It is such a common aphorism that ‘Love conquers all’ yet I don’t know if many really understand what that means. So many stories, books and films, portray this concept in some form or another. Moreover, you see similar phrases and thoughts printed on t-shirts, bags, and even coffee mugs. It’s everywhere written in plain sight, yet the deep truth of it is forgotten.
When we feel bad, when we are hurt or stressed, we try to take the pain away through taking pills, going on diets, shopping, drinking, cutting ourselves off from things… or we go to the doctor, go to see a shrink who let us talk or talks to us or basically tells us to shut up by feeding us pills or give us diets or exercises to do. These things might help in taking the pain away and in some cases they truly are what is needed. But more often than not, while it might make a symptom go away it does not touch the underlying cause and it does not heal and by heal I mean it does not make us whole.
Love means many different things to different people but I believe many people pass by what it really means. Some imagine it to be all bells and whistles, romanticism, or associate it with certain conditions, like “a person only loves me if they do X, or if they say X or ….”. Moreover many believe love to be exclusive. This belief is born from the exclusive nature of the mother-child bond we (hopefully) grow up with and the messaging we get surrounding finding “the one” to marry/live with.
Love with the capital L or unconditional love is none of that. It is what drives us to help another, to create, to do what is right for us and to go beyond ourselves for nothing in return. Love is the most fundamental force in the universe. Yet at the same time it seems so incredibly hard for people to give and receive. I believe that is because many are hurt and when we hurt we erect large barriers around the heart that say “no go area”, impeding its flow.
To Love someone or to Love ourselves is to go beyond oneself to be there for another/ourselves with complete acceptation. Not doing anything special, just being wholly there with no judgements, no need to fix anything, just being there no matter what. Being there with love. At that moment we can heal – be whole. The inner hurricane of suffering gently loosens as we no longer separate ourselves from ourselves or the other.
It is hard to know this without having experienced it. We might understand it intellectually but without having the experience of Love finding it is really difficult especially because of all the barriers we put around our hearts – our fears and beliefs, and our hurts which we savagely (and understandably) protect (think of the wounded dog who snarls at the person trying to help it). Alone Love is very hard but not impossible to find (it is after all our core). But once we are shown it, feel it, we can find it for ourselves, and learn to give and receive Love. This exchange of Love is vital. This is why we fundamentally need and want to connect with people and/or the divine (I use that term loosely – it is why spirituality is so important – it helps us connect) and why so many ills and dis-ease occur when that exchange is impeded. So you see Love does really conquer all.
Yet on the path to healing and wholeness, seeking Love on the outside will only send us down the wrong paths because we will get caught up in the conditional, in the different forms of love and we will get caught up with fear, rejection and loss. Moreover, in seeking Love, we actually miss the point that Love is already inherent. Look inside and you will see the truth of this.
“Your task is not to seek for love but merely to find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi