Why does a woman beaten by her mate continue to love him? Why do mothers feed and love their babies so totally and unconditionally? What is this thing called “romantic love” that draws people together makes them embrace a relationship with each other and then spin off in different directions to seek that energy somewhere else? To begin the exploration, I asked: “What does is Love?” Little signs gave indications along the way. In India in an ashram I read this sign posted on the canteen wall: “Love is neither emotion nor sentiment. Love is energy. — Sathya Sai Baba.”
A light bulb went on inside me and ignited a spark. I realized that when I love I feel energized and alive. I certainly feel love as energy. But how would I know when I was working with love and being loving in relationships? No sooner had I asked the question when a friend read this to me: “Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast; it is not proud. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always perseveres. Love never fails.” — I Corinthians 13:4
I turned it into a formula to help it make sense to my mind. It looks something like this: Patience + kindness + trust + perseverance + truth + protection – rudeness – boasting – self-seeking – pride – envy = Love This became my scientific formula to know when I bring the presence of love into relationships. If love was like math, then it would be clear and easy. But Love mixed with human nature makes it more challenging to perceive. It seems to me more and more that the easy way to practice Love is simply to be empty like a flute, let go of ego and desires, and allow the energy to pass through unobstructed to everyone around. Children do this naturally. So do we, as adults, when we return to this pristine, trusting, childlike state of being. “Through the eyes of Love, all beings are beautiful and the world is one vast family,” Sathya Sai Baba said.
Isn’t that beautiful? Doesn’t that feel good? This is the kind of love I embrace. It includes romantic love, love of a parent, love of siblings, and most importantly it embraces self-love.