting with them for a cuppa and a quality natter.

Love is the recognition that we are part of something much bigger than the world at our feet. Love encourages and enables us to embrace the yin and yang energy of every situation. When we turn the cheek away from our negative feelings about politics/the pandemic/petty quarrels and disputes, we can transform them into positives with a focus on the good things that have arisen from those events. Love is committing to show up inwardly, devoting ourselves to our spiritual development, despite the chaos in the outside world, so that we can continue to help ourselves and others. 

When we make it our daily intention to tap into love and give it freely, not only do we get (good) goosebumps from the incredible feeling, we also live out our purpose, setting it in perpetual motion, generating lots of good karma.

We are all souls. Our bodies are simply vehicles, momentarily hiding the divine spark within us. That is our true essence. It is the essence of love.

“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”, the Bible tells us. Many religions offer this same pearl of wisdom. Treating others the way we wish to be treated ourselves may seem simplistic but it is an excellent benchmark for living a loving and purposeful life. Self-love is often misjudged as selfish. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. If we don’t love ourselves, we have nothing to offer to anybody else.

Universal love and world service is part of our destiny as humanity. If we can reach that point of inclusivity now, in this lifetime, we are rewarded with feelings of bliss as that love for others – regardless of their sexuality, skin colour, faith, nationality, background or education – manifests and enfolds us all; its ripples never-ending and helping every one of us to evolve.

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