Today is Valentine’s Day, the day of the year when we make a special demonstration of acknowledging those we love, especially those we love in a romantic way. While there is nothing wrong with having a special day to celebrate love, the truth is we should be doing it all day, every day throughout the year, and not just with our romantic partners, family and friends, but with everyone, especially those we feel challenged to love.
Expressing love is our most fundamental spiritual responsibility. If there is anything in life that we should strive to master, it is love. A willingness to love should be as natural as breathing, yet all too often we allow grievances, judgments, and plain old garden variety fear to block our capacity to express love. All too often, we falsely believe that we can pick and choose who deserves to receive our love, while exempting ourselves from the consequences of withholding our love. Yet, when we withhold love from others, we are in reality withholding it from ourselves as well.
Love Is The Harmonizing Power
In The Twelve Powers, Charles Fillmore defines love as the harmonizing power. Among the twelve creative faculties of humankind, love is the greatest creative power of all. At its fullest expression, the creative power of love harmonizes all discord, strife, critical judgment, bias and prejudice. Love neutralizes fear and engenders a sense of safety and connection. Love transforms all fears of separation from God, from others, and even from our own selves.
Love heals all things in need of healing, and restores our awareness to the foundational unity we share with everyone and everything. The creative energy of love heals any inner sense of separation, transforming our consciousness into an experience of unity, safety and peace.
The power of love is the foundational creative power, the essence of God. Love is the optimal creative energy. Nothing would ever come into being without the creative power of love. Without love, nothing could ever be healed. There would be no miracles. There would be no life. Our part is but to see that this is true, and then to courageously allow this knowing to guide our every thought, word and action.
Love Your Neighbor As Yourself
Jesus taught that the second greatest commandment of all is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” This commandment was like the “greatest commandment,” which is to love God with all your heart, mind and soul. This teaching is a variation of the golden rule that had been around in many cultures even before Jesus’ birth. So, Jesus wasn’t really bringing a new teaching to the consciousness of humankind. However, he did reveal a more dynamic dimension to the critical importance of this foundational spiritual truth.
The teaching is much deeper than just simply being good to other people, or doing unto others as a rule of living. It is not a simple admonishment to “love your neighbor” or else risk punishment. The way Jesus presented this commandment had more to do with stating the undeniable truth of a spiritual principle, or divine law.
You will love your neighbor as you love yourself. It is inevitable. However, we can only give to others in direct measure to what we give to our own selves. For Jesus, self love is the same as love of God. He acknowledges this truth when he teaches, “I and the Father are one.” Loving God with all of your heart, mind and soul is the greatest commandment. It is also the gateway to experiencing the greatest love of all.
With Love, All Things Are Possible
Love is the quintessential creative energy, ultimately the only creative faculty that even matters, because without love, nothing is possible. Yet, with love, all things are possible. This power of love is within you, within me. No one who has ever lived knows the full measure of its capacity. Yet, it is universally recognized, by one name or another, as the ultimate power available to humankind.
The most fundamental, essential creative energy, the power of all powers is within you, me and everyone, always available in unlimited capacity. Yet, despite this limitless, creative power at the very core of our being, we still struggle to direct some of that power in the direction of our own self care. We still resist learning how to love ourselves fully in positive, healthy and supportive ways. Too often, we sacrifice the creative power of our love on the altar of selflessness, believing that giving all of our love away to others is the most noble thing one might do. However, this can be a trap.
There Is Love Between Us
Too often in our interpersonal relationships, we tend to forget the self love part. The way we express love tends to be almost exclusively externally directed towards those whom we love the most, or are willing to serve. In principle, there is absolutely nothing wrong with loving or serving others. These are indeed noble acts, and they are hard wired into our soul. However, too often, we give to others until we are depleted, with nothing left in the tank to give our own selves.
In my experience, this tendency applies to everyone at one time or another in our lives. It is one of the most fundamental, archetype experiences we share with one another. We all come face to face in life with the realization that we have not been very generous with our own selves. We have been stingy with expressing love in the highest sense to our own selves.
The Irish have a way of acknowledging love between two people. Instead of saying, “I love you,” which is a subject-verb-object construction, the Irish often express love by affirming, “there is love between us.” Stated like this, we are simply acknowledging the presence of love that is embodied within each one of us. One does not need the other to express love in order to fill a void that does not exist. Both are already complete in their capacity to express and experience the full measure of love’s creative power.
The Greatest Love Of All
As a songwriter, I often think about love in musical terms, as inspiration for creative expression. Well over 80% of all popular hit songs are love songs of one sort or another. One of those love songs was written by composers Michael Masser and Linda Creed. Originally recorded in 1977 by jazz artist George Benson, it later became a worldwide smash recorded by Whitney Houston near the peak of her popularity. “The Greatest Love of All” is learning to love yourself.
If there is any expression of love that we should master, it is the proper and appropriate practice of self love. How are you doing with the self love part? I know for me, it is something that I have to remind myself constantly to hold in my awareness. In the drive to be of service to the world, it is so easy to get out of balance with the self love part. But, loving your self in the truest sense is also how you express your love for God and others.
Expressing love for God and others from a deep place of commitment to self love is how we create and experience authentic connection, oneness, unity, and ultimately, peace. So, use Valentine’s Day today to celebrate the spiritual gift of love in your life beyond just the typical expression of love for others who are special to you. Do something this Valentine’s Day to also expresses your capacity for self love. If we resolve to master the self love part, the rest will take care of itself naturally.