What’s Love Got to Do with It?
by Darlene Coleman
It's the weekend, and I'm driving down the road, listening to the radio as Tina Turner belts out "What's Love Got to Do with It." As I sing those familiar lyrics, I realize that we are coming into February, the month of love, roses, chocolates and candlelit dinners.
During this month, brave souls will drop to one knee and profess their undying devotion to another, all in the name of love. There are literally thousands of songs, books and movies written about this feeling. There are numerous dating sites people can join in hopes of attaining it. There are workshops, retreats and even magic spells designed to help find the one attribute everyone is searching for—love.
With so much access to love, it's a wonder that anyone could even last a minute without experiencing it, and yet for some, it remains elusive. Since the beginning of time, we humans have felt the need to be connected. With this longing for someone or something to reflect back to our worthiness, desirability and acceptance, it makes sense that love must be innate within us.
Initially, there is a kind of love that a parent tends to express for a child or a child for that parent. This type of love is considered unconditional, even though, at times, it might not seem unconditional. How many of us agree to something unwanted just to please a parent or child? Early in our lives, we learn not to disrupt the status quo, if we want to receive love.
Also, there is a love we feel toward our furry friends. This kind of love is even more unconditional, and many times, it’s easier to love our pets than our partners. For instance, we can easily forgive a pet for urinating on the carpet, but if our partner dirties the carpet of our hearts, are we as gracious or willing to accept that behavior?
Then, of course, there is romantic love—the kind that makes our hearts skip a beat. This form of sentimentality and emotion has caused kings to abdicate their thrones. This feeling has caused people to abandon virtually everything for that one person they can possess and claim as their own. The first time I experienced this kind of love, I was in the second grade.
His name was Benny. He approached me at recess and professed his undying love for me. In response I allowed him to take my turn on the merry-go-round. Sadly, after just two days, our romantic tryst was over. Benny had fallen in love with someone else, and I was left with a broken heart—the first of many, I'm afraid. But was that experience truly love?
Sure, it was one form of love. While simple and innocent, it was the start of this type of heart opening inside me. After all, love must begin somewhere, and unless you are born a mystic or saint, love begins in the lower chakras, those energy systems designed for procreation. This love is the kind that, with the right partner, not only makes you feel warm and fuzzy, but will push those buttons of insecurity and ego. It is the kind of love that is mostly conditional, that challenges and calls us towards something greater than ourselves.
As we struggle with the dynamics of personal relationships, we are actually being taught characteristics such as tolerance, forgiveness, harmony and self-awareness. Even the unhealthiest relationships are a gift if we can allow ourselves to learn from them. But there is something else too, and it’s even more meaningful.
What if, instead of falling in love, we were able to rise to it? Imagine how the world might function if we were able to recognize that love isn't just a month of flowers and chocolates, but a state of being, a level of consciousness. This is a goal we can aspire to, and with intention and practice, it’s achievable.
Love is all of the above. It is around us, everywhere and all the time. It is here and now. Love is in the sun that rises each morning to shine down upon the earth which provides us food and nourishment. Love is in the smile from a passing stranger. Love is in helping someone cross the street or holding the door open for them. Love is in the acceptance and tolerance of others, even if they are different than us. Love is in the acceptance of ourselves. Love is in the mundane routines. Life itself is love.
It flourishes in the soil of kindness and compassion. Love is in humanity. Plant the seeds of love wherever you find yourself, and cultivate this attribute if you want to reap an abundant harvest. It isn't always simple, but it’s what we are here to learn. So what's love got to do with it? Absolutely everything.
Darlene Coleman is a Certified Life Coach and Hypnotherapist, specializing in modalities designed to identify and remove emotional blocks, while implementing a plan for success. She is available for individual appointments at Four Pillars, located at 8209 Natures Way, Suite 221, Lakewood Ranch. For more information, call 941-373-3955, email [email protected] or visit FourPillarsFlorida.com.