It seems trite now, a meaningless hippie platitude. Love is not all we need. We also need water. And oxygen. And preferably, all our limbs. We need banks to stop robbing us blind. We need a stronger economy so that we have a chance to thrive. We need to find sustainable ways of living on our finite planet. We need a healthy immune system. We need to be able to defend our loved ones. We need competence and compassion. We need reliable news sources. We need creative outlets.
So, with a roll of our eyes, we toss “All we need is love” into the rubbish bin, alongside “We are all One” and “Visualize World Peace”.
Which is too bad, because it is one of the most ennobling experiences we humans can have.
How can we reclaim love? How can we remind each other that it is more than a sentiment for Hallmark cards and pale pink hearts and cloying romantic comedies where all problems are solved and everyone lives happily ever after within a 90 minute time frame?
Maybe we need to remember how fierce love can be.
- Love is the strength of a mother to lift a car to rescue her child.
- Love is a Tibetan monk setting himself on fire in protest of his culture being destroyed.
- Love is giving up a cushy job so that you can devote your life to ending sex trafficking.
- Love is speaking out against the oppression of others.
- Love is keeping our commitments.
To reclaim love, we can also think about the awesomeness (and I mean that in the truest sense of the word, not with “dude” added after it) of life itself . Consider our situation: We experience our lives from within these automated meat suits, itself a miracle. We are breathing air because a long time ago a bunch of chemicals decided to bunch together for whatever incomprehensible reason – or no reason at all – and create life. And here we are, with a zillion different types of flowers and animals and rocks and things to eat, look at, and experience. We are on this planet alongside music. And Fjords. And Lions. Lions! And a gajillion stars that are 200 million miles away from each other. And those are the close ones! Just the ones right next to us in this one galaxy, which is frigging huge. And of which there are a gazillion more.
If this doesn’t inspire love, or at least awe, you might already be dead.
I believe this level of awe is also love. For what is love if not an experience that cracks our hearts open to the beauty, wonder, and amazement of creation? What is love if not to be overcome by the majesty of this glorious, mysterious life?
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! May you fall in love with everything!